My best friend of 20 years recently moved 1,000 miles away. Kinda far, huh? In order to cope with my now utterly boring existence, I’ve decided to put together a list of ways to put a smile on that far away friend’s face. Here are 15 ways to help brighten the day of your special someone, whether they’re a romantic partner or a friend who’s been there for you through thick and thin and could use a smile.
If It’s Free, It’s for Me
1. Bring them on a photo-trip.
Print out a photo of them, tape it to a Popsicle stick, and bring it on all the adventures that your far-away friend would have accompanied you on. At the movies? Snap a selfie featuring you and your photo-friend and send it their way. You might look a little goofy, but that’s what makes it so entertaining!
2. Schedule a weekly phone or video chat time with them.
Life can get hectic, and it may be difficult to communicate as much as you used to when your friend/partner lived closer. This scheduled time can serve as a weekly catch-up on their new life, or just to chat about that adorable dog you saw on your walk to the bus yesterday.
3. Have a long-distance movie date.
There are several browser extension options that will allow you to synch your screens to watch Netflix (or other streaming services) at the same time. Pop some popcorn, grab your blankets and snuggle up for some long distance movie time!
4. Make them a Spotify playlist to listen to when they miss you.
Include all of your favorite songs, the best throwbacks from when you were younger, and some new recommendations you think they’d like! Swap playlists and critique each other’s new music.
5. Text them little encouraging phrases, GIF’s, or photos throughout their day.
Does your friend have an important meeting coming up? Put a reminder in your calendar and send them some adorable kitten photos! Who doesn’t like baby animals captioned with inspirational phrases?
6. Mail them a letter.
A book of 20 Forever stamps costs about $9.80- that’s less than 50 cents a letter (unless you’re writing them the next great American novel and need to stick a few more on the envelope). Who doesn't love getting snail mail?
7. Send them some photos.
Print out photos of your favorite adventures, write a few sentences on the back of each one describing your favorite memory from that time and send ‘em in the mail. Not only will it make them smile, but it’ll give you a chance to reflect on all the great times you had together.
8. Play a long distance practical joke on them.
Is there a magazine or monthly box you know would drive them crazy? Get them a one or two month subscription! Do they hate pickles? Looks like they’re getting a pickle of the month subscription box for a month. There are several magazines or subscription services that cost less than $10 a month.
9. Or, get them a subscription they’d enjoy.
Maybe they’re having a difficult time figuring out how to decorate their new residence- magazine subscriptions are relatively cheap. Get them a few months of a home décor magazine for some inspiration.
10. Send a small bouquet of flowers to their home.
Who doesn’t love receiving unexpected flowers? Granted, make sure they’re not allergic to any, first. Google local flower shops in their area, see if any make deliveries, and bam, you’re in business!
Oh You Fancy, Huh?
11. Get them tickets to a local event.
Is there a cool art museum in their area you think they’d enjoy? Maybe a craft fair or science exhibit you know they’d love? Get them two tickets and tell them to invite a coworker or new neighbor, or to take themselves on a solo date.
12. Have lunch delivered for them at their office.
Is there a particular cuisine you know they love? A dish the two of you always get when you go out together? Have it delivered to them. Just make sure you give them some warning so they’re not stuck in a meeting.
13. Send them a “cheer-up” box.
Does your friend/partner have a favorite candy, a movie they always watch on rainy days, or a book they’ve been meaning to read? Compile a few small things, add a little handwritten note or cute poem and send it their way.
14. Alternately, give them a calm kit.
Has their new job been stressing them out? Are their new neighbors secretly elephants stomping away until the wee hours of the night? Grab a few candles, a box or two of tea (if that’s their thing) and a bath bomb and you’ve got yourself a calm kit! You can add some instructions such as, “to be enjoyed while drinking your favorite bottle of wine”, etc.
15. Buy them a trip home (or visit them yourself).
If you have the funds, plan a trip to go see them or vice versa. Long distance gestures are great, but nothing can replace the feeling of giving your best friend a hug after a long time apart.