There’s some people in this world who you can just love and love and love no matter what – John Green.
No matter where you are in the world, there will be people you love that aren’t there with you. It can be a heart-breaking experience not to be able to see your loved ones faces, hear their voices and get a hug from them when you need it most. You could be having the time of your life on an adventure that you’ve been dreaming of since you were small, or at university, studying hard and playing harder, or – as is the current situation – on a world-wide lockdown with no idea when you’ll be able to leave your house for longer than a daily (in the UK) hour of exercise. While you might not be able to be with your loved ones in a way that you want or need, you can find new ways to connect via modern technology and old-fashioned traditions that will make you appreciate family and friends in a whole new way. I’ve put together 31 ideas – one for every day of the month – that will help ease those moments of missing your nearest and dearest.
- Ring/Video Call/Facetime. Stating the obvious? You never know how much a quick chat means to someone, especially if they don’t have a smartphone and so can’t see you.
- Group chats. Get the girls or your family on the phone together, pour a glass of wine and have a good old chinwag.
- Weekly quizzes. Pub quizzes are making a comeback in a huge way… did they really leave? Maybe I just haven’t been to one in years. Get on the group video call, have a Quiz Master and test your tired brains with some general knowledge.
- Send each other little parcels of happiness. Receiving a surprise through the door (or on the doorstep) makes anybody’s day. Send some of their favourite chocolate, a little note to say hi or a gift to keep them sane if they can’t go out.
- Watch films or TV shows together. I’ve written about how this was a huge factor in mine and Warren’s relationship. Even if you’re not physically with someone, watching something at the exact same time can make you feel closer as you’re experiencing all of the same feelings in the same moment.
- Create a mini book club. If you and your friends or family are avid readers, decide a book to read over a specific amount of time and then share your opinions about it over video chats or online.
- Plan the next time you’re going see each other. Down to the last detail. Plan the brunches, lunches, drinks, nights out, movie nights and more. Put it in your diary (if you can) and you’ll have something to look forward to in the future that will keep you going.
- Selfie swaps. But first… let’s take a selfie. Send each other your craziest faces and see if you can outdo each other – in a pair or in a group – to make you both laugh out loud. Cue the hysterics.
- Instagram Live. It feels like everybody on the app is doing it, but there’s always room for more! Contact your favourite IG buddy and do a Live together. If nobody joins, at least you’ve both had a ball.
- Take part in exercise challenges. Even if you don’t do the videos/routines/exercises at the same time, if you’re both cheering each other on and get the exercises done, you’ll feel even more motivated to carry on the next day.
- Virtual Bake-Off. Banana bread anyone? Set your video chats up in the kitchen and bake your own concoctions. Have a third party decide on the look of your delicious treats and you’ll just have to both win with regards to taste as seen as you can’t actually eat the other baker’s recipe.
- Recipe swaps. Create something brand spanking new in the kitchen and challenge your mates to see if they can do it better. If you both make it at the same time and then video call whilst you’re eating, it’ll be as though you’re kinda sitting at the same table.
- Create an online memory book. Whether it’s via Whatsapp or on a blog, collate all the old photos (dig deep) and make a memory book to share for when you need a bit of cheering up and inspiration for future coffee dates and nights out.
- Text morning and night. A quick Good Morning and Goodnight text will show that you’re thinking of each other daily. It’s a small thing and takes seconds but can really make their day. Getting one back will make you smile too.
- Make a playlist. Collate all of those old-school favourites and put them all in one massive playlist for everyone to listen to. You’ll love going back in time and remembering all of the moments these songs played a huge part in, whether you want them to or not.
- Enjoy a virtual tour. So many museums and art galleries offer free virtual tours these days. Both log on at the same time and have a wander of your favourite historical place or visit one that you’ve never been to before.
- Do a clothes swap. Send each other some new outfits to wear that you’re tired of in your own wardrobe (after the meticulous clear out), something fun that will also save you money and help keep sustainability going.
- Do a Tarot reading. If you’re into spirituality and what fate decides, get the Tarot cards out tell your loved one to ask a question of their own. Shuffle the cards and see what they say.
- Discover each other’s astrological signs. You don’t have a single star sign… you have one in line with the sun, the moon and plenty of other astrological meanings. Spend an evening finding out what each other’s means and compare them to the personality traits that you both see in one another.
- Ask each other questions you wouldn’t normally. Whether this is over the phone or a video call, dig deep and ask the really personal and meaningful questions that you might not ever want to ask in person. It’s a way to get to know someone and have the space and time to process afterwards.
- Create a “Tag” for each other. Like “The Boyfriend Tag” or “The Girlfriend Tag”, create one for anyone you know and see how well they truly know you. Great for Instagram Lives and video chats.
- Send virtual hugs. They’re nowhere near as good as the real deal, but knowing you’ve sent one brings out all the warm feelings.
- Attend online classes together. There are plenty of free ones where you can learn a new language, earthquakes or politics. Feed your brain with new knowledge and have something different to talk about.
- Set goals. These can be joint ones that you’ll battle out together from a distance or something to work on individually and see the results when you can hang out again.
- Be each other’s cheerleaders. You can even order the pom poms to be delivered and cheer into the phone if you want to. A little word of encouragement goes a long way.
- Send each other photos of cute animals. What makes the world a happier place than cute, adorable animals that you wish you owned?! Lift each other’s spirits (group chat or otherwise) with multiple throughout the day. Or cute anything really.
- Create a bucket list. Bucket lists are great alone, but planning the big dreamy events together makes it even more exciting. Make a plan to tick one off (if you are able to do so) when you can catch up in person together.
- Do a book swap. Similar to the clothes, pick a book from your own shelf and send it to your fellow bookworm. Don’t tell them what it is as it will be a surprise! And a test to see how well you know their reading preferences.
- Do a makeup challenge. Off the top of my head, lay out some makeup products from the bottom of your drawer/bag/boxes (aka the lonely, unloved ones that you never use) and ask your friend to choose the products for you, resulting in a different look. Do the same for them and you might have both found your new signature look or both look like clowns.
- Take part in Facebook quizzes. You know the ones that are always floating about where you compare you and your siblings, answer questions about your four favourite things etc. and tag each other to see what they say, especially hilarious for the siblings one.
- Send positive affirmations and quotes to each other. Morning, noon and night. Unless that’s too OTT. Keeping each other’s spirits high, no matter what you’re doing or where you are, will help set the day ahead up exactly how you need it to.
What are some of the things that you’ll be doing with your loved ones during time apart?
Love, Faye xo