Does Valentine’s day sometimes feel like an over-commercialized, forced attempt to celebrate a holiday for lovers?
The tradition started simply because Chaucer, in The Canterbury Tales, decreed the February feast of St. Valentinus to the mating of birds (because English birds paired off to produce eggs in February). This led to nature-minded European nobility sending love notes during the bird-mating season and eventually lovers everywhere began celebrating love on Feb. 14. This industrialization has increased expectations with mass-produced cards, gifts, flowers, and chocolates. Nonetheless, the idea of celebrating Valentine’s Day has become second nature as we shower the ones we love with declarations of love and that’s certainly not a bad thing.
But today on February 13th, we celebrate a newer (and more fun) tradition called Galentine’s Day!
Galentines Day is a celebration of female friendship. February 13th is the day women across the world celebrate female friendship! Women, both single and in relationships, use the day to acknowledge the strength of their female friendships. The term was popularized by Amy Poehler, in Parks and Recreation, when she explained its meaning while throwing an annual Galentine’s Day bash for her friends. “What’s Galentine’s Day? It’s only 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.” I, of course, adore the idea of a day dedicated to celebrating women’s friendships. (And not just because it’s sometimes less tricky, and feels more authentic than celebrating romantic love.)
It’s because friendship quite literally keeps women alive!
In her book, Friendships Don’t Just Happen, my beloved friend, Shasta Nelson shares “A landmark study of 3,000 nurses with breast cancer found that women without close friends were four times as likely to die from the disease as women with at least ten friends. Having a spouse didn’t rank with survival rates.” Additionally, this research study concluded that people with stronger social relationships had a 50% increased likelihood of survival than those with weaker social relationships!
Did you know that feeling disconnected is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day, being an alcoholic, more harmful than not exercising and twice as harmful as obesity??
Seriously. But as if that weren’t enough, the joy you feel when you’re simply hanging out with your besties? That’s literally the endorphins in your body escalating, reminding your brain you are safe and loved. I know it’s true for me. When I’m the most stressed out, discouraged, or distraught, a funny gif from a friend that I trust can completely change the chemistry in my brain. My circumstances haven’t changed, but everything suddenly feels figureoutable. I can’t explain it, but science has proven it’s true! This article from a study at the University of Oxford in 2016 says that when it comes to pain relief, “Friends are better than morphine”!
Have you found this to be true in your own life?
Do we need a day dedicated to celebrating this source of life-giving love called friendship?
Why, yes. Yes, we do!
Give us Galentines or give us (a quicker) death!
Dramatic? Maybe. But totally true! So today I celebrate the joy of lady friends everywhere, showing up for each other, making life easier, longer, and more enjoyable all year long!
Take the time today to recognize and celebrate your closest female friends! Remind them how important they are to you. Tell them how they bring you joy and are literally extending the length of your life!
Give us Galentines or give us death!
to more love,
P.S. If you’re looking for a GREAT gift to celebrate the women you love most, host them for one of our GNO – on-demand girls night outs! Choose from Brie Mine Galentine (charcuterie class) GNO, Chocolate Therapy GNO, or sign up for a membership and schedule a different done-for-you girls night every other month! It’s the gift that will keep on giving life to all of you.
P.S.S. If you want to work on developing better friendships, here’s a fun little free resource from Shasta: The Frientimacy Quiz ~ to help you discover which of the friendship requirements will most deepen your friendships.
photo credit: Vanessa Corral Photography