This year has been trying in more ways than one, but many can agree that communication with long-distance loved ones has been a challenge. If quarantine has physically separated you from your parents, friends, significant others, or any other person in your life, it doesn’t mean that you have to be emotionally separated from them too. It’s important to not let this new strain on our normal lives isolate us when we need connection the most.
Earlier this year, many young people were sent home from school, effectively separating them from their friends. From college students pushed across the country or even across the world from each other, to younger kids unable to hangout with their friends from across town, this is a new reality that many people have been forced to face. If you are able to see your friends in outdoor settings, it can be beneficial to go on hikes or bike rides together to both stay active and maintain your social life. Another way to stay connected to your friends who live close to you can be by baking each other baked goods or giving each other handmade gifts. This type of thoughtful present will let your friends know you are thinking about them.
Whether you’ve been in a relationship for years or you just started dating someone in the last few months, many couples have been pushed into long distance relationships regardless of the actual distance between you. Going on dates now may be different, but they aren’t impossible. One way to retain the romance in your long-distance relationship is by cooking the same dinner separately and enjoying a nice dinner date together over video calls. Since many restaurants are now open for outdoor seating, you can also treat yourselves to a date night if you feel comfortable doing so.
It can be hard when you are unable to see your parents, siblings, or other close family members throughout these uncertain times. Retaining connection through phone calls, hand-written letters, and video calls with your family members can help ease the strain and help redirect your thoughts from the state of the world. If you are able to, it can be helpful to have family get togethers over video chats. If you are living close enough to your family members, you could go on walks and bike rides together in settings where you are able to remain socially distanced.
It is important to remember that everyone is dealing with very similar stressors right now. You are not the only person feeling lonely and disconnected right now. Chances are, your friends, family, and significant others are feeling the same way. Reaching out, connecting, and communicating with each other are crucial ways that we can retain a feeling of normalcy.