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How Galentine's Day boosts both friendships and health

Though unofficial, it holds great significance for women everywhere and can positively impact your health.
How Galentine's Day boosts both friendships and health
Posted at 1:04 PM, Feb 13, 2024

We all know Valentine's Day is on Feb. 14 and is the classic celebration of romantic love. But Tuesday, Feb. 13, is all about Galentine's Day.

It's when gals come together to celebrate their friendships and sisterhoods.

The idea emerged into the spotlight around 2010, notably featured on the NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation" through the character Leslie Knope, portrayed by Amy Poehler.

"Female friendships are the most important thing in your life. The best thing about your friends is they know you better than anyone, and they still wanna hang out with you," Poehler said on TikTok Tuesday, before wishing everyone a happy Galentine's Day.

While it's an unofficial holiday, in the eyes of many women it's considered incredibly important. Good friendships, along with everything they entail, greatly contribute to your sense of well-being and belonging, playing a big role in your mental health. 

“There is a significant body of research that connects companionship and quality relationships with better health,” Dr. Lubna Piracha, a cardiologist at Advocate Heart Institute at South Suburban Hospital, told Advocate Health Care. “Meaningful friendships can reduce stress and prevent loneliness, for instance. February is full of romance, but clearly, love between friends shouldn’t be discounted.”

Journalist and author Kayleen Schaefer interviewed more than one hundred women about their BFFs and girl gangs for her book "Text Me When You Get Home," which traces the cultural phenomenon of female friendship through the lens of pop culture.

Schaefer's book discusses the evolution of female friendships. Once portrayed as mean and catty, these friendships are now elevated to the same importance as other relationships, in which women not only support each other but also uplift one another. 

“Our female friendships are just as important as our romantic relationships. So, it makes sense that we want a day to celebrate them too,” Schaefer told Scripps News. “You can draw your main support from your female friendships and they can make your life amazing.”

If you don't have a close-knit group or strong bond in a friendship, Schaefer encourages you to seek one out. Whether it's with a coworker or someone you see often, try to cultivate that special connection and trust.

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