Whether your strongest friendships are local or long distance, the Covid-19 pandemic is changing how we connect with our friends. Sure, there are endless Zoom happy hours and socially distant porch hellos, but is that enough to maintain our friendships thriving long past the pandemic?
While apps like Facebook and What’s App are seeing more than 40% growth in use of their social platforms, it may not feel like your friendships are as fulfilling as usual. But there are ways to stay connected and keep your friendships thriving during social distancing. Here are just a few suggestions on how to maintain friendships while you’re apart.
Make a Point to Reach Out to Maintain Friendships
If you feel like you haven’t connected with your friends lately, it may simply be that you haven’t had a chance to reach out. Between working from home and teaching the kids, your days may be even busier than they were before.
Take a break from the craziness of the day and reach out to one or two friends. It can be a short text or an attempt at FaceTime while the kids are screaming in the background, but it’s a start. Just seeing your friend’s face on a screen or engaging with them via chat can help keep your connection alive.
Talk About Something Good
When you do reach out, it’s hard not to focus on the news of the day. But try to connect with your friends in the way you always did, whether that’s chatting about the latest TV show you’re binging on Netflix or your success with that sourdough starter you’ve been trying for years. Talking to friends about good things going on in your life or shared interests can both increase your mood and strengthen your connection so you don’t feel so distant.
Drop a Card in the Mail
Birthday parties, baby showers and anniversary celebrations may be on hold for now, but you can still show up for your friend during a time of celebration. Send a card or present in the mail to let your friend know you’re thinking of them. If you live close enough, you can even drop something off on their porch. Small gestures like that can go a long way toward making your friendships stronger in the long run.
Take Care of Yourself
One of the most important aspects of maintaining friendships is taking care of your own mental and physical health. When you’re healthy and happy, you’re more likely to want to reach out and engage with your friends. You’re also more likely to pick up the phone when someone calls and have a conversation.
Social distancing can feel socially isolating, but it doesn’t have to. If you’re finding it hard to connect with people during this time and feeling depressed or anxious, don’t be afraid to reach out. You can contact us anytime to make an appointment to talk through your feelings and feel connected again.