November 30, 2020
Marion Darbyshire, 91, and Winnie Shaw, 94, were good friends 73 years ago. The two ladies initially became friends in their twenties when they worked as sewing apprentices at a factory producing men’s trousers in Wigan, Lancashire. The pair lost touch for 73 years after Winne left the Coops factory to start a family, however, they had an emotional reunion after moving into the same care home. ‘I feel lucky to have my friend back in my life, we get on just as well now as we did back then.’
Reconnecting with distant friends and family boosts mental health and bolsters resilience. “People have a lot of fear and anxiety,” Scott Lewis, director of inpatient units at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital in Pittsburgh told TODAY. “There’s a drop in meaningful activity, and boredom increases. Social connections and relationships are integral and there is an absence of that.” Reuniting with a long-lost college roommate or a grade school pal enhances one’s well-being. Reminiscing about things you once did is actually a good thing. “There is a large body of literature that focuses on the positive effects of nostalgia.”
Memories of past relationships can offer comfort in times of stress. If you’re longing to give a friend or an ex a call and you haven’t spoken to them in years, give it a try! But do it because you want to re-connect from where you are now in your life, not expecting to re-connect in a way that doesn’t reflect the ways in which you may have changed and grown over time. Don’t reconnect expecting the relationship to start back up at the depth it existed years ago. Temper expectations, but reach out if it’s something you feel you would like to do—regardless of the response.
Friendship can sometimes be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. If someone was a good person and an important part of your life, it’s okay to reach out to them and want to reconnect.
- Know your why
- Draft up what you will say
- Keep it short, sweet, and honest
- Be realistic
- Apologize if need be (and don’t expect an apology)
- Make plans
- See the good in goodbye
- Just do it.
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