Communication: many say it’s one of the most important aspects of a relationship. I agree. I believe it’s a crucial component to any type of relationship, whether it’s with family, friends, coworkers or romantic interests. In this fast-paced world we live in, we are lucky to be able to connect with people from around the world, instantly at our fingertips. So how can we stay connected even when it seems like our lives are too busy or it’s too much of a challenge?
Many of my friends and family live or travel out of the country frequently but I work hard to keep in touch with them, to ensure our relationship holds strong. Here are a few of my simple yet effective tips to stay connected and keep those relationships everlasting, no matter how far away they may be.
1. Book the time into your schedule
Just like a work appointment or workout at the gym, booking things into your schedule is extremely important especially when there is a time difference to consider. For example: my sister lives and works in Holland, and she is 6 hours ahead. When I wake up at 6:30AM, she is on her lunch break at work and can call me. We keep the same schedule of calls almost every single day of the week, so we can bond from far away.
- I recommend adding your calls or FaceTime sessions into your routine or better yet, planner. One thing I’ve learned from 2014 is that if I don’t book something in my schedule I will likely forget about it. Being super busy and having many things on the go, I must make it a priority to book things in. Whether it’s a workout, call, meeting, or work event, I write (or type) it down!
2. Download Awesome Apps
I absolutely love using these three apps:
- WhatsApp: This is a great messaging app that can be used on WiFi instead of data or an international calling plan. You can send fun voice notes, music clips, emoticons, photos fast and easily, as well as have your own profile photo and customization of your background. Group chats are also a fun feature of WhatsApp, and best of all it’s free! If you don’t have it, I highly recommend it versus texting, especially when you’re trying to stay connected with someone far away (and save money). Just be sure you’re on WiFi!
- FaceTime: If you’re an iPhone user, you’re probably familiar with FaceTime. I find it way more exciting to FaceTime than to call or text someone. Seeing someone’s face and their reactions to what you say is the next best thing to being in person. Plus, you can see where they are and who they are with. FaceTime party anyone? In terms of staying connected even if you’re far away, this is going to be your best friend. WiFi is needed but you can connect even when you’re out and about. Just make sure you’ve got a set of headphones handy, unless you don’t mind everyone listening to your conversation!
- Google Hangouts: For those without an iPhone (or who prefer to use their laptop), I absolutely love the quality of Google Hangouts. The reception and screen quality is amazing, along with the sound. Placing emphasis on face-to-face for connectivity and relationships is always #1, since it’s difficult to misinterpret things when you’re chatting face to face. (You will need a Gmail account. If you’d rather not, I recommend Skype).
3. Making the effort to spend time “face-to-face” instead of just calling or texting
As you can clearly tell, I truly emphasize and encourage the use of face-to-face apps for 2015 and beyond. If you can’t be with the person you’re connecting with, this is truly the next best thing. I find my words and intentions often get misinterpreted or misread when I email or text. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve arrived at a restaurant for a lunch or dinner meeting, and ended up at a different location than the person I was meeting due to miscommunication.
While we all lead busy lives that seem to get more and more hectic let’s ensure that we make time for those we care about and love by staying connected. Whether you’re in a long distance relationship, friendship or have family members far away, let’s use the brilliant technology we have, along with scheduling to make every moment count with the people the mean the most to us.
How do YOU stay connected with those far away? Show me by tagging a picture of you connecting on Instagram with #BestLifeProject.