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Feel Close to Loved Ones, No Matter the Distance

Special occasions—whether annual events steeped in tradition or once-in-a-lifetime milestones—can look and feel very different when your loved ones aren’t nearby to celebrate in person with you. This has become especially common during our global social distancing reality, with limited travel opportunities and restrictions on how we socialize with each other. But the feelings can be just as heavy any time your family isn’t able to join together for special times of year, be it due to an illness or circumstance that makes it difficult for family members to gather—or even the planned year “off.” The most difficult for sure is when the passing of a loved one leaves a more pervasive/permanent hole.

These are times when a slight change of perspective and some creativity can right your world. Here are some different ways to spend time with family and revise how your special moments can still feel special.

Send presents

A gift you would normally give in person still delivers joy when sent straight to Mom’s door. Make the occasion virtually the same by using video chat to watch her unwrap what is sure to be a cherished item. Elevate the moment even more by tucking into the package a favorite treat, then savor the whole experience over a “shared” pot of tea.

Engage in storytelling

Tablescape with cup of tea and red berry garland

When you are used to Dad’s once-a-year cinnamon rolls or your favorite Auntie’s gorgeous rendition of “Happy Birthday,” the holiday can feel empty without their presence. Keep traditions alive even if all the regular players aren’t together to make them happen, honoring them through storytelling, recounting past celebrations when everyone was together, and share origin stories. Let the children take part by reassigning roles to them or letting them suggest a new approach to a time-honored custom.

If the occasion is more intimate, take a tête-à-tête approach, reaching out to a special individual for a private stroll down memory lane.

Limit social obligations

If a celebration tends to conjure up feelings of loss or separation, there is no need to increase the spectrum of sadness by hosting Thanksgiving or participating in a Mother’s Day Brunch. Let self-care be your guide to crafting an activity that resonates for you. That might mean connecting with your support network to shepherd you through the difficult holiday, or spending the day alone steeped in memories—or completely abandoning the need to mark the occasion altogether.

Keep in mind too that recasting how you mark the special days of the year might even deepen the occasion with new layers of meaning.

Wherever you are, we at Arkeras send you comfort and sincerely hope that you can find meaningful moments to feel connected to your loved ones, no matter the distance.

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