This summer I have gotten to spend time with so many of my childhood friends. Some that I talk with regularly, like my BFF and Color Street sponsor, and some that I haven’t talked to in years. As we leave each other we always say things like, “let’s stay in touch,” or, “don’t be a stranger.” Often we mean it but we still don’t keep up with it.
This time around I’m making an effort to follow up on those words. So as I think about how I’m going to show up for my friendships that aren’t close to me physically, I thought I’d share some ideas in case this is something you’re working on.
Snail mail surprises!
One of my favorite things to do for my Color Street customers is sending them nail mail. Why don’t I do this for my bestest friends! Getting mail that isn’t bills or junk is the best and this is an easy way to make someone smile and show them you care.
Snail mail can be as simple as a handwritten card. I also love fun little cards from ThoughtFulls. They are fun cards you can pop open for words of encouragement and love.
Do something fun virtually
There are so many ways to still share your interests virtually. You could both sign up for the same online class and take it together. Or get all the same ingredients and cook a meal together.
Really the sky is the limit! Create paintings together, have a virtual dance party, watch a movie. We’ve even done virtual escape rooms and game nights. Let your personalities drive creativity here.
Share photos or gifs
Even if you can’t be together you can still share your friendship. When you see something out in the wild that you reminds you of them, snap a pic and share it. So often we may feel that reaching out is only valuable if its long calls or big gestures. Instead, capturing small moments and sharing that in real time goes a long way to keeping a connection.
Create a book club
Love to read? Create a book club with your besties. You’ll have regular time that you can get together and chat and share something you love. This could be professional, self-help, or just for fun!
I know this seems strange – how could you work out together? Set regular times for walks and chat while you’re doing it. Join the same Pelaton classes. Turn on the same yoga video and video chat. You can have an accountability partner in your best friend even though you aren’t in the same space.
Want to do more weight lifting or gym work? Plan your workouts together with weekly calls. Then follow up and keep each other track!
Have fun training for a marathon together. Even better – plan to travel and meet up at a race and run it side. byside.
Play games virtually
Remember the height of Words with Friends! There are so many games you can play together virtually. Whether it’s card games, board games, word games, there are hundreds of options. This is a great way to stay connected off and on throughout the day. Or, set aside a dedicated time to play and video chat.
Create a regular schedule
Planning helps! How many times have you said you’d call and then suddenly weeks go by. Put a date on the calendar once a week or once a month, whatever works for your schedule. This will also allow you to have dedicated time set aside where you and truly chat with little to no interruption.
Plan an epic reunion
Make sure you have trips planned to reconnect. This could be a big roadtrip or trip overseas. It could just be a quick weekend. The perk is that you’ll be able to spend more time together putting the plans together.
At the end of the day, it’s about getting creative with how you spend time with loved ones that are far away. It takes a different kind of effort but is totally worth it.