Bridgid Ryan
July 18, 2014 10:07 am

She made you laugh so hard you thought you’d cry, she was there with the tub of Ben and Jerry’s after the worst break-up ever, she introduced you to new music, and the coolest coffee shop in your neighborhood. She helped you move, made your birthday bearable and generally improved the quality of your life by a gazillion percent. She’s your best friend, and she deserves some serious credit. If a “You’re the best! Great night!” text won’t suffice, and you’re looking for ways to show your pal how dear she is to you, we’ve got some from-the-heart ideas.  Here are some simple (and free!) ways to tell the most important lady in your life “I love you.”

Teach your pal a skill

Do you have a weird hobby? Share it with the one you love. Teach her how to do feng shui, or repot plants, or some other random skill you’ve acquired. Trade lessons! Receiving and giving knowledge is always a great chance to bond.

Share a recipe

What’s the one dish you’ve secretly learned to perfect? Pay it forward. Perhaps your grandmother taught you how to make pretzels, or you’ve just learned how to make pasta from scratch. Swap your tricks. Added bonus, you’ll have a reason to reach out to relative.

Deliver a home-cooked meal

Cook a meal that will keep and leave it on their doorstep as a surprise. Cookies, lasagna, anything: this doorstep trick totally makes you feel like cellphones and email have yet to be invented. (Is doorstep even still a word?)

Give a lift

Everyone has always deeply appreciated a ride to the airport. Plan it. Ask if they have any trips planned. Set it up. Put it on the books.

Instead of a short note, write a thank you essay

Set a timer for 10 minutes and write your pal a letter. Perhaps bring up an old memory in great detail. My college roommate and I do this. Lot of memories would be lost without her. List the reasons this person is your friend. It’s like a literary hug.

Craft ‘er up something lovely

The ever-amazing Sarah Hatheway has come up with some truly sweet and affordable crafts for pals. Who wouldn’t love these adorable tea towels or streamers you made with them in mind?!

Pick up some flowers

Ideally, go to a farmers market. Those flowers tend to last longer than those from a supermarket, which have already had a long journey in a truck. If she refreshes the flowers’ water and trims the stems a bit each day, farmers market flowers can brighten your friend’s house for more than a week.

Give a mani/pedi

Especially neat and affordable are the online manicures by GoScratchIt, founded by Chelsea Kent and Kim Rocque. It’s a platform for creatives of all backgrounds to share their art through peoples’ hands.

Give them a kick-ass braid

Braiding a pal’s hair is super fun, costs nothing, and you’ll be give the gift of wearable art.

Also, just send some good vibes. . .you know, if you’re “into that kind of thing.” There are some meditations you can do to bring yourself closer to others. Sit in a quiet place for a moment. Take two deep breaths. Repeat the phrase “May I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be free from suffering.” Then imagine your circle of goodwill expanding. Think of a dear friend. “Maybe they be happy, healthy, free from suffering.” Finally, “May all beings be happy, be healthy, be free from suffering.”

Unexpected shows of gratitude for your friends are of course, a sneaky way to make YOU feel good. Focus your attention on the people you are grateful for. Let them know. You’ll feel it, for sure.

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