Galentine’s Day 2021: The Importance of Friendship During Isolation
We are all familiar with Valentine’s Day being the national holiday of love, a celebration of romance and relationships, but what about our friendships? There is an easy answer: the day before V-Day (February 13th) is Galentine’s Day.
What Is Galentine’s Day?
Galentine’s Day originated on the popular TV series Parks and Recreation. The main character, Leslie Knope (portrayed by Amy Poehler), introduced the now-staple holiday in Season 2 Episode 16, which originally aired in February 2010. In this episode, Leslie describes Galentine’s Day as “the best day of the year. 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.”
In the years since, the holiday has been embraced by many women as a must-celebrate occasion. (Just try looking up Galentine’s Day on Etsy.) Over time, it has evolved in character. Now, rather than just “ladies celebrating ladies,” many are expanding its practice to friends celebrating friendship. Galentine’s Day is a day to celebrate your friendships and the crucial role they play in your life.
The 2020/2021 Isolation Spell
Unfortunately, the pandemic has put a wrench in our ability to maintain high levels of social activity with our friends over the last year. With COVID-19 restrictions still in place, celebrating friendship might look a little different this year. Yet the practice of setting aside time and effort to celebrate the non-romantic relationships in our lives is just as important this year, if not more so. Because of the physical distance between us and many of our friends, intentionally pouring into those relationships is key to their health.
The Value in Celebrating Friendship
While Galentine’s Day started out as a fictional holiday on a TV show, there is real value in the message of the day itself. Dedicating an entire day to celebrating the friendships we have with others is incredibly valuable to the relationships themselves. It is a time for pouring affection, graciousness, and thankfulness over the friends that we hold dear to our hearts. Building one another up, not during a crisis, not when self-doubt has creeped in, but just because is a way to deeply reinforce the connection between us.
How to Celebrate Galentine’s Day This Year
In the past, one of the most popular ways to celebrate Galentine’s Day was to have brunch or a meal together. While large in-person gatherings are not an option this year, brunch may still be. A virtual brunch where everyone brings their own meal to a video call can still be a great way to celebrate friendship this year.
Everyone loves getting letters in the mail! Channel your inner elementary schooler and send valentines to your friends. No matter where you are in life, celebrate your friendships by sending valentines to each of them in the mail. A thoughtfully-written valentine will affirm your friends with words they can come back to over and over. If you want, include a gift – this can be a great way to share your new favorite little thing. (Our editor definitely just mailed a bunch of tea bags to her friends all over the country so they could try her new favorites.)
Want to have a COVID-safe movie night with your chums? Many streaming services now offer “watch-parties,” where multiple viewers can watch a movie together at the same time, from different locations. This can be a great group activity that keeps everyone safe in their own homes but allows you to interact – and create memories – across the distance.
Online Game Night
Virtual game nights have become all the rage for people looking to engage socially during COVID-19. There are plenty of streaming services and online gaming options that could make for an extremely fun and equally safe friendship celebration. Making new memories by taking out zombies, exploring the depths of a dungeon, solving a fictitious murder, or snarking it up with Cards Against Humanity with some of your favorite people.
If you’re feeling the effects of COVID-19 isolation, reaching out for professional support might be the best thing you can do for yourself. Click here to search for a therapist in your area who can help you navigate these strange times.
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