If your family is like most families, you likely have many distant relatives who live both nearby and far away. While it might be easy to stay in touch with the relatives who are close geographically, staying in touch with those who are far away can be a much bigger challenge, especially when they’re not a part of your immediate family.
Whether a close or distant relative, though, your entire family deserves some love and attention at various points throughout the year. To help you stay in touch with all of your relatives, here are a few tips to help you connect across the miles.
1. Video Chat
Even if you don’t have money to travel to see your distant relatives, you can still bridge the distance by video chatting. Being able to see and hear from your relatives in real-time is a great way to bridge the geographical and emotional divide.
You can use the camera on your phone or computer to show them what you’ve been up to so they can truly feel as though they’re a part of your life. Just keep in mind that you should try to limit background noise during a video call to ensure the other person can easily hear what you’re saying.
2. Send a Card
Though cards certainly aren’t a necessity, they’re a great way to let your distant relatives know you’re thinking of them and celebrating with them on special days. Rather than buying a card that has a pre-written sentiment in it, you can save some money and buy some cards that are blank inside, then use the blank space to write a personalized note. Cards are an especially nice gesture for a relative who is older and may not get many visitors.
3. Social Media
A great way to bring families together over the miles is to connect on social media. Since your entire family can see the content you post, it makes it easy to keep everyone in the loop. Another perk of social media is that you can customize which people see certain content, meaning that if you have an uncle who has different viewpoints on certain subjects, for example, you can post as you please without causing a family feud.
Though traveling to see a distant relative can be expensive and time-consuming, there’s no better way to connect with someone than to see them in person. Since in-person visits have such a long-lasting impact, you don’t necessarily have to visit your relatives every year, so long as you visit often enough to show that you’re truly making an effort.
Taking the time to make a visit is particularly important for elderly relatives in assisted living facilities. These family members are less likely to get visitors, and certainly not frequent visitors, so any amount of time you can spend with them is valuable and worthwhile.
Though it is tempting to plan a lot of activities during your time with your relatives, schedule some downtime so you can have a chance to catch up with those who mean the most to you.
Part of the beauty of regularly staying in touch with your distant relatives is that you can share with them details of your ordinary life in addition to the big, exciting events. By providing insights into your life in this way, you and your relatives can draw closer together, growing strong family bonds that last a lifetime.