Doing Anything For Galentine's Day? Why You Should Celebrate Your Fabulous Friendships

What are you doing for Galentine's Day?

Thanks to the massive publicity of February 14th, we are all well aware of Valentine’s Day. 

But have you heard of Galentine’s Day? What started in an American sitcom is now fast becoming one of the most recognized days for women to celebrate the incredible women in their lives - something we can all use more of. 

What is Galentine’s Day? 

Galentine’s Day Origin

The original Galentine’s Day came from a 2010 episode of the popular show, Parks and Recreation. Amy Poehler’s over-the-top-with-enthusiasm character, Leslie Knope, celebrates the day before Valentine’s Day by treating the special women in her life to breakfast food, drinks and gifts. 

“Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.” - Leslie Knope 

Since then, Galentine’s Day has become increasingly popular. While some use it to gleefully replace the ever less popular Valentine’s Day, February 13th has become a day to be grateful for our friendships. 

It’s been picked up by many people - attached, married, single, divorced, whatever their status - to simply acknowledge the importance of platonic relationships. Just like Friendsgiving, here is an opportunity to flip the script we are supposed to follow and do things however we feel is right. 

What Day is Galentine’s Day? 

February 13th, or Valentine’s Eve. 

How is Galentine’s Day Celebrated?

There is no prescriptive way to celebrate the occasion (Although many people make sure to include Leslie Knope’s favorite waffles.). In Parks and Rec, the ladies enjoyed brunch, mimosas and handmade, personalized gifts, but you can do it any old way you’d like. 

5 Great Galentine’s Day Ideas

Even though the original iteration included all gals, the real meaning of this non-holiday is to celebrate some of the most important people in our lives - our friends. So gather your most important people, and get to it.

You don’t need to spray gifts all over everyone or stress out about how much money you need to spend. Showing your friends you appreciate them and how they enrich your life can be as simple as a phone call or video chat. 

We all might not be able to see each other in person right now, so we can get a little creative in how we safely celebrate. 

1. Have a wine/tapas/coffee video date.

2. Stay in and watch your favorite movies (Or try a Netflix Watch party if in-person is not available).

Some of my favorite friendship movies that always leave me wanting to dole out hugs: 

  • In Her Shoes
  • A League of Their Own
  • Waiting to Exhale
  • The Sweetest Thing
  • Thelma & Louise
  • Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion
  •  

    3. Meet up for Book Club (Virtual works too)

    Some of our favorite books about friendship: 

  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  • Sula, by Toni Morrison
  • Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo

  • Or you can check out some great Friendship Book Club Lists out there. 

    4. Head outside for a long walk, scavenger hunt or picnic

    5. Make and send friendship cards, quotes or emails just to remind them they are loved

    For many of us, our friendships are more cherished, simply because we have chosen them ourselves. Unlike our family, we are not related to our friends by blood (Although some of us are lucky enough to have both.), and we have selected them to be in our lives for one reason or another. 

    Friendships Are Good For Our Mental Health 

    In terms of our mental health, having supportive friendships in our lives is also extremely helpful for us. 

    Friendships Lower Our Risk of Significant Health Issues

    According to The Mayo Clinic, when adults have strong social connections, they have a lower risk of certain health issues: 

  • Depression
  • Unhealthy Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • High blood pressure

  • The more obvious fact is that, especially in the socially isolated last few years, good friends can keep us from feeling lonely, and provide us with comforting companionship. They can even increase our sense of purpose and feeling like we belong. 

    Strong Friendships Help to Lower Our Stress

    Having someone to lean on in the hard times can certainly make a situation seem less stressful. Feeling like you have to handle all your problems alone can make a situation worse, even leading to increased panic and anxiety. 

    Having social connections helps relieve our stress, according to Harvard Medical School. Lowered stress levels mean less harm to our: 

  • Arteries
  • Gut function
  • Insulin regulation
  • Immune system
  •  We may not be able to put it into scientific examples, but having deep and strong relationships with friends goes beyond emotional support and going out for a good time. Solid friendships actually improve our health! More reason to celebrate and nurture them. 

    What Are You Doing This Galentine’s Day? 

    Whether you’re keeping it true to the original ladies who brunch, doing your own thing with your besties (or just one important friend), the point of the day is to sit in the beauty that is true companionship. 

    If nothing else, make sure to tell each of your true friends WHY they are so appreciated in your life. They might not even know how much they have meant to you.

     

     

    Feature image photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

    Header photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels