The saying that ‘true friends are forever together in spirit’ is accurate. At this time, friends, family, and significant others are kept from seeing others because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are still ways and means to maintain these relationships. Friends have been currently restricted to Zoom and Face Time video chats and the occasional emails as ways to stay in touch.
For most of the college students across states, this sudden change has been intense. Just a few months ago, they were in their dorms, finishing the semester with their friends, eating in the school cafeteria, and group studying with their classmates. Then abruptly, their lives were overturned when colleges and universities were instructed to close. These students packed all their things and went straight home, hoping not to be caught up with the travel ban. Most of them were not able to say goodbye.
If you have been depressed and anxious about how to reach out to your friends and loved ones and strengthen your relationships, here are some ideas.
Make the first move.
It’s difficult to maintain friendships when we are all restricted from going out and follow strict social distancing measures. But if you don’t want to sever the ties, reach out to your friends first. Make the first move by calling them online. Talking with friends over the phone takes too long, so to avoid added charges, use Face Time or Skype. You may be busy with online learning and homework. Prioritizing your friends is an amazing way to show them that you are determined to keep the friendships strong at a time when interactions are a luxury.
Aside from calling them first, you can also make them feel blessed and important by buying a few of their needs for them. Wear those gloves and head to the supermarket. While you’re buying your essential needs, pick some for your close friend, plus a bunch of flowers to show the love. Just drop their bags off before you head back home. This would truly make their day.
Be an inspiration.
The current pandemic is one of the most devastating seasons in most, if not all, of our lives. People are financially burdened. Unemployment rates have rapidly increased. Providing your friends with inspiration and encouragement does make a big difference in lightening the problems that they may be facing with their families. Inspiration comes in various shapes and sizes. You can send them an inspiring or powerful quote daily, one that can help them remember that there is always an end to every negative (or positive) circumstance. Praying for your friends is also one way of letting your friends know that you love them, and you are thinking of them despite the time apart.
Have fun despite the crisis.
Finding ways to entertain your friends is essential to maintain one’s physical and mental well-being. It is vital to take a break from the mundane activities that you have been so used to doing as a result of the strict guidelines implemented for the pandemic. Having a little fun will keep us going amidst the challenges that we are currently facing. How can we do this with our friends? For one, you can organize a live online party where you and your friends can each set up a table with some food and wine and then enjoy what you prepared while you’re talking with each other online.
Another way to keep in touch with them is to watch a movie together while you’re all stuck at home. Come up with a movie that you all want to watch perhaps before bedtime, so you’re all cooped up in bed, safe from the dangers of COVID-19, while virtually having fun with your friends.
Two weeks ago, the quarantines were eased up, and some friends can now go out together even just for a while. They would get some food from drive-thru restaurants and eat in their cars and talk and laugh for hours, in each of their cars. This is how they keep their families safe while they catch up for the lost time.
The coronavirus has strained friendships and pushed friends to stay home and apart from each other. But strong and genuine friendships survive anything. They will find ways to be reunited. So do make time for your friends. You all need it now and always.