How to Keep in Touch With Friends — No Matter How Far Away

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How to keep in touch with friends

Text. Email. Social media. When distance separates us from close friends, we turn to the digital — knowing that likes can never replace late nights, and text could never translate the fullness of a much-needed hug. Meanwhile, time goes on... miles turn into months. And suddenly, we realize just how long it's been since we picked up the phone.

The reality is, none of us want it to be like this. Yet, we don't always know how to keep in touch with friends in meaningful ways — and over time, we end up settling for emojis. That's why, with a little help from our friends at Darling, we came up with eight simple, creative ideas that can help friends everywhere overcome the distance.

From Darling

1. Send Them a Compliment Card

Hand signing a Darling compliment card printed by Artifact Uprising

Staying in touch with friends can start with a simple reminder of why they mean so much to you. Darling, a lifestyle company focused on providing women with wise and life-giving content, has created a series of Compliment Cards based off of their popular and empowering Instagram messages.

Each card highlights the deeper, internal beauty of friends and loved ones. Simply pick the perfect message for the person on your mind, write them a little note, and pop it in the mail to make their day. The recipient will love the reminder of how good your friendship always made them feel about themselves.

From Artifact Uprising

2. Create a “Year In Review” Photo Book Together

Photo books laying in the grass

Being at a distance means going from shared experiences together to sharing your experiences with each other. So whether you're two friends at opposite ends of the globe or a friend group scattered across the country, creating a photo book together can keep everyone looped in on meaningful moments.

Start by gathering everyone's favorite shots from the past year and organizing the photos. Then, with those photos in hand, it's time for an artistic volunteer to create the book and send out all the copies.

From Darling

3. Host a Secret Santa

Every holiday season, we have so many people we want to gift — and at the top of that list are far-away friends. So much so that we sometimes stress about collecting gifts for them, when we could be using that time to focus on connection. By hosting a secret Santa, you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

The idea? Get in touch with friends to see who might want to be a part of the gifting and assign every "Santa" a recipient. Everyone gets a gift, and you can all connect as a group for the unwrapping party, whether in person or digitally using a video chat app like Google Hangouts or Zoom.

From Artifact Uprising

4. Use Prints As Postcards

hand with pen writing a friend a note on the back of an Artifact Uprising photo print

Take a break from the digital world by taking the time to put pen to paper. Make this an easy habit by keeping a stack of Everyday Prints on hand to use as postcards when the mood strikes. It's a simple, elevated way to pair familiar handwriting with a friendly face — for a note that's bound to find its way onto their fridge.

From Artifact Uprising

5. Turn Vacations Into Reunions

Friends reunited on a vacation

Memorable journeys are the products of the people who join us — which is exactly why you should use this year's vacation as an excuse to plan it with a friend and travel in good company. Even if they can't join you for a trip away, you can always make their hometown or a nearby city the final destination. (You'll have the best possible tour guide!)

From Darling

6. Set Up Simple Reminders

Setting a reminder for a birthday in an iPhone

Ever forget a friend’s birthday, only to realize when you see it announced on Facebook or Instagram? Instead of this being our reality, we can be more intentional with our friends’ important days, simply by putting them in our phone calendars.

Maybe it’s the day of their anniversary, or even something quirky like National Donut Day for that donut-loving friend. Whatever the occasion, they'll be happy to know the unique reason that brought them to mind.

From Artifact Uprising

7. Create a Photo Calendar

Different months in a photo calendar

Keeping in touch with friends starts with keeping them in your thoughts — year round. Creating a photo calendar can help you remember the good times, those you shared them with, and just how much time has past. Fill it with photos of the many friends who are now many miles away — plus, use it to track their birthdays, anniversaries, and beyond.

From Artifact Uprising

8. Host Virtual Coffee Dates

Woman video chatting with friends on laptop

Remember the café you both loved, and all the calming, quiet conversations that came with it? Getting coffee with a close friend is truly one of the small, simple pleasures we take for granted. But just because they're at a distance, doesn't mean that coffee therapy comes to an end.

With a video call literally at your fingertips, it's still just as easy to connect for caffeine and conversation. So set up a weekly coffee date and keep the tradition alive. In the moment, mug in hand, you'll feel just as close as ever — even if they're miles away.

Time to Reconnect

Use these simple ideas to get started, but don't stop there. Our suggestions for how to keep in touch with long-distance friends are just the beginning! Add a little bit of your own creativity, and you'll dream up new ideas — ones that celebrate the unique relationship you share with the people you love. The first step is the easiest… it's time to reach out.

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