Long distance: There with you

10 December 2020

Living far from friends and family can be challenging, but there are lots of ways you can stay in touch and things you can do to show them how much you care.

Two female friends on playground swings

In moving to a new city or country, you may find that you're unable to quickly pop round to a friend's house for a chat or meet up somewhere nearby. This can present unique challenges as you try to navigate your way and adapt to new situations. This has also become increasingly clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, when we have restricted opportunities to see our loved ones. 

At times, you may feel helpless because you want to comfort those who are near and dear to you, but the distance makes it all a little difficult. Despite living far away, there are lots of small things you can do to help out and let friends and family know that you're there with and for them.

Stay in touch

This might sound simple, but keeping in touch, whether it be by call, text, video chat or social media, can help remind you that the care you have for each other has not been lost with the distance. Let them know that you'll always get back to them when it's possible.

You could even plan a certain day and time each week where you both set aside time to talk to one another and catch up on the happenings of the week. Creating a routine like this can help to create a sense of structure. 

Share things

If you read or see something interesting online, why not forward the link on! Sharing is caring, and so whether it be a blog post, funny video or pictures from a recent trip, such gestures help to remind others that we are thinking about them.

Watch things together

Even though you're unable to share the experience of the cinema or evening bundled up on the sofa next to family, you can still watch things together!

You could both tune in to a TV programme and text your way through with comments about your shared love for the show. You could choose a movie and both press 'play' at the same time or use the 'Netflix Party' extension on Chrome to enjoy your favourite films together.

Doing things together will help bridge the gap of physical distance, and although it's not the same, it's better than nothing! Adapting our everyday lives can be difficult, but you will get lots out of it. 

Daily challenges

Keeping yourselves focused with a task will help you both forget about the distance. Something like a daily photo, poetry or word challenge will keep you motivated throughout the day and have you thinking about the other person more often.

You could also gather some friends together in a group and build a mini book, film or music club, where each member needs to review something they read, watched or listened to throughout the week. 

Snail mail

Receiving letters and parcels can brighten up the most difficult of days. It could be anything from a simple letter explaining your thoughts to a package of your friend's favourite sweets. Whatever it is, however big or small, snail mail is always a lovely surprise!