Friends and family drifting apart (both literally and figuratively) is natural in life. Everyone meets other people, moves house, starts new jobs all over the country, or even the world, and you don’t have as much time for one another as you once did. Now with the pandemic we are seeing fewer people and avoiding large groups. However, while you can’t do anything about the distance or the pandemic, you can still maintain a close relationship no matter where you are. So whether you want to reconnect with your childhood friend or check in on your grandparents, here are four ways for you to stay in touch with distant friends and family.
More Than a Phone Call
A phone call is a great place to start, but it is so impersonal. You never feel truly there on the phone, as there are so many distractions around you. Instead, consider video chats via the likes of Zoom, Skype, or any other social media app that can put you directly in touch with others. Here, you will give and receive undivided attention, and if anyone is feeling a little isolated, this type of attention can be crucial for balancing their mental health.
Don’t Be Afraid to Broach Deeper Topics
Deep and meaningful chats are not just reserved for late nights. They can happen at any time and anywhere. If you feel like someone is not exactly themselves, there’s plenty of reason to bring up more profound topics. They might be waiting for someone to ask them about it. From here, you can learn about their mental or physical well-being. You may be able to offer advice on how to combat it with exercise, or on a more extreme level, a nursing home abuse attorney that can protect residents. While some people might be embarrassed to open up, you don’t want them to suffer in silence.
A Regular Session
People love the idea of regularity. They enjoy the routine, and it gives them something to look forward to every week. If you want to make the most of reconnecting with friends and family, make your chats something you do each week. Once you exhaust all of your conversation topics, try something different. You can make it a game night, listen to music, or watch a movie together. You don’t even need to talk. Just being there is usually enough.
Keep An Eye on the Details
It can be tricky to tell if someone is putting a brave face on for you, but there will be signs there if you pay close attention. You don’t know what is going on in other people’s heads but look at their body language to get an idea of where they are mentally. Identifying this can help you put more effort into keeping in touch and even encourage them to overcome any negative feelings they might experience.
Take time to just check in. This is especially important for people who live alone. I still am not going many places and still spend most of my time at home. Whether a short phone call or one that goes long into the night, both you and the person on the other end of the line will feel invigorated by the conversation. Everyone wants to feel like people remember them, so hitting somebody up for a chat can make their day, and it could even help them deal with any issues they are experiencing right now and feel unable to tell anybody.
I have a good friend who lives several hours away who surprised me with a call to set up a lunch date this week. She was dropping her daughter off at a local airport and then drove out of her way to visit me. In the past we met periodically and often I drove south while she drove north. We had not gotten together in about a year and a half. Our last scheduled lunch was for March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, and I cancelled it due to the pandemic. We talk on the phone, but I must say it was wonderful seeing her in person, masks and all. I felt so invigorated after our little limited get-together.
Wishing you special time with family and friends and happier days.
This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own. Photos via Unsplash.com
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