Our friends need us now: Heres how to be there for them

Let's be real; it's really damn hard at the moment.

I think all any of us wants right now is to be able to see our friends and family. Never mind the holidays abroad, never mind the night out in the club, literally just being able to go to each others' houses would be enough. But that all looks depressingly far away at the moment. 

Bored ethnic female in casual clothes sitting at table with netbook and watching sad movie while resting at home during weekend

You are not alone. Everyone is feeling this, some people more than others maybe, but everyone is feeling a bit low. Personally, I'm worried about my friends who are living alone, or away from their families, or even those living with people they aren't close with. That is such a major struggle at the moment, when we all need all the support we can get. To feel alone at a time like this is going to hit hard.

That's why it's so important that we be there for each other now, even if we can't necessarily physically be there. We've had to get creative with how we offer support to our friends and these are some of the best ideas I've heard going around to combat loneliness and to cheer each other up.

Deliver their favourite meal

person holding burger with lettuce and cheese

Is there a restaurant nearby where you used to go together that's doing takeaway? Sending them a delivery of their favourite meal, or even their favourite doughnut from their local shop can really brighten up someone's day. It's not a question of how big or small the gesture is; what matters is that you're thinking of them. Getting it from your usual spot is a nice way to both support your local restaurants and remind your friends you'll be back together soon.

Write them a letter

Black Text on Gray Background

Go old school!  Zoom calls can be exhausting and time consuming and especially if it's happening with a large group, you never really get to catch up properly with people. Writing a letter however, is personal and thoughtful. I find you're more open and honest when you're writing pen to paper, rather than writing on Messenger or somewhere else, which is exactly what's needed for this kind of situation. It doesn't have to be pages and pages, but people always appreciate them and it's nice to know you're on someone's mind.

Send them a subscription box

Brown Jest for You Box

There are so many fantastic ones out there right now, that there seriously is something for everyone. Since shops aren't open, assembling a care package can be a little tricky right now. But with a subscription box you can choose one of their package deals or create one yourself and personalise it for your friend. It's so exciting getting packages in the post and it will definitely brighten up their day to know it was made by you with them in mind. Check out some of our top picks here!

Organise a girl's night

Person Holding White Ipad Displaying Man And Woman

Nooo, we don't mean a Zoom quiz. I think we've all had our fill of that. But organising something like a painting night, a make your own cocktail night, or even just getting dressed up to have a glass of wine and chats to reminisce won't go astray. It's all about feeling close even when we're far apart. It becomes easy with screen fatigue to let things like Zoom calls slip, but they can be a lifeline for some people.

Start a book club

Man Reading Book Beside Woman Reading Book

Or a film club, or a scrapbook club, or a cheese and wine club - anything to create a little community! Creativity and food are two great connectors, and something like a book club is great because it not only gets us in touch with each other, it also gives us something to do and talk about. I don't know how many times a Zoom call has opened with 'Has anyone any news' and been met with utter silence. With a book club or whatever format you choose, there's a ready made topic there to spark conversation. Having a shared project is a great way to feel a connection even when we're far apart. 

Plan together

Photo of Girl Drinking Coconut

It's easy to get stuck in a rut nowadays and lose sight of the fact that this is temporary, even if it doesn't always feel like it. It's important to keep perspective on all of this, and remember all the things we will be able to do. Have you and your bestie always talked about going away on a trip together? What better time to start planning than now? Create a shared document, propose destinations, accommodation, things to see and do, food to try, places to shop - whatever takes your fancy! Work out a budget for it so it feels like you're working towards something together, and that all of this waiting will be worth it. 

Fiona Murphy is a freelance writer, specialising in book-related content, fiction and poetry. She can be found drinking tea, craving tapas or attempting to finish her never-ending-novel.

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