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August 2022 Message: Let’s talk about friendships

By July 28, 2022July 30th, 2022No Comments

Hello Tampa Bay!

August 7 is National Friendship Day so this month we want to talk about friendships!

Because while partnership and romantic love tend to get a lot of the focus and limelight in our culture, friendships are just as important to our wellbeing and quality of life. There is a reason that shows, songs, and movies (think Girls Trip, Booksmart, Stand By Me!) about friendship continue to be classics. 

Friendships are a rich and critical part of our lives, bringing us joy, support, and a whole lot of memories! But did you know friendships are also supportive of mental health? Friendships reduce stress, encourage personal growth, and often help us to develop healthy habits. Having close friendships even lowers your risk of health conditions like depression and high blood pressure! 

With the last few years impacted by the pandemic and increased social isolation, many of our friendships have been impacted by distance, stress, and Zoom fatigue. Whether you are hoping to find a new friend or cultivate an existing friendship, we have some tips on just how to do it:

    • Join an activity you care about: Whether this is a workout class, a social cause, or a volunteering opportunity, the best way to meet people with similar interests and values is at an activity you care about. That yoga class supports your physical and mental health AND could help you meet a new friend…a win all around!
    • Talk about it: We are often taught friendship is supposed to be easy, but communication is important in any relationship. Whether you’d like to re-engage with an old friend or connect with a new one, it’s okay to have a discussion about what you’re both looking for in a friend, how you like to communicate, and what your boundaries are. 
    • Set it (but don’t forget it!): When you end a call, a Zoom, or an outing with a friend, put your next interaction in your calendar before you leave. Having something on the calendar that you can both look forward to means that you are sure to keep in touch and grow your bond. Add things like birthdays and big events to your calendar as well, to take the pressure off of remembering on your own!
    • Express appreciation: Think of one friend who is important to you. Reach out to them and let them know today. This could be as simple as a text message, a quick conversation, or mailing a card. Gestures of gratitude and appreciation go a long way! 

Friendships make our lives richer and bring us a sense of deep belonging. They also strengthen our support system, a boon as we navigate our mental health journey. We hope this helped you reflect on the friendships you have and the kinds of friendships you’d like to grow in the future. And remember…have fun! 

And remember, if you could use support we would love to chat with you. Dial 844-YOU-OKAY to reach our free, confidential support line for the region. We can help you find local resources to support you at any stage of your journey. 

We’ll see you next month,

Your Team at Tampa Bay Thrives

 

Tampa Bay Thrives

Tampa Bay Thrives

Tampa Bay Thrives is an innovative nonprofit helping people in the Tampa Bay area better address mental health and substance use issues.

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