by Meg Flanagan
You’re stuck at home and this pandemic stuff is getting really real. Social isolation is, well, isolating and lonely.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have something pleasant and kind pop into your inbox every so often?
We thought so, too!
Snail mail seems kind of icky right now, what with all the licking of envelopes and the many, many hands that touch it on the journey from here to there. Email is fast, free, and equally rewarding. After all, you’ve got nothing to do but check your inbox every 15 minutes, hoping that something, anything of interest will arrive.
When you’re stuck in self-isolation, send these emails!
1. The Quick Catch-Up
We all have a friend that we truly love, but also we don’t ever talk to them. So send an email: Hey! It’s been a loooong time but I was thinking about you today! How’s life (other than the whole pandemic thing)? I’d love to do an IRL catch-up once we can leave our houses!
2. Your Bestie Group Email Chain
Start a group email to all your best friends, introducing anyone who hasn’t met yet and sharing messages of affirmation to each person. Send this email: Hello to my faves– Since we’re stuck solo right now, I wanted to DIY a giant friendship circle via email! I’d love to use this as a way to get to know everyone better, to share something positive about each other, and to find support during these trying times. Who’s in?
3. Your Spouse
Sure, you’re sitting literally right next to them. But also everyone loves to see words of love in black and white. Tell them how much you love them–right now–via email. Send something every day we’re stuck in isolation mode. Bonus: keeping things positive and light like this will maybe, probably help on Day 99 when their very loud scream-sneezes are extra bothering you and you’re ready to climb the walls.
4. Your Mom
Being stuck inside is the worst, especially when you can’t see your mom for weeks on end. Yes, we’re used to this as military spouses, but this feels different. It’s important to use your email as a way to strengthen your relationship. Email about ways that you are grateful for your mom or start planning a cool meetup post-coronavirus!
5. Your Dad
No one has your back like Dad, no one. Use this time to let him know! Send an email that explains one way that you’re thankful for him or how he’s had your back in the past.
6. Your Sister
If you’ve got a sister, you know that this relationship can be tough. Whether she’s your best friend or occupies a more neutral zone in your life, you’re stuck together as a family ’til the end. So tell her something nice you remember about childhood. That might lead to a giant email chain where you both share all the crazy stories from growing up or rehash major family drama.
7. Your Brother
Brothers: just like sisters only boys, amiright? Again, no matter what you’ve felt about your bro over the past decades, right now I’m betting you could use some support from him. Send an email! Talk about weird childhood stuff, bemoan the lack of sports right now, plan something cool for down the road. Whatever you send in the email, make it from the heart and open-ended.
8. That Person Who’s Always Got Your Back
When you think of a supportive friend or family member, who comes to mind? Today, send them an email. Be specific: I really appreciate it when you… and then explain a time or times when they’ve gone above and beyond for you. Tell them how you feel about them, with lots of gratitude.
9. To Your Deployed Spouse
Oh, friend. You’re stuck alone in your house, maybe with children, and your spouse is deployed? Dude. That’s the worst. Use this (hopefully) first of many emails to just tell them you’re missing them right now and give a quick run-down of how it’s hanging at home. Maybe leave out the part about any kids (or adults) actually hanging from light fixtures, but do include pictures of your daily life. It’ll help you all feel more connected! Bonus: make a plan for something fun when deployment is finally over and the world is open again.
10. When You’re Missing Your Battle Buddy
We don’t get through this military life solo. Even when your spouse is gone, there’s at least one person that’s your go-to for moral support, extra chocolate, or co-parenting all the kids/pets. This email is for them. Be honest about your feelings, because you have that type of relationship vibe already. Also, they’ll know when you’re not speaking the 100% truth, even via email. Then brainstorm ways that you can make your pre-COVID-19 relationship work despite the separation. Maybe you set up rotating takeout roulette orders once a week. Maybe you arrange a FaceTime twice a week just to talk to another adult. Or perhaps you make elaborate plans to Rube Goldberg a hologram machine so that you can be in the same place, kind of.
11. If You’re Slowly Losing Your Mind Due to Isolation
Honestly, it doesn’t really matter who you send this to, but it should probably be someone you really know, like, and trust. This email is just a safe space for you to dump all your thoughts about the current situation. Write down everything you’re feeling, the good and bad. Then hit send… or maybe not. This one might just be for you or your therapist.
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Meg Flanagan is a teacher, blogger and military spouse. She owns Meg Flanagan Education Solutions, an education advocacy service dedicated to serving families on the K-12 journey. You can find Meg on Facebook. Meg is also available as a freelance writer and personal education advocate!