Friends, make the most of your time together.
A thousand Instagram likes don't equal the wellness boost of one friendly hug. In our fast-paced world of glamourized busyness, social media fixation and convenience without human contact, there's nothing like putting down our devices and turning to those few special people who fill our cups, light us up, and embolden us to be our best selves--that is, our closest women friends.
Why not make the most of the precious time you have together and plan dates that will heal your body, nourish your spirit, and fuel your desire for personal growth?
Acts of Friendship presents 47 activities for you and your friends to connect with each other and help one another change your lives in ways you never expected. Sometimes you need a friend to tell you that you're exceptional or to applaud you when you explore a hidden talent; sometimes only a friend can remind you to slow down or nudge you to expand your concept of who you are. From Take Your Cue (where you connect the dots to a better life) to A Friendly Q&A (where you learn everything you've ever wanted to know about your pals and yourself) to Let's Go Retro (where you time travel with your friends) and more, these meaningful, fun activities are meant to energize, inspire, and rejuvenate you so that, together, you grow.
Quality relationships help us live stronger and longer, and the science backs this up. Authors and friends, Lynne Everatt, Deb Mangolt, and Julie Smethurst, looked to the research on what makes a happy, fulfilling life and designed the 47 Acts of Friendship accordingly. From giving to forgiving, being mindful to being active, finding joy to losing grudges, playing to journaling, gratitude to meditation, loving yourself to loving your friends, learning new things to learning new perspectives and new ways of life, these tested and true activities will generate laughter, inspiration, and expanded horizons. Try them out with your friends and experience the benefits of one of the world's greatest healers: connection.
My best friendships are the ones that not only include our personal growth, but also invite our playfulness--it's a winning combo for feeling closer to each other and making the memories that bring us joy. This book is full of really creative ways to foster the Frientimacy we all want more of in our lives. If you want deeper friendships, I dare you to connect in these 47 fun and meaningful ways!
-- Shasta Nelson, M.Div, Author of Frientimacy, and the upcoming book, The Business of Friendship
Reading Acts of Friendship was like a warm blanket on a cold night. These truths resonate deeply, and remind us to cherish what we need most at this crucial time in history. While work, family, and productivity pressures increase, women are often told to sacrifice and put the needs of others first. Technology is meant to help us manage these demands, but the cost can be deep feelings of isolation, disconnection, and loneliness. The antidote to this global phenomenon is the strength, love, and acceptance that we feel and generate within our female friendships.
-- Dr. Alisa Ruby Bash, Psychologist and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Acts of Friendship serves as a true inspiration for women who want to stay well and support one another. The ability to be vulnerable and yet grow stronger together is a gift not ever to be taken lightly.
-- Jo-Anne Poirier, President and CEO, VON Canada
I challenge you to pick up this book and become that friend. The one who is always up for an adventure, always inspiring, and always helping others grow.
-- Mary Ann Baynton, MSW, Workplace Mental Health Specialist and Principal at Mary Ann Baynton & Associates
Table of Contents:
Before the First Act
I. Acts of Reflection
1. Take Your Cue: Follow your loves to a better life
2. The Opposite of a Bucket List: Is a chuck-it list
3. Brag Queens: From your girl-scout badge collection to your Nobel Peace Prize, celebrate!
4. A Senseless Dinner: A dark dining experience with mindful taste
5. A Journal of Discovery: Voyage to the interior
6. Childhood Excavations: Take a trip back in time and meet Little You
7. I Am From: Express the poetic soul of your uniqueness
8. Moments of Meditation: Don't just do something--sit there!
9. To Give is to Receive: Go to the place where creativity meets generosity--The Dollar Store!
10. Mock Therapy: Let your friends help you cut your problems down to size
11. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You: Cop an attitude of gratitude
12. Forgive and Hike On: Discover the art of forgiveness, naturally
13. It's Easy Being Green: Is your carbon footprint two sizes too big?
14. A Friendly Quiz Show: If you're not sure how well you know each other, pick C
15. A Woman's Rite: Celebrate with an earthy ritual...nudity optional
II. Acts of Creativity
16. Think on Your Stilettos: If you can speak about nothing, you can talk your way out of anything
17. Get On Board: Let your friends help you make your dreams come true
18. Silly Song Sing-Along: Because singing super-simple songs summons serotonin
19. Mud Pie on Your Face: Should you put it on your cheeks or in your mouth?
20. The Power of Twenty: Two times ten more ideas than you had before you brainstormed
21. Dances with Bellies: Shake your hips with your inner goddess
22. Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life: Do you like what your wardrobe is saying about you?
23. A Friendly Q&A: Everything you wanted to know about each other ...
24. This Playlist Is Me: If you were a musical anthology, what would you sound like?
25. Draw on This: Stick people are people too!
26. A Friendly Time Capsule: Make a future archeologist try to figure out the purpose of a thong
27. Ages Eight and Up: It's got to be easy, right
28. Standing Jokes: "Hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food, but no atmosphere."
29. May I Have a Word? Is a "snickersnee" a giggle, a miniature chocolate bar, or a knife?
30. Collage Life: Combine the mixed elements that are you
31. A Night at the Improv: You just landed on a deserted island. Go!
32. Close-Knit Friends: Have everyone in stitches!
III. Acts of Adventure
33. And Now for Something Completely Different: Give your brain a dose of Vitamin New
34. Move Ya Body: Pass around this miracle drug
35. Local Roots: Dig some real food
36. Testing the Waters: What floats your boat?
37. The Dinner of Truth: Because if you think you know yourself, you probably don't
38. Biker Chicks: Hop on the vehicle that transported women to freedom
39. The Friendly Picnic Society: Life is a picnic when you dine with Mother Nature
40. The Tea Party Rebellion: Savor this most genteel act of protest
41. Let's Go Retro! Enter a time warp where nothing will ever be the same
42. May I Have a Volunteer? Do work that is priceless
43. Friends Immersion: Experience a different way of life without the jet lag
44. An Act of Faith: Celebrate a different way to the afterlife
45. Live and Let's Learn: Being interesting starts with being interested
46. A Grave Matter: Nothing makes you feel more alive than a visit to the cemetery
47. Put Slumber Back in the Party: Rebel against a healthy bedtime routine, but just this once
About the Authors:
Lynne Everatt is a recovering MBA, LinkedIn Top Voice in management and culture and ardent advocate for wellness through physical fitness. As part of her rehabilitation, she wrote The 5-Minute Recharge: 31 Proven Strategies to Refresh, Reset and Become the Boss of Your Day, aimed at improving workplace mental health, and Emails from the Edge, which was nominated for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Prior to pursuing her dream of becoming a writer, she worked with numbers at a multinational pharmaceutical company where she met co-authors Deb Mangolt and Julie Smethurst, who share her love of physical activity, earthy food, and self-improvement through friendship.
Deb Mangolt's positive attitude and bubbly personality is ideally suited to helping others get the most out of life. Once a Fortune 500 finance director, she reinvented herself to better express her strengths. An event planner, life coach, dance fitness instructor, and a cherished friend to many, Deb inspires others to become the best versions of who they are. Being an avid golfer, Deb is grateful for having "the best of both worlds," living in Florida in the winter and on Muskoka Bay, Ontario, in the summer, with her husband, Randy.
Julie Smethurst discovered her life as a successful CPA was out of balance. Fulfilling her desires for time with family, personal growth, and work achievements seemed elusive until she looked to her friends Lynne and Deb. Their inspiration and support coupled with Julie's deep yearning to live a life she loves was the winning formula for her best life. She has adapted her ways of working, created dedicated family time, and pursued her desire to learn to fly. Julie plays tennis and golf and has indulged her love of French by taking courses. She has a passion for healthy food and enjoys taking long walks and bike rides with her husband.