According to HRSA, “one in five [Americans] say they feel lonely or socially isolated.” These feelings can be threatening to your health. In fact, the impact on your health has been equated to “smoking 15 cigarettes a day.” So how can you help others fight this terrible epidemic of loneliness? By being a better friend! Here are three ways to do just that!

Send a Note

It may seem simple, but reaching out to others through text, phone, social media, or even handwritten cards can mean the world to friends who are struggling with loneliness. Tell them that they’re in your thoughts, and add in an inspirational quote or even some humor to make it extra meaningful to them. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming or sappy; just let them know that you care and that you’re there for them! If you’re unsure of what to say, Hallmark has put together some simple ideas for “friendship messages.” Check them out!

Get Together

While reaching out via technology is worth a lot, there’s no substitute for in-person interaction! Plan a fun socially-distanced lunch date, a walk in the park, or a meetup at another spot that is significant to your friendship. Get an update on how they are doing, including the status of events or relationships that are important to them. Listen intently and make the conversation all about them, and they’ll feel extra important during this meetup. Don’t forget to schedule a regular in-person get-together to keep the friendship rolling. You, of course, can benefit from this interaction just as much as your bestie! 

Be There for Them

Whatever you do, always be there for your friends. You can do this by laughing with them, lending a listening ear, or offering them a shoulder to cry on. Do your best to gauge what they need from your friendship—or flat-out ask them—and then do it!

In addition, you can be there for them by being their biggest cheerleader—in person. Are they performing at a local concert? Are they launching a business? Or do they have a piece of work in a local art show? The next time they give you their update and mention important events, be sure to show up and support them! It can mean a lot to see you there, as it’s a tangible representation of what the friendship really means to you!

Having friends in our lives is important! Be a better friend by sending a note, getting together, and being there for them. You will not only help others combat loneliness, but you will also benefit from these companionships as well! We’d love to be your friends too—connect with us on Facebook or Instagram!