Going through difficult times alone, together
In the past, your friends have always been there for you. When you were going through a tough time at home, struggling through a break-up, or having a difficult time in general, you had people to lean on. Long talks helped you sort through these problems and feel supported every step of the way.
Now, we are experiencing one of the most difficult times the world has known—at least our world—and we are expected to keep our distance.
Sure, there have still been some virtual talks, but we are basically in it alone, together (or is it in it together, alone?). It takes a toll. We feel it. What are we supposed to do?
Here are five tips for staying connected despite the distance:
1) Let’s start saying “physical distancing” instead of “social distance.” It sounds too basic a change to have any meaningful result. The fact is the words matter. That reframe can help take the sting out of our disconnections and make us look at our situation in a slightly different way.
2) Write a letter. Try something different. Sit down and write an actual letter by hand with a pen and paper. All the ways we communicate—messaging, email, socials, text—will still be there. This gives us a way to break up our broken routine and make a deeper connection at a distance through a longer, more personal note.
3) Stay connected. If we are burnt out on virtual platforms and digital classrooms, just jump on a call. Try to take a socially distanced walk. Do small activities to keep connected.
4) Create a check-in schedule. Make a list of friends you haven’t heard from in a bit. Reach out directly to say hi and let them know you are thinking about them. Do more than a status update - have an actual exchange.
5) Get generous. Hand makes gifts for friends to let them know you are thinking about them. Take up a new craft with the result in mind—showing you care. Make bracelets, beaded necklaces, origami animals, or personal sketches. They don’t have to be works of art, just generous gestures that help you develop a new hobby and remind friends they are not alone.