How to Encourage Your Loved Ones from a Distance

Monday, April 13, 2020
Even when we are far away from friends and family, it's important to find ways to be an encouragement. Learn how to encourage your loved ones from a distance today!

How to encourage loved ones from a distance

As I write this post, a virus is keeping the world home-bound. It's been very strange not to be able to go visit friends and family. It's been strange not to be able to gather together with our church and community group. It's been strange not to be able to go work at a coffee shop. It's just been strange.

All this strangeness makes it difficult to know how to be an encouragement to others. Its hard to know how to encourage our loved ones from a distance. But really, being an encourager just takes intentionality.

But the truth is, encouraging your loved ones always requires intentionality, and that will still be true even when the order to stay home is just a memory.

So whether you are reading this because we are still being ordered to stay home, or you are looking for ways to encourage your long-distance loved-ones, this post is for you. So grab a cup of something yummy and keep reading to learn how to encourage your loved ones from a distance.

Encouraging Card with Bible Verse

1.) Send them Snail Mail

About a week ago, I opened my mailbox to find a very sweet note and a hand-written Bible verse card from a friend in my book club. She said she hoped we were doing well and that if there was anything we needed to let her know. This kindness meant a lot.

Sending a simple card or letter in the mail is easy, inexpensive, and an excellent way to encourage your friends.

2. Commit to Checking In

One thing that I have been trying to do during this time is to text my friends consistently and check in on them. I actually try to do this anyway, but I am attempting to be more diligent in pursuing people. I'm not nearly as good as I'd like to be in this area, but it's something I try to be faithful in.

Sending a quick text to a loved one is a great way to let them know you care. It doesn't take much time on your part, but it means a lot to the one who receives the text.

So make a list of people who you want to check-in on every so often. You could even make a schedule so that you have specific people to text every day of the week.

3. Set Up a Video Chat

People have really been taking advantage of Zoom, Google Hangouts, What's App, and other video chat resources during the quarantine. It's been cool to see all the ways in which technology is a blessing for fostering community.

But these resources are always there.

Recently, we had a dinner date via Zoom with some friends we haven't talked to in quite a while. We ate our dinner and they ate theirs while we talked on-screen. It was fun, easy, and convenient, yet we made an effort and got together virtually.

This is something that we can do no matter the circumstances. It doesn't have to take a pandemic to have a virtual dinner with long-distance friends.

If you have friends or family who need encouragement (or who you just miss), suggest a virtual dinner, brunch, or morning coffee get-together and make it happen.

4. Send a Gift

If your loved-ones are struggling or feeling down, perhaps you could send them a gift to cheer them up.

Sometimes a little gift in the mail lifts our spirits immediately, just knowing that someone was thinking of us and took the time to send a gift.

5. Actually Call Someone

I guess it depends on your age, but I find that me and my fellow millennials tend to have an aversion to actually using the phone to call people. I can't explain it, yet the phenomenon rings true.

But one ridiculously easy way to encourage your friends and family from a distance is to actually pick up the phone and call them. Ground-breaking, I know!

Call your grandparents. Call your parents. Call your siblings. Call your friend who hates texting more than talking on the phone. It doesn't have to be an hour-long call. Even 10 minutes to let the person know that you love them and were thinking about them is an encouragement.

6. Send a Subscription Box

Similar to sending a gift in the mail, if you have the financial means to do so, consider sending a loved-one a subscription box. These days, there is a subscription box for everything. From coffee to self-care, from beef jerky to Disney, if you can dream it, there's probably a subscription box for it. So if you want to do something extra-special to encourage your loved-ones, a subscription box might be just the thing.

Bonus Tip: There are also lots of classes, online membership groups, and online workshops that would be great gifts as well. Check out places like Sojo Academy or Amy Gannett for memberships and classes that help people grow in their faith.

7. Start a Virtual Bible Study

We all need to be saturated in God's Word no matter what is going on in our lives. So if you want to be a spiritual encouragement to a friend, suggest doing a weekly Bible study together.

You can do this on a video chat or on the phone. My friend and I have been doing a weekly Bible study on the Marco Polo App for over a year now and that has been so good!

8. Play Games

Sometimes you just need to have a little fun together. Lately I've seen people doing virtual game nights which I think is so cool.

You can also use something like Jackbox Games if you have that capability.

Sometimes a loved-one will be encouraged just by having a little fun. Let's not complicate it!

I hope these tips help you find ways to encourage your loved ones from a distance. Do you have anything else to add to the list? Comment below!

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Encouraging card with bible verse from a friend

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