35 Sweet Things To Do For a Friend Today

things for friend things for friend

A fantasy of mine plays out in On The Verge, a new show on Netflix, in which four friends have all the time in the world to help one other through every crisis that comes up. In real life, we can’t exactly drop everything and rush to the beach for a group hug at a moment’s notice, but there are still so many small things we can do for our friends in their time of need — or, really, any time at all. It just takes a little positivity and thinking outside the box. Below are 35 sweet things you can do today to send a friend some extra love.

  1. Offer a quiet room in your house as a change of scenery. Planning to be out all morning? Leave your house key under her doormat and tell her to make herself at home. New surroundings are good for the brain.
  2. Uber Eats some pastries or donuts in the middle of the week. Baked goods make the best surprise, and having the time to bake or drive shouldn’t be an impediment.
  3. Drop off dinner or email a food delivery card. If your friend is busy caring for a baby or parent, prepping for an important meeting or driving little league duty, take one major load off her plate by providing dinner. And  —  since half the stress of dinner is planning it — tell her prior. Ah, see that? You just created some space in her brain.
  4. Send an artifact from your friendship. Shoot her a quick text with an old pic of the two of you, or send her a concert stub, a quote from a favorite movie, or a memory from a fun trip you took together a million years ago. Here’s a list of poems about friendship, if that’s your thing.
  5. Make her something pretty. You cannot possibly beat a handmade gift. Hop on Etsy or Pinterest or grab a YouTube tutorial on how to cross stitch, embroider, or even make a simple friendship bracelet, which is conveniently in style again.
  6. Venmo $ for a fancy coffee. She deserves it.
  7. Take her to a rage room. This is a thing that exists. Sometimes a person needs to smash things.
  8. Make a fuss over a recent accomplishment of hers. Throw a surprise dinner because you’re proud of her for running her first 5k and love her and it’s really fun. Don’t save cake just for birthdays.
  9. Tell her it’s okay to take a nap. Then move whatever mountains you can to make that happen. Lend her your sitter. Pick up her kids from school and take them to ice cream.
  10. Send flowers. Everyone loves flowers. A dried bouquet will last longer; here’s how to search for independent florists in your area.
  11. Plan a staycation for her. Whether it’s solo or with a group, you take care of all the details and leave her in charge of just one thing: relaxation. Itinerary ideas can include museums, manicures, margs.
  12. Join her obsession. Jump into whatever show/movie/album/book she’s really into so she has someone to talk about it with. (This should be the sixth love language.)
  13. Show up with an activity your kids can do together. A bubble machine, some sidewalk chalk, or an armload of Nerf guns should do the trick of giving you some time to catch up over coffee or a glass of wine.
  14. Give the gift of therapy. Talkspace has gift cards for online therapy sessions and unlimited instant messaging with a therapist.
  15. Do something together that’s new for both of you. Go to a sound bath. An acting workshop. A nature walk. Do a tarot card reading. Try a cooking class. Check out a new flea market.
  16. Run errands together. Waiting in line to return kids’ shoes is always more fun with a friend in tow.
  17. Take a specific chore off her plate. Be specific about how you’re going to help. Instead of saying something general like, “Let me know how I can help,” propose that you come over at 2pm this Saturday to walk her dog. Be concrete.
  18. Take a kid or two off her hands. Swing by and pick up her kids for an hour at the park.
  19. Buy two of whatever you’re buying. What’s the last thing you bought for yourself? Whether it’s a moisturizer, book, or headband, go ahead and get one for her, too. Chances are you have similar taste.
  20. Invite her for porch drinks. Especially these days, sometimes the quickest and easiest route to togetherness is to open up your porch and invite a few friends for drinks. Whip up a batch of this.
  21. Offer to be her emergency contact on kids’ school forms. Or have her add you to the pickup list at school. Is there a grander gesture of love than waiting in someone else’s school pickup line?
  22. Watch a show together. Hit play at the same time and chat/ text throughout the episode. We all know Bake Off is even more fun when you share commentary.
  23. Start a book club. Or podcast club, movie club, or articles club. Two people = a club.
  24. Pick up the phone and call her — without a phone date. It’s hard it is to sync up for an hour. (Who has a whole hour?!) Calling or FaceTiming friends whenever you have a free five minutes goes a long way. Why not make it a habit? 
  25. Take an exercise class together. It’s fun to grumble about it beforehand and then feel like sweaty superstars after.
  26. Show up. In person. Tell her you’re on your way to wherever she is, and just be there to listen. Or wash the dishes. Or start the laundry. Anything to be in her space with her. If she’s going through a tough time, your physical presence lets her know she’s not alone.
  27. Make a date, and help make it happen. Like, a real date where you put on makeup and a bra and drink overpriced cocktails together. Date night doesn’t have to be reserved for romance. What about setting up a sitter share to make this happen?
  28. Write a long rambling email. Remember the days of sending friendly emails just to say hi? Give her inbox some color. PS: let her know you don’t expect a response.
  29. Take a walk. No kids. Sometimes spur-of-the-moment is easier than syncing up calendars, so keep giving her a try. 
  30. Ask for help yourself. Vulnerability is a cornerstone of friendship. Call her when things are tough. This way, she’ll feel comfortable doing the same with you.
  31. Send a letter or postcard! That’s an automatic smile right there.
  32. Reach out on dates that actually matter. Birthdays matter, don’t get me wrong. But I’m talking about dates that commemorate anniversaries of loved ones passing away, a breakup or kids going off to college. Then send a note to say you miss that person, too.
  33. Make it a habit to say “I love you.” Why shouldn’t it be said to friends, who are sometimes more family than our real family? Say “I love you” on special days or on any day.
  34. Ask her out anyway. Even if you’re 95% sure she’ll say no, go ahead and ask her out with the crew so she feels the group embrace.
  35. Tell her she’s beautiful. Look her in the eyes and tell her she doesn’t need Botox. Or, if she’s already hit the needle, tell her she doesn’t look a day over 32.

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Toby Lowenfels is a writer and mom of three in Nashville. Follow her daily musings at @tobyfels.