Here’s few ways you can stay connected with your nearest and dearest when you no longer share the same roof.
They cheered on your first steps, bandaged your knees, and cut the crusts off your sandwiches. They walked you to school, stood up for you, and annoyed you on vacations. Whether your family is made up of one or both parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, or siblings—they’ve been a huge part of your life. And you love them as much as they may drive you crazy.
Give them a call
Texts are easy, but do they really get the story across? If you’ve had a fight with your bestie, furiously typing the story out to your mom on a tiny screen might not be the most effective, as anyone who’s prone to typos or missed words knows. Hearing (rather than reading) some comforting words or encouragement from a family member can help calm you down and work through any issues you’re having. If actually sitting down and making time for a phone call all seems a bit extra, what about checking in during a walk or drive (assuming, of course, that you have Bluetooth in your car) and asking about their day? It’s the next best thing to having them there.
Head home on the regular
Whether your family lives near you or on the other side of the country, try to plan visits home whenever possible. While Facetime is great, it’s no substitute for in-person interaction, when talks are unscheduled and conversations more spontaneous. If you live within driving distance, consider dropping by at least once a month to check in and spend some time together. Without a doubt, it’s more challenging if you live quite a distance away, but if time and finances permit, try to visit outside of holidays too. Everyone tends to be extra busy during this time, and your family members will be no exception. With stress levels dialed up to 10, the tension can put a damper on your time at home. Flights during non-peak periods are cheaper, just saying!
Share a meal together
The family that eats together, stays together. Everyone has to eat, and a meal is a great excuse (as if you needed one) to indulge in delicious foods that you might not eat on a regular basis, while spending quality time with those you love. If you’re looking for an easy, no-fuss option, try out a new restaurant. No one has to cook or clean up after, so you can focus on good conversation and experimenting with new dishes. If you or your family are a bit more budget-conscious, consider preparing food together, or ordering take-out.
Celebrate those special occasions
Even if you and your fam have the kind of casual relationship where an email will suffice for birthdays and anniversaries, consider stepping it up for the next big milestone. From planning a party, going on a trip together, or giving a heartfelt gift, there are so many ways to celebrate when it comes to someone you really care about. And if you’re not the type for a big production? A card with a heartfelt note, or spending a special day together can mean just as much.
It’s easy to tune out when your sister’s complaining about her boyfriend again, or your dad when he’s grumbling about that nosy neighbour. After all, you’ve heard it all before, hundreds of times. But like anything else that matters, it’s important to make the time. It sends a clear message about what they mean to you and builds the foundation for a stronger relationship. Not to mention all those times they suffered through your rants about your annoying coworker. Families will disagree, fight, and go through rough patches. That’s a given. The important thing? Working through them.