From a distance: 6 ways to make your friends smile

We’ve never needed our friends more than we do now, but we cannot see them, not until this chapter of our lives is over. As the world fights against Covid-19, people are finding new ways to stay connected and to protect their friendships from dwindling in a time when we have no choice but to spend time apart.

The lockdown has helped me see just how valuable friendship is. The catch ups over coffee, trips to the cinema, nights in with cheap bottles of wine and adventures to new cities are things we’re all missing desperately, but it’s important to remember they’re not gone forever. We may have pressed pause on the life we’re so used to, but that doesn’t mean our friendships have to pause too.

Personally, I’ve never felt more grateful for my friends. I’ve been trying my best to use this time to ensure my friends know how much I love them and to simply be a better friend. There’s a lot you can do to cheer your friends up during this utterly horrid time so don’t lose hope. And keep reminding yourself of the day when you all finally get together for dinner and this pandemic is nothing but another chapter in history.

  1. FaceTime Dates

Schedule a weekly catch up over FaceTime like you would in real life. Grab a cup of coffee, tea or even a glass of wine and natter away like you always do. Just because you can’t be together in person doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your weekly coffee date. You could even promise not to talk about the pandemic and revel in the normality of chatting with your best friends.

  1. Write To Them

I was gutted when one of my dearest friends moved back to America a few years ago, so we decided to become pen pals to ensure we stayed in touch, even if we only wrote once a month. There’s something so personal about writing a letter to someone. It can mean so much more than a text and getting a letter through the postbox does lift your spirits. It is also a perfect way to switch off and get away from the never-ending negative news reel we’re living in right now.

  1. Send Flowers

It has been scientifically proven that having flowers in your home helps relieve anxiety and stress. Bloom and Wild’s Letterbox Flowers are my go-to gift at the moment, especially for friends who are going through a tough time. Receiving a bunch of beautiful blooms is something small that will help brighten their day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

  1. Start a Book Club

Reading has been a blessing during the lockdown for many. Escaping into a fictional world helps us switch off and forget about what is going on around us for a couple of hours. Why don’t you start a book club with your friends as a way to stay connected? That way you’ll always have something to chat about and it’ll strengthen your bond too.

  1. Call Them

A simple phone call can make the greatest difference to someone’s day. A lot of us are self-isolating alone, which means we’re going days without speaking to someone in person. Ringing your friend and having a conversation that doesn’t consist of solely sending memes to one another will help them feel less alone. So why not give them a buzz when you’re out walking or once you’ve finished working in the evening?

  1. Movie Night

The thoughts of getting the girls together, drinking wine and watching The Princess Diaries makes my heart swell. We may not be able to bundle into the sitting room and watch Mia Thermopolis transform into a true princess, but we can host digital movie nights. Why not Skype when your movie starts, create a movie club WhatsApp group or even use Netflix Party? 

This pandemic has helped us realise just how precious friendship is. Staying in contact with them has truly made this nightmare that little bit more bearable.