April marks the start of warmer temps and fun holidays. Allow some of these dates to give you inspiration for ways to nurture your friendship. Remember that acts of kindness are really ways to keep your relationships strong. If you do them randomly for strangers, you’ll also be changing your outlook on life.
Celebrate National Card and Letter Writing Month
April is the official month for card and letter writing, so let that be your guide and pen a couple nice notes to friends. Handwritten cards are especially meaningful to people because we just don’t do things like that anymore. Everything is digital, like Facebook posts or texts, and a card you write yourself is something they can hold on to and cherish for many years. They’ll probably even pull out your card on days when they need some positive thoughts.
Some things to write about:
- A remembrance of a fun day you spent together
- Thanking them for their support
- A general “I’m glad you’re my friend” note
- A quote that expresses how you feel
Volunteer to Watch Your Friend’s Pet
It’s “National Pet Month” which is a good time to offer up your services for pet sitting or dog watching. If you’re a dog or cat owner it’s hard to find someone you trust to watch your pet. It’d be nice if you could help your friend keep their pet in their own home and stay with it (house sitting) or just come over frequently and help out. This helps ease your friend’s mind and allows them to have a few days off with the peace of mind in knowing they have someone they can trust watch their pet.
Buy Your Friend a Book of Poetry
Did you know April is national poetry month? Poetry is a wonderful gift for a friend because it allows you to reflect and provides meaning to your life. Everyone should have at least one favorite poem that they memorize and repeat to a friend who needs to hear some positive words.
If you don’t have a favorite poet, give Mary Oliver a try. Her poems are very accessible and she’s sure to have at least one that stands out and makes you take notice. (Here’s some of Mary Oliver’s books)
Celebrate Earth Day
April 22nd is Earth Day, which is a holiday started in order to help us appreciate the national resources of this world we live in. In honor of this day, why not grab some friends and just go for a long walk in the park. Take notice of times when you can pick up litter or do a little bird watching. Kindness of this type isn’t always directed at friends, sometimes it’s just something you do to make the world a better place. Appreciating the wildlife and scenery in your area is one way to center yourself so you can continue acts of kindness that will benefit others.
Celebrating Earth Day is a good excuse to see your friends and do something low key. It helps put the focus not on driving or spending money but on appreciating the simplicity of a springtime walk where you just catch up and listen to the things your friends have to say. It is times like this you might realize that you’re normally not a very good listener, and the only way you can really focus on your friend is when you limit your distractions.
Learn the Art of Gentle Honesty
The last day of April is “National Honesty Day” and it’s a reminder of how hard it is to be honest in way that doesn’t hurt your friend. I always say that “gentle honesty” is the best bet. For this day, vow to be straight with your friends but to keep in mind their feelings as you do so. Don’t just blurt out things because you feel like telling them, make sure you have a good reason for sharing your thoughts. Keep the respect level strong in your friendship and it will always be a safe place for you and your friend to be yourself.