Once upon a time –– like, now –– there was a world where people could live thousands of miles apart and still keep in near-constant contact, thanks to a deluge of digitally-connected devices and platforms. Because of this connection, we’re also able to stay pretty up-to-speed when someone we love is going through a tough time, even if we’re on opposite coasts or separate continents.
Even though a big bear hug might be the best medicine, there’s a lot you can do to comfort someone from far away, using both digital and analog means to do so. Not sure what to do next? We’ve got a few ideas.
With access to the world wide web, you can hunt down a flower delivery shop just about anywhere these days. Send your friend some beautiful flowers to lift their spirits and be a physical reminder that they’re in your heart.
You might not be available to bring over a casserole dish, but you can find their favorite Thai place and splurge on all their favorites. Daily responsibilities can become especially difficult when life feels overwhelming, so making sure they’re fed can help keep the train on the tracks.
Even if they’re not up for a chat, it’s always nice to know someone’s checking in. Periodic notes are a small effort on one end that can help the other person stay engaged and feeling the love. Not sure what to say? Funny dog photos are pretty much a safe bet, and there are silly cat photos for everything else!
Texting is fast, but there’s nothing quite like that unopened envelope of surprises waiting in the mailbox. Longer letters are also a great place to pour out the heart for the shyer individuals among us, so your loved ones can know just how much they mean to you without the intensity of awaiting an immediate response. Plus, this is a pretty good way to support the USPS, so consider it hitting two birds with one stone.
Even if you can’t get actual face time, a digital FaceTime goes a long way for your far away friend. Maybe they don’t want to talk much, but even just doing something while the camera runs can be a comforting presence for someone who might be feeling lonelier than usual.
Book a trip
When all else fails, it might be time to close the distance. Jump on a plane and fly to wherever they are to show that you’re going to show up when the going gets tough. Sometimes just being around a friendly face can do wonders for a person’s mental health. Other times, they need to get away from their life for a minute and go somewhere distracting – you can help with that too. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, but we’re still thinking about that bear hug.