Having friends from all walks of life, from all over the world can sometimes be hard to maintain. Whether it be work, love, school, or just ambition, life can take us in all sorts of different directions, creating a distance between you and your loved ones.
But over time, I have learned to juggle both my personal and work life, while maintaining great relationships with my friends and family.
After all, it's the relationships we have with others (and with ourselves) that makes life truly fulfilling.
But nurturing long-lasting friendships that stand the tests of time isn't always easy. They require attention and care. And while technology has allowed us to stay more connected than ever before, it’s also easy to feel like the distance is growing between you and your loved ones.
But being far away doesn’t mean you can’t remain close. Here are five easy ways to stay connected with your long-distance friends, no matter where life takes you:
1. Make time for phone calls
Sure, it may seem obvious to pick up the phone. But with the busy combination of your job, family, chores, errands, new friends, and more, it can be hard to carve out time for a dedicated phone call.
Picking a time each week/month and permanently engraving this into your schedule can be pivotal to keeping your friendships and relationships alive. Plus, you actually look forward to making the call, as it is part of your schedule and not an added burden.
2. Touch base via social media
The growth of social media has allowed me to connect with my friends and students from all over the world at any time I like. Because of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other major social platforms, I can message, tweet, ping, and follow people in my network with ease.
Just the other day, I had a student from Russia write me on Twitter that they were thankful for one of my Ultimate Success Masterclass courses. Social media has the power to keep us connected without distance becoming an interference. Taking the time to comment, like, and simply follow your friends and loved ones will help you stay up to date on their lives while you go about yours.
3. Plan a trip
Talking, texting, and emailing are all great forms of communication, but there’s no substitute for actually seeing your friends or loved ones in person!
Whether you plan a trip to meet back home, a new place, or even a new country, physically being together brings you back to where your relationship all started. You can share your emotions and bond about your lives when you are in the presence of one another.
I make it a point to go visit my friends in Australia when I can, and they sure love coming to California for a beach getaway when they’re able. Yes, it can be expensive to plan a trip. But actually getting together can make a huge difference in keeping your friendship alive!
4. Send pictures
Whether it’s a picture of your pet, your new love interest or even the beautiful salad you just ate, sending pictures to your friends can be a fun way to keep in touch. I love to send pictures back and forth with friends and family while I’m traveling and on the road.
Sometimes it can be seemingly impossible to make time for a call with my schedule, but replacing small talk with fun, new, and even old pictures keeps me in touch regardless of the distance.
We all have busy lives, so make time to exchange quick snapshots to let your friends know what’s going on in your life.
5. Do things together (even when you’re apart)
Just because there is distance between you and your close ones doesn’t mean you can’t do things together. Schedule a movie night where you both watch the same movie and report back. Go grocery shopping together and help recommend certain recipes to cook. Go to the gym at the same time and talk about your workout after.
Scheduling similar activities to do at the same time will give you something great to talk about and also will help you feel more connected. Luckily for me, my job has afforded me the opportunity to even interview some of my close friends on The Inspiration Show.
This has been monumental for me to keep in touch with some of my friends in the personal development space while we both get to discuss topics we love with our community.
Everyone communicates differently, so take note of what works for your friendship.
Whether it be text, Skype, email, or even hand-written letters, make it a priority to stay in touch and you will have lasting friendships for life.
Do you have any tips on staying in touch with your long-distance friends? Share with us in the comments below!
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Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.