How to Make The Best Out of Family Distance

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 11/21/2013 | 09:45 AM EST

Tips on making the best out of a long-distance situation

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but when it comes to being away from your family, long distance can be quite challenging emotionally.

Whether you’re a parent of a college student, or an adult child who moved on the other side of the country, being away from your children, parents or siblings is sometimes a difficult adjustment. When you’re used to seeing your loved one on a daily basis you tend to take their presence for granted. That is, until, they’re no longer in arm’s reach.

If you’re one of the many who are coping with the pitfalls of long distance--fear not. There are creative ways to make it feel like you’re close, even when your family is far away. Here are some tips on making the best out of a long-distance family situation.

Video Chat - It’s everywhere and it can’t be avoided. We see it in commercial ads, and not to mention nearly every smartphone or computer has video components. Whether you’re using Skype, ooVoo or Facetime, video chatting capabilities make it a lot easier to stay connected to your family. While it doesn’t exactly trump seeing your loved one in person, it’s certainly a great consolation prize. You’re able to share special moments like watching your young grandchildren, nieces and nephews grow right before your eyes. Video chatting also helps you forget how far away you are in the first place.

Speak Daily - Oftentimes when a loved one is far away, we as human beings tend to fall into the common trap of “out of sight, out of mind.” Long distance sometimes causes you to not think of your loved ones as much. It doesn’t mean you love them any less; just that you’ve become more consumed with your life or vice versa. But making it a point to speak to your family everyday on the phone eliminates the fear of being forgotten about, and it somewhat eliminates the feeling of loneliness. Sometimes all you need is to hear that special voice to make things better.

Send Pictures/Letters - Remember back in the day when people would send postcards and letters? Maybe it’s about time we returned to the golden days. Because it’s such a novelty in the age of technology, sending personal letters and postcards can make your loved one feel more than special--not to mention they’re something that be saved over time. If you’re more of the modern type, text and email photos as frequently as possible.

Send a Care Package - Nothing says love more than a care package. Whether you’re sending your child one at his or her dorm, or simply sending your mom some edible arrangement, care packages are great way to say “I love you” and “I’m thinking of you.”

Take a Trip - One of the most common mistakes families make is not paying each other a visit. Just because hundreds and thousands of miles separate you from your loved one doesn’t mean you can’t occasionally hop on a plane or train to visit. The more often you take trips, the less long distance will feel like a death sentence.

(Photo: Klaus Tiedge/Getty Images)

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