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Managing Friendships During Uncertain Times

In the wake of protests sweeping across the country following the death of George Floyd, it’s easy to forget we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic. Now, more than ever, maintaining relationships is critical.

Don’t you miss the days when you could just pick up the phone to schedule a lunch date with a friend? Don’t you miss coffee dates and hugs? Don’t you miss the times when you could meet up with friends and watch Netflix, or go to concerts, sporting events, and dates? The times pre-Covid 19 now seem like the ‘good old days.’ Covid 19 changed everything in our lives and has forced a lot of friends to find new ways to bond.

For many students, being out-of-state and away from home can be lonely. In those situations, we have no choice but to Skype, Facetime, use Zoom, or other online platforms to connect with those far-away friends. But in the past, we could still meet up with our friends to build human connections. Those connections are critical for our mental and emotional health as research has shown that human connections reduce depression and anxiety.

Being unable to physically connect with our friends affects both introverts and extroverts alike. Extroverts get their energy from people – not being able to gather with others affects them negatively. For introverts, it makes reaching out even harder because they are quieter and more reserved, sometimes even avoiding social interaction. So, they need more support when it comes to friendship.

Here are some tips for sustaining your friendships during a pandemic:

  • Schedule weekly or bi-weekly check-in’s with friends
  • Send e-cards to each other to show appreciation for those loving relationships
  • Send funny videos and educational videos to each other
  • Create TikTok videos together
  • Take social media challenges virtually together
  • Play online games together
  • Bond by learning new things about your friends (and share your own!)
  • Try social media apps to make new friends

Like other good things in life, friendships are meant to be enjoyed. Having good friends makes your life journey fun and more enjoyable and, if you are lucky, some of those friendships will stay with you throughout your life.

Take some time to reflect on your friendships and what they mean to you. Maybe write a letter to thank a friend for what they bring to your life or write a letter to reflect on how that friendship has grown or is growing – even in the midst of a pandemic!

We want to hear from our readers, so we’re asking: How are you and your friends staying connected in these uncertain times? Let us know on Facebook!

To stay engaged follow the hashtag #ywimn on all social media platforms.

Authored by: Oluwatobi Oluwagbemi, YWIMN Cabinet Member