How can we stay connected with friends overseas when travel is restricted? If you have friends or relatives abroad, the pandemic combined with Brexit is making it hard to reach out to your loved ones. Travel restrictions, whether they are political or health-related, bring new obstacles to our social circles. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the importance of maintaining a close relationship with our friends and loved ones, especially at times of emotional distress. There’s no doubt that the pandemic has had dramatic consequences on global mental health.
According to a survey run in 63 countries, young adults are the most vulnerable to anxiety and depression responses in a post-pandemic world.
Therefore, reaching to those you love, even when they are far away, is both a matter of social and emotional survival. How can we eliminate the distance between us in the most eco-friendly way in the middle of a pandemic?
How Can You Stay Connected?
While travelling isn’t encouraged during the pandemic, the vaccine rollout is helping countries to safely reopen their borders. Ultimately, before packing your luggage, you’ll need to do your homework and ensure that you can keep your trip safe. It’s worth keeping tabs on the latest restrictions and evolutions of the pandemic throughout the world. Germany, for instance, has backed an emergency lockdown law that will be imposed by the end of April (2021) at the latest. Therefore, if you are planning to visit a friend in Berlin, you may want to keep an eye on the infection rate. Reaching out to reliable travel agencies can also help eliminate doubts about some destinations, as well as help you arrange for the safest and most environmentally-friendly travel options.
Send a surprise present
If travel is unsafe for now, it can be a good idea to look for alternatives to let your friend know that you’re thinking of them. Have you considered sending flowers to Germany, for instance, rather than visiting? You can surprise your friend in Berlin with a fresh bunch of flowers and a thoughtful note. Similarly, if flowers are not the right thing, there are many other options. You can check their local businesses on google maps and arrange for a surprise cake delivery. Cake is always a welcome gift, and it’s guaranteed to make someone’s day. Besides, you’ll be helping local businesses too.
If you prefer a more thoughtful approach, sending a handwritten letter is a sweet gesture that can bring people together across the distance. There’s something deeply soothing in writing a letter. Make sure to pick sustainable stationery that is as kind to the planet as your words will be to your friend.
Plan an active online catch-up
Catching up online on Zoom or Facetime is entertaining. But after a year of pandemic realness, video calls might have lost their appeal a bit. They can create distance between us rather than bringing us together because you’re not able to make new memories. So why not invite your friends to an active catch-up where you can play an escape room online together, for instance? You can bond over the new experience and build memories. More importantly, it’s the perfect opportunity to bridge the gap, reconnect, and break away from the loneliness of the pandemic.
Maintaining your social circle and your emotional well-being during the pandemic restrictions is no easy task. After a year of Zoom calls, we need more to be together and connected. We need to make memories that are not only good for our mental health, but also the planet, and the global health situation. We need safe togetherness so we can move forward to a green and bright future.
Photography by Vlada Karpovich