One of the harsh realities of adulthood is that we have less and less time for our friends and even for some family members. People graduate from high school and college and – we certainly hope – go in pursuit of their individual dreams. They switch cities for new job opportunities. They opt to take a sabbatical that literally places them on the other side of the globe. Sometimes, they even just simply move to a different neighborhood. The result is that you don’t get to see these loved ones as often as you might like.
The great news is that there are many ways to maintain a real connection with the people you love. The Cleveland Clinic offers plenty of ideas on how to stay in touch with loved ones, especially during COVID-19.
First, take a wide-angle view of your loved ones and determine who you’d like to see more of. Where do they live in proximity to you? How often do you see or speak with them? Why is this person so important to you? From there, you can determine a course of action to make them a bigger part of your life.
For example, do you have a friend who lives nearby but has three children and very little spare time? If so, chances are you can’t count on this friend to grab the occasional drink or even talk uninterrupted on the phone for 15 minutes. The solution would be for you to go to their house and, quite frankly, make yourself useful. Talk to them while doing their dishes. Offer to entertain the kids while your friend makes them dinner.
On the flip side, do you have a close friend who lives far away? Schedule a regular phone or video call. Even if it’s just once a month, it will give you both something to look forward to and ensure your bond remains strong.
What about family? Have you been looking to get closer with your siblings or cousins but everyone lives scattered around? If so, start a group text! In the age of gifs and memes, it’s easy to find fun and silly ways to bond with your family members. You can keep each other posted on your lives without bogging anyone down with the minutiae. Also, prioritize making some kind of regular family trip. See who’d be interested in a reunion, preferably in a third-party location with plenty of room. There’s nothing like spending time together in person, and such trips will ensure you stay in touch and do fun things together.
However you decide to stay in touch with your loved ones, make sure you deliver value to the relationship. That value can come in many forms, but whether it comes in the form of positive energy, wisdom, or even a literal set of extra hands, your loved ones will love you all the more for it – not to mention be there for you when you’re the one in need.