How Planning a Friendsgiving Can Improve Your Emotional Wellbeing

How Planning a Friendsgiving Can Improve Your Emotional Wellbeing

Over the past few years, Friendsgiving celebrations have surged in popularity. As inflation grows, money gets tighter and the number of public health concerns continues to scare the general public, people are considering virtual and/or small celebrations that do not depend on travel. Whether you have a traditional Thanksgiving, a Friendsgiving, or some combination of the two, connecting with others is important, especially during the holidays.

Friendsgiving Newsletter

What is Friendsgiving?

Friendsgiving celebrations usually take place the week prior to Thanksgiving (or the week after). Writer, Ashley Fetters, posted that Friendsgiving festivities have evolved to being added to the holiday, rather than taking place instead of Thanksgiving. Usually, Friendsgiving involves cooking a meal (though you may want to deviate from a standard Thanksgiving menu) and having some time for social connection, through conversation, party games, etc. Friendsgiving is especially important if you come from a unique or blended family; it opens the possibility of sitting down together more than once, so that you can spend time with everyone. Socialization Helps Improve our Emotional Wellbeing Spending time with friends during the holidays is important for social connection. Many of us spent holidays getting to know our cousins, aunts, uncles and other extended family. Socialization isn’t less important just because we’ve gotten older; in fact, socialization can improve your emotional wellbeing in a number of ways. First, socialization can lead to better health outcomes by decreasing our feelings of loneliness. An article from Stanford Medicine suggests that the number of people experiencing loneliness in the United States has been increasing since 2004. According to Mental Health America , “Loneliness [is] associated with a higher risk of high blood pressure in a recent study…”

How Planning a Friendsgiving Can Improve your Emotional Wellbeing

The same Stanford article states that social connection can increase empathy and self-esteem while decreasing anxiety and depression. This is because connection creates a“positive feedback loop” where those that care about you give you advice on making future decisions. When you have the support of a group, it can feel less taxing to make a decision and stick with it.

Planning a Friendsgiving

Social media makes planning a friendsgiving super easy. Just start a Facebook group or group chat where you can include your entire guest list. Decide who’s hosting and what the festivities will include. Be sure to iron out the menu so that you don’t have entrees without sides or a turkey at your seafood Friendsgiving party.

Finding a Friendsgiving

We know that participating in a Friendsgiving celebration can be easier said than done. Some friend groups have busy schedules, different values or just aren’t keen on having a sit down celebration together. Many neighborhood groups and local businesses hold their own Friendsgiving/Thanksgiving events for those that are looking for a different way to celebrate. Check sites like Facebook and Eventbrite for holiday celebrations that are open to the public.