I'm lucky to be a part of a few group chats with close friends. On these group chats, we check up on each other, share information, jokes, gossip, and the hilarious meme or two. Since the pandemic induced stay-at-home order I noticed a pattern. One person goes AWOL from the group for a while and when they return they send a message that looks something like this:
"Guys I'm so sorry I've been absent! I've been so overwhelmed lately I just needed a minute to myself".
After receiving such a message over and over again from different friends, one day I had to say: "No more apologies! You shouldn't have to be sorry for taking a break. Go and come as you please. We understand".
You see, it's a weird af time for everyone and we are all finding ways to deal with it. Keeping in touch with friends is one way and disconnecting from it all is another way. And that is absolutely justified. I don't want my friends to feel obligated to be in contact every day. They should know that my love for them is constant and big enough to accommodate a few days or even weeks of them being offline.
So, let your friends know they don't need to apologize for taking time off for themselves or for not keeping in touch as often as before. This is a period to show love to one another and support each other. Sometimes, that support means giving your friends some space.
The next time a friend apologizes for not keeping in touch, say to them: "You don't have to apologize, I understand and I love you regardless".
The same goes for you. Allow yourself to take time off to disconnect and find some calm. I've been having a regular digital detox where I delete Instagram (the app I spend the most time on) for a week and I suggest you try it.
And when you feel like chatting again, it would be a relief to know that you don't need to explain yourself to your friends or feel guilty.
While we’re isolated from one another, – I suggest you relax with a TV series that teaches us about understanding complex emotions, handling deep relationships, and practicing self-reflection. Here are the recommendations.