23 fun and creative activities to nourish, empower and strengthen your friendships

10/08/12

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Although sometimes complicated, friendships are really important. And yet it is so easy to get stuck in the superficial acquaintance mode where you talk, but not really talk. Where you know each other, but not really know each other. And you always do the same, safe, activities when you’re spending time together.

And friendships have the power to be so much more.

Friendships have the power to heal, inspire and to raise you up. A strong and deep friendship will increase your happiness levels and your confidence. And it’s not just about what you receive – friendships also give you the opportunity to be generous and give of yourself. And giving will make your life rich.

So, if you feel stuck in the «let’s just have a coffee»-mode or you don’t know how to take your new friendship to the next level – here are my most creative and helpful tips.

23 fun and creative activities to nourish, empower and strengthen your friendships

Dress up and go dancing
Dancing is a great happiness-booster. It doesn’t matter if it’s disco or flamenco, line-dance or belly dancing. The point is to do something fun together! If any of you struggle with feeling self-conscious while dancing – pick either a dark nightclub or a dance style where you don’t have to be so serious. Get dressed up (you can have fun with costumes too!) and hit the dance floor!

Go shopping or window shopping
Shopping is fun, a window shopping can be even more so! Spend the day together and take frequent coffee and food breaks. If you regularly go out shopping with your girls, why don’t you add a twist this time? Agree on a budget and make a challenge out of it. Who can get the most awesome thrift store outfit for 50 dollars? Another fun activity is to shop for each other. (just make sure the items are returnable if they don’t fit!) I promise you this will give you both laughing fits and insight moments.

Go to a spa
… or create your own! Celebrate your bodies together and treat yourselves to manicures, pedicures, homemade facials and massages. Bonus points if you pair it with cupcakes and some really fabulous music.

Have an epic sleep-over
Gather your best friends and invite them for a sleep-over at your place. Plan in advance and make small gift bags, activities and food. Good ideas for activities are board games, home spa nights, cooking and baking. Also, sweets and (friendly) gossip is required.

Travel together
There’s nothing better than traveling with your best peeps. It doesn’t have to be expensive or for long – a weekend to your parent’s cabin or even a day trip to a nearby town would be really awesome. When you spend time with someone for a more extensive period of time, you will get to know each other on a deeper level too.

Send each other real letters
This can be so much fun, even if you live in the same city. It’s such a shame we don’t do real letters anymore! Just imagine how fun and empowering it would be to write each other «love» letters, share secrets and powerful pep-talks of encouragement and hope!

Take your friend out for a mystery date
A super-fun twist on the regular «lets grab a coffee» would be to take your friend out on a mystery date. Plan something unusual and have her meet you at a set time. In advance, give her little clues to what to wear, how long you’ll be there and what you’re doing. Be warned though, if you take her out on something too creative and crazy, she might do the same for you!

Be generous and give unexpected gifts
When was the last time someone gave you a present that wasn’t your birthday, anniversary or Christmas? I’m willing to bet it doesn’t happen very often. This goes for your friend too! Give her a little something now and then to show her how much you appreciate your friendship. Symbolical jewelry, chocolate and tea are  all great gifts, but make sure you give your friend something she really loves!

Send her anonymous flowers
This is a great way of infusing some fun into your friendship. Just imagine having her call you and tell you about this mystery admirer of hers. If you don’t want to keep her entirely in the wild, add your initials or nickname on the card. Also, be careful with anonymous flowers if your friend is in a relationship… If you don’t know what to send – ask your florist. Peonies, lilies and tulips are all good options if they are in season.

Write love-notes and hide them in her bag
Good examples are «you are beautiful», «keep up the good work» or «thank you for being an amazing friend». Hide them in her handbag while she is in the bathroom, or even try to slip a note into her bag when you are out and about.

Share your best beauty secrets
I’d say this is a requirement for being a good friend, don’t you agree? Make sure you let her know if you have  found an amazing product, if you just picked up some really good tips – or if you come across the perfect perfume or lipstick shade for her. Bonus points if you remember to bring her a sample!

Give her recommendations and links
Even if your friend isn’t always online (like you!) keep sending her inspiring links and pictures. You never know when you’ll pass something on that might change her life!

Re-gift your books
If you read something really inspiring, be generous and re-gift it to a friend who would love it. Books are meant to be read, and chances are that you’ll never get to read it again, no matter how good your intentions are.

Try on wedding dresses together
This is the perfect way of putting a fun twist on a (window) shopping day! Go into a bridal store and pretend that one of you is engaged to be married. Then have lots of fun trying on the most gorgeous wedding dresses ever. Don’t worry if you’re not buying anything, most brides try on a lot of dresses in different stores before they make a purchase. Take turns being the «bride» and make sure you snap some great photos too!

Teach each other how to cook and bake
This is a lovely activity for a cold autumn night or for a lazy Sunday together. Teach your friend your favorite recipes and show her how to bake your grandmothers speciality. Take turns and make it into a monthly activity! I promise you’ll have a great time together and you’ll also learn a lot about cooking. Have fun!

Clean each others houses
This is a great example of taking something really boring and turning it into something fun. Crank up the music, roll up your sleeves and get to work! Start with cleaning her home (because you’re generous like that!) and do her laundry, vacuum under her bed and tidy up her wardrobe. You’ll have fun because you get to explore her house, and she’ll be happy because a big to-do burden will be lifted off of her shoulders. Make sure you do your home next, to make it fair and square.

Have a weekly friendship ritual
Predictability and regularity will make sure your friendship doesn’t suffer during busy times, or that it takes ages between each time you see each other. Regularity and commitment can also really help your relationship if one of you, or both, struggle with trust issues. Having someone in your life you know you can always count on to be there is powerful and very healing.

Start your own book club
If you both love to read, invite a friend (or group of friends!) and create your own book club. Take turns choosing books and organizing the discussion. Reading a wide variety of books together will ensure that you never run out of topics to talk about, and in addition you will learn a lot – not only about your friends but about life.

Create your own co-working space
If you’re both students, freelancers or working from home it’s a great idea to work together. Freelancing can be lonely, and just having someone in the same room can dramatically increase your wellbeing. In addition, you’ll be able to support each other and make sure you’re both held accountable. Just keep in mind that you’re supposed to be working, not chatting!

Go to a karaoke bar
Karaoke can be so much fun, partly because it is really terrifying! Getting over a mutual fear, however, is a great way to build deeper relationships. Why don’t you sing together? If you’re not comfortable with the idea, choose a silly song and put on a role. Pretend you’re superstars and then enjoy cracking up together  afterwards. And if everything fails, you forget the lyrics and make complete fools out of yourselves – you’ll have a really good story to tell all your other friends.

Make her dream come true
Have your friend always wanted to go to Paris? Or maybe her favorite band is coming to town? Surprising her with making one of her dreams come true will really make her happy. In addition there is no better feeling that being helpful and generous.

Go skydiving together
There’s nothing like nearly dying together, is there? Jump out of a plane together to bond on a whole different level. Make sure you take lots of pictures and that you promise to never make fun of her nervous chatter on the way up. Warning: being scared to death might be the catalyst for some really serious conversation (and confessions!), so make sure you’re prepared.

Have a photo shoot
This is a really fun and empowering way to get a few great shots for your businesses, for your social media profiles or even to print and frame! Style each other, help each other with the make-up and go have fun! If any of you are uncomfortable in front of a camera, this is a really great way to practice too. Just do some really silly poses, play, pretend and relax. Your friend won’t judge and you can always delete the weird photos when you’re done.

What are your best tips to empower, deepen and strengthen your friendships?

 

This post was inspired (and brought to you) by…

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily August 12, 2012 at 2:30 am

Love the idea of hidden notes!! Too cute :)

Its good to remind ourselves that friendships musn’t be taken for granted, its important to nurture them and put effort in to keep them blossoming :)

xxx

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shari August 13, 2012 at 4:14 am

Enjoyed these ideas and reminders to find creative ways to make time to nurture our friendships. I love meeting friends for exercise outings/walks hikes/ etc. :)

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Rebecca August 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I’m working on rebuilding some old friendships right now, and I love these ideas! My favourites are going dancing, having an epic sleepover (you’re never too old for that!) and starting a book club. Hopefully I’ll be able to put some of these into practice soon :)

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