The one with the ever-changing restrictions

Everybody has that certain someone or group of people they can speak within times of need or just for a catch-up and a smile. Life has a habit of getting in the way and you might not be speaking with that someone as much as you would like. Our current lives and the ever-changing restrictions are making contact with our friends harder than ever. We have all tried House Party, Zoom, Teams, and FaceTime for that connection but human and face-to-face contact and company cannot be beaten, and I can’t be the only one who has been distracted by catching sight of my ‘lockdown self’ on a video call!

Virtual conversations can be hard enough and given the occasional glitch, talking over each other and running out of things to say, they can become even more of a challenge, even with those closest to us. How often do you sit directly opposite a friend with no other distractions such as a cup of coffee, a meal, or a glass of wine? In the absence of social plans and activities, conversations can become more challenging and can lead to connections becoming disheartening; there is often no fresh news to share.

This pandemic has a lot to answer for; it has taken our freedom, our spontaneity, and limited contact with those who are special in our lives (outside of our households or support bubbles). Friends are the gin to our tonic, the sunshine in the storm and the light in the night sky.

Contact with friends is more important than ever before and finding creative ways to support each other, share smiles and laugh together is becoming increasingly challenging.

How can we make that someone feel supported?

Are you OK? How are you doing?

Starting a conversation with a friend is a great way to check-in and show that someone you are thinking of them. Sending a text message or a WhatsApp is a quick way of making contact whilst not intruding on any routines, schedules or work. Showing someone they are in your thoughts is so quick and easy to do and can mean more than the sender may ever know. This simple message could be the start of an important conversation where your friend opens up to you.

How can we be there for someone remotely? If a friend is feeling lonely, is there a favourite film or TV programme you can both watch at the same time over Zoom? You will soon get used to there being a laptop or phone by your side.

Do you share a fun memory over a particular song that you can both listen and maybe sing along to? Simply picking up the phone and having a chat could do the trick. Or perhaps making the most of a dry day and going for a walk, with one other person, if restrictions allow; fresh air does wonders for the body and mind. These small acts can recharge the batteries as you both put the world to rights, or just share similar experiences and talk about anything and everything in between.

Friends have those special powers to make you feel like you again and whilst we are all juggling with multiple roles, this is more crucial than ever.

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