What’s the most powerful thing your friend going through a tough time has on her side? You. The most triumphant moments during any struggle include friendship. Here’s a list of ways to give your BFF a good day when she needs it most – all while creating a bond that could last a lifetime.
1. Send messages!
Put the power of friendship to use through social media, email and snail mail. It’ll give you a way to be by your friend’s side, even when you can’t be there. Receiving texts, emails and cards in the mailbox can feel like a huge support system – which can be a really positive influence and give your friend something to wake up and look forward to.
2. Plan a good-day-before-the-bad-day party.
The day before any challenging event is one when your BFF could use a distraction. So make the most of it by having a girls’ night in. Grab your friend’s favorite foods, drinks, movie or games and bring the party to her. It’s a great way to help her forget about what’s next just for a night.
3. Take a leap of faith.
Live on the edge and invite your friend to do something daring. Camari Olson, Ford Warriors in Pink Model of Courage, said she bonded over skydiving. A friend told her, “I know it’s scary, but we can do it.” Afterward, the two felt like they had triumphed over something together. Then they tried bungee jumping! Camari says she went into treatment the very next day with an “I can do this” attitude.
4. Simply bring dinner.
Plan ahead or make it a surprise. Cook or grab carryout. Just bring a dish you know your friend and her family will like. And if you do decide on a surprise, make sure she can throw it in the freezer for a later date, just in case something else was already in the works (or oven).
5. Organize a group activity.
Whether it’s next year’s local 3-day walk or a hike up Mount Rainier, group activities are inspiring and encouraging. Create a team, make T-shirts and celebrate milestones together. One Model of Courage said, “It’s such a bonding experience, because you spend all this time together training, fundraising, and asking one another, ‘So, where are we now?’ The effort will be worth every minute as you grow as a team.”
6. Ask to go for a walk or to the gym.
Getting out of the house is an easy way to perk up your friend’s spirit and stay active. All it takes from you is one question, “Want to go for a walk?” Or ask about heading to the gym. The key here is to respect that even if your friend doesn’t have the same energy level, just getting outside or practicing child’s pose during a yoga class helps to bring you closer together – and your friend closer to a good day.
7. Volunteer to “go together.”
Sometimes the tough days include time-consuming appointments – which is where you come in. Offer to be the “ride” and hang out. When you do, talk about other things. Ford Warriors in Pink Model of Courage, Linda Pond, said she never went alone, and her friends helped to make a day out of it. When the appointment was over, they’d go to lunch or go shopping for a good day and good memory.
8. Have a themed treatment day.
If you have a BFF who has to go through any kind of treatment, and is up for a little more fun, plan a party during treatment. Choose a theme for the day, like a Mexican fiesta, and bring snacks, outfits and decorations to boot. It’s not only a good way to bond – it helps lessen the seriousness of the day.
9. Start a charm bracelet.
You can help your friend put the tough days behind her by shining a positive light (or shiny bling) on them. One Model of Courage said she has a charm for every milestone she reached. She loves them all because her friends helped her pick out each memento during their outings together. To this day, she says every single charm still means the world to her.
10. Just plan it.
Simple advice comes from Ford Warriors in Pink Models of Courage, Karen Martinez. “If you can plan it, plan it. Just having your friends around makes a big difference. And if it doesn’t work out, that’s OK.” She confirmed that being with friends throughout her journey made a big difference, leaving her to think, “Wow, my friends want to do this for me.”