Two bi-coastal best friends (SF and NY, naturally) experienced heartbreak within a day of each other, just before the holidays. And without their bestie nearby, these two women were at a loss for how to cope. I met Simone and Briana in college when they were studying fashion and photography, respectively, and have always known them to be cool and creative people -- the type of friends that are so awesome that you can't imagine why they're single.
Amid the post break-up blues, phone calls and tears, they came up with a positive way to distract themselves and support one another through a hard time. Armed with their camera phones, they created assignments for one another and spent a week doing one thing each day to make themselves feel better, sharing images along the way. At the end of the week they made a scavenger hunt and completed ten assignments in one day. They found the experience so helpful and important, that they continued doing it for another couple of months, and plan to keep it going for a year. As Simone says, "It hasn't solved all my problems, but it has helped me move on and have something to focus on." The tasks are sent the previous night, usually before midnight, to allow for planning. Some of the assignments included:
Make yourself a healthy dinner.
Take a photo in front of somewhere special to both of you.
Go to a park and read a book for 30 minutes without interruption.
Drink tea and do something crafty.
Buy yourself flowers.
Visit a historic/tourist spot in your city.
Write three appreciation cards for people in your life who wouldn't expect it.
A healthy dinner.
Flowers for myself.
Simone and Briana were surprised to see how differently they would interpret certain tasks, and how interested their friends and family were -- they've had requests from others eager to get in on the action and suggestions for assignments. As Briana says, "Being a cynic by nature, it was out of character for me to suggest such an Oprah's Book Club-type of assignment series," but she found that it brings joy and positivity to her day. "We get to eat, spoil ourselves, and meet new people."
Single or spoken for, the tasks seem like a great way to stay connected with friends and make time to feel good. Photography is now a populist, instant art practice that is shared through apps and social networks on the regular, so why not share that photo of your dinner or new nail polish with a little more purpose? Start 2013 off right by promoting positivity and BFF bonding.