Have you noticed a serious uptick in your friends reaching out to you since the coronavirus started? Planning a group brunch used to be a nightmare, but now group video-chats are a breeze. There are not many positive spins on this crisis, but one of them may be that our friendships are growing stronger.
Mental health specialist Kirsty Lilley says friendships rely on a reciprocal flow of care and attention. And now since our free time has shot through the roof, we’re spending more of it giving our friends the care and attention they deserve. “Friendships can provide an anchor, a place of solace, humor, and perspective to get us through the days and weeks ahead,” says Lilley.
It’s like the old phrase “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” We’ve taken our friends for granted so now a lot of us are suddenly realizing just how important they are to us.
Here are some tips for improving your friendships during social distancing:
- Communicate via video or call instead of texts.
- Listen with more empathy.
- Reach out and ask for support.
- Plan shared coffee breaks or happy hours.
- Be curious, ask questions.
- Do some random acts of random kindness.