Living apart from loved ones is one of the biggest challenges any family could face. While maintaining strong bonds demands a healthy dose of both time and effort, even in local relationships, the added element of distance presents a whole new set of obstacles to be conquered. Although patience, resilience and purposeful planning will be required, you can make the most of this less than ideal situation. Here are five long-distance remedies that will help you stay connected.
Fortunately, in today’s world, technology has the ability to bridge gaps that span thousands of miles. No matter how far apart, you and your loved ones are always just a mouse click (or screen tap) away. Although nothing can replace a traditional hangout, digital meet-ups are one of the best ways to communicate while counting down the days to a face-to-face reunion.
1. Go Virtual
- Video Calling applications like Skype, Facetime, Duo, or Facebook Video Chat
- Messaging apps like WhatsApp, Viber, BAND, and Snapchat (Keep group conversations lively by personifying your emotions with gifs, emojis, memojis, animojis, voice memos and videos. Keep the family laughing with memes and silly pictures.)
2. Group Trips
To restore the tangible dynamic that is absent from virtual interactions, plan a group trip. Coordinate with your family to: travel to a destination between your locations, meet in a foreign locale or reunite at a chosen family member’s home. You can pick a major cultural event to experience together or even take a cruise together. But while you are considering a planned get-together, don’t discount the thrill of a good old-fashioned surprise. There is nothing more shocking (and satisfying) than seeing a missed loved one. And although successful surprises take a lot of effort and secrecy to pull off, they are totally worth the reward. By using both planned and surprise visits to close the distance, your family will create unforgettable memories that will help you endure during the toughest of times.
Times change and some traditions become extinct, but sending a letter by mail has stood the test of time. More convenient channels of communication (e.g. email, phone calls and texting) have threatened its existence, yet, there is a matchless variable that still makes sending a letter a sentimental act. A handwritten letter delivers an incomparable personal touch to your communication with your loved one.
Not sure how to begin? Start by making daily lists of stories to share. Later, use your notes to help you recall what you wanted to recap. Include fun things like jokes, photographs and drawings. For an added touch, spray of bit of your favorite scent on the pages. Lastly, remember there’s no wrong way to write a letter. Don’t stress about the length, your topic or even the quality of your handwriting. Instead, rest assured that your loved one will be grateful for the time, thought and effort you invested to create such a keepsake.
One popular quote states, “Distance is just a test of how far love can travel.” No matter the physical divide, family will always be family. Whether you choose to allow the separation to pull you apart, or draw you closer, is dependent on you. With a little thought and a lot of follow through, you can thrive, in spite of the miles between you. Use these three remedies to help your family commit to strengthening the bond in the face of distance.