It’s Catherine, Co-Captain of the Little Cuties, with some thoughts on how to stay connected while being apart for the holidays.
Due to a variety of circumstances, I rarely get to spend long or consistent amounts of time with many of my friends. For example, one of my friends has a chronic illness that prevents her from socializing in person. In the last 5 years, I moved from Idaho, to Illinois, back to Idaho, then to Scotland, and finally back to Idaho—always making friends and leaving friends behind. In the face of these obstacles, I got creative figuring out ways to feel connected to the people who mean the most to me.
With the holiday season in full swing, I know many of you are looking for ways to maintain your relationships in this time of separation (thanks, pandemic). Here are some of my favorite tips, tricks, and insights for staying connected while keeping apart:
- Send a spontaneous gift package. One of my very dearest friends lives in England. Separated by 7 time zones and our hectic lives, we rarely find time to talk. Earlier this fall, our mutual friend had the idea of sending our English friend handmade gifts. This gift was not tied to a holiday or birthday, but was a spontaneous, sincere expression of love. Creating the package was a gift to us as well as it made us feel connected to our friend across the ocean.
- Write a letter. Another of my good friends has a debilitating chronic illness. As a consequence of her illness and my frequent travels, we don’t often spend a lot of time together. To maintain our friendship, I developed the habit of writing to her weekly. I always write my letters by hand as they feel more personal. These letters ground me as they offer me the opportunity to reflect on my week while helping me feel connected to my friend. Best of all, I get to look forward to reading her letters!
- Make a call. One of my closest friends and I have lived apart for most of our relationship. I don’t think we’ve been in the same place longer than 3 months. When we do get time together, we go for long walks and talk about everything under the sun. We replicate that togetherness by talking on the phone while going for a walk once a week at a set time.
It is important to remember that everyone has different communication styles and love languages. Physical touch and acts of service are my love languages. When I can’t hug my friends, receiving a handmade item from them feels like a hug crafted specially for me.
Separation, while challenging, is also an opportunity to really consider how you communicate love to your friends and family—and how you want them to communicate love to you!
If you and your friends or family have any tips or tricks for how to feel together while being apart, we’d love to hear them! Please submit your ideas to us through Facebook or Instagram and we will share them in on social media!
Happy holidays, Cuties!