Ladies, it’s time to send a heart-felt message to your BFFs because it’s coming up to Galentine’s Day! If you don’t know what it is, we thank the feminist icon Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation, one of my FAVE shows ever. She said, “Every February 13, 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.”
Now, some people say ‘we shouldn’t just celebrate our friendships/relationships one day a year, we should celebrate them all year round!’ and of course they are SO right. It’s so important to tell your friends how much you appreciate them all the time. But, if Valentine’s Day get a fun capitalist-driven holiday, so do us girls!
But why are female friends so important? I figured that there has to be some sort of psychological explanation to why ladies need a good group of ladies around them so I enlisted the help of The Psychology Sisters. If you haven’t of them, they have a wonderful podcast to help educate people about the psychology behind mental health, relationships, social media and “everything else in between facing the twenty-something modern day millennials.”
I asked Kat, a psychologist, and Aimee, a psychotherapist, their thoughts on the topic of gal pals and why they’re so great. Kat and Aimee said there is something so unique, empowering and special about studying female friendships and they have an intuitive and intimate bond like no other relationship in our lives. “In fact, having close girl friends are shown to make us happier, live longer and can protect us against disease and mental health concerns.”
Kat and Aimee spoke about their friendship and how they are able to bring out the best in each other. Kat said starting the podcast and business was a whole new ballgame for their friendship. “We have made mistakes, messed up and had disagreements, but we’re good communicators. I think it’s brought us to a new level of closeness and I am absolutely in awe of how hard Aimee works and puts into our brand. She is an amazingly insightful, thoughtful and intuitive clinician and she teaches me new things constantly. She supports me when I am feeling tired, unmotivated and when I make mistakes (which is pretty much all the time) and without her, this podcast, business and my sanity would not be possible.”
Aimee described their friendship as being each other’s cheerleader and building each other up. She said, “Kat will put a spotlight on my strengths and remind me of my value and will encourage me to take leaps when I’m hesitant. Kat protects my happiness and dispels my insecurities. A good friend like Kat, will make you feel good about just being YOU, because after spending time with them, we feel lighter, content and confident about where we are going. Studies have shown female friends know you better than your partner, whether you need an ear to talk to, a pamper night in or a pop and drop on the dance floor, girlfriends do their best to meet your needs.”
They spoke about how women crave social cohesion and intimate bonds with other women because we tend to unpack the stuff with our gal pals that we can’t often discuss with our partners, families or other friends, which can reap huge benefits for our mental health. “For example, you may call a friend to vent after a huge fight with your partner. In discussing the issue with her, you may find it easier to emotionally regulate, gain perspective on the argument, gain validation for your reaction, as well as feeling a huge sense of relief after you hang up the phone. In doing so, female friendships help us with stress relief, and function to support us with our other complex relationships in our lives.”
“While social acknowledgements of relationships with intimate partners such as an Engagement, a Wedding and even Valentine’s Day are socially acceptable, there is often a lack of acknowledgement and appreciation for our friendships. It is important to show a little token of appreciation once in a while to your girlfriends to remind them how important they are to you. Whether it’s knowing their love language (this applies for friendships too!) and showing love through small actions, words, gifts, or spending quality time with them, sometimes a small thoughtful gesture (such as a text message or call) is enough to make a friend feel special and appreciated. Our friendships are ever evolving, changing and at times, imperfect and challenging. Like any relationship, your close friendships do require work and time.”
“Studies have shown female friends know you better than your partner, whether you need an ear to talk to, a pamper night in or a pop and drop on the dance floor, girlfriends do their best to meet your needs.”
If you’re in the mood to appreciate and celebrate your lady friends this February 13th, here are some fun Galentine’s date recommendations:
In true Leslie Knope style, breakfast is the way to go! Grab all your best gal friends and book a table at a cute cafe. Waffles, pancakes, açai bowls, eggs, bacon, mimosas? I think yes!
Because who doesn’t love a movie night in with the girls? Order your favourite Uber Eats meal, snuggle up in your comfiest pyjamas on the couch and pop on your favourite Netflix series or chick flick film. Some of my favourite chick flicks include:
- She’s the Man
- Easy A
- Dirty Dancing
- The Devil Wears Prada
- Legally Blonde
- Mean Girls
My gal pal (shout out to Ashleigh) and I have the tradition of going to Betty’s Burgers for Galentine’s day each year. It is a proper ‘treat yo self’ dinner. Take your ladies to your favourite restaurant or try a new place that you’ve all been waiting to try. Pop on a cute outfit, grab your favourite wine and get ready to be wined and dined with your besties.
For Ashleigh and I, our dinner date is usually followed by a classic BFF sleep over. Kind of similar to the movie night, put your pyjamas on, get some snacks and just have a chilled night in with your bestie. It wouldn’t be a true “Kate and Ashleigh Sleep Over” if there wasn’t a bit of skin care involved. We definitely recommend the Garnier Australia Sheet Masks or any of the Lush masks (depending on what kind of skin you have), the Cup o’ Coffee exfoliating mask is my number one.
Thank you to The Psychology Sisters, Aimee and Kat, for contributing their knowledge to this article. Give their podcast a listen if you’re wanting to learn a bit about mental health and other topics from two fantastic and intelligent ladies. If you’re not a podcast listener, they also do some really insightful instagrams posts and captions if that’s more what you’re into.
Banner image from @majatomljanovic