N.B. The advice here is mainly for mild illnesses, like colds. If you’re looking for more advice on how to be there for your partner when they have something more serious or long-term, check out this post below 🙂
Serious Illness in Long Distance Relationships: 9 Ways to Help Your Partner Cope
When your boyfriend or girlfriend is sick and you’re miles away, it can make you feel powerless. You think about all the things you’d do for them if you were there, but there’s no way of making them chicken soup when they’re in another timezone.
Fortunately, the magic of technology makes it possible to be there for them, even from a distance.
Here are 6 things you can do to comfort your long-distance partner when they’re sick.
1. Send them a care package
Care packages are a really sweet way to provide for your partner, even when you’re miles apart.
Depending on where you live, this might take a while to put together and send – and by then they might be over the worst of it. If it will take a few days to reach them, it’s actually a good idea to send a care package in advance (such as at the beginning of winter).
Also, if you are sending one when they’re just coming down with a cold, it might help to let them know you’re sending something. Otherwise, it might end up going to the Post Office and this is the least convenient time for them to have to go and pick up a parcel!
Things to include:
- Over-the-counter medicine, like paracetamol or Lemsip
- Sachets or tins of mug soup
- Lemon teabags and a little pot of honey
- Hot water bottle or heatable plush (I bought this super adorable owl one)
- Fluffy socks
- Lavender pillow spray for sleep
- Magazines or a good book
2. Leave the serious talks for later
This isn’t the time to be bringing up heavy topics – whether it’s about your relationship (unless it absolutely can’t wait) or the world in general. Leave this until they’re feeling better.
One of the best things you can do at this time is to be a welcome distraction from the illness. Keep things as light and fun as you can and don’t only talk about their symptoms during your catch-ups – dealing with it is bad enough without having to talk about it all the time. However, if they’re looking better, say so! They’ll appreciate it.
3. Read to them over FaceTime, Zoom or Skype
Reading together is a neglected long-distance date idea, but it can be really romantic. When one of you is sick, it can also be really soothing.
Also, sending voice messages rather than text can often be nice for someone who has a cold or flu – it’s tiring to squint at a screen all the time, especially when you’re sick.
4. Let them rest
This is good advice for any time during your relationship, but especially when one of you is sick. Be sensible about the amount of communication you engage in and realise that they might not be as enthusiastic about having a long text marathon at this time.
5. Make them laugh
Laughter is the best medicine, or so they say – plus, having a laugh together is just awesome (some studies on laughter suggest that shared humour is an integral part of a high-quality relationship).
Think about how to use humour to make your partner feel better, such as sending a funny ‘get well soon’ card or watching a light-hearted comedy together.
6. Just be there for them (but don’t overdo it)
The best way to care for your partner when they’re sick is just to be there for them.
If they’re the type who always likes to ‘tough it out’, encourage them to take care and to get help if it gets worse. Don’t be overbearing or controlling, though – or it can start to feel more like a parent/child relationship than a romantic one!