1. Write a simple note and hide it before you leave. When you sense your loved one is having a rough day give him or her a clue of where to look for the note.

2. Call/Skype/FaceTime during meals—this can be comforting and bring a family closer together.

3. Send handwritten letters!

4. Choose a book to read together—whether it’s read to or by the whole family, or a book for just you and your partner. You always have a conversation starter that’s not about the business of life.

5. Create a family photo album using an online album-making service. Send one album off with the family member who is away and one album that stays home.

6. Don’t forget to love yourself! Practice self-care on a regular basis (physically, emotionally, and
spiritually). By ensuring you are healthy and happy, you create strength for yourself and the

7. Show a random act of kindness to your family member, i.e., random hug, compliment, gift,
prepare a favorite dinner, complete a chore, etc…

8. Be sure to set aside downtime for when your family member returns. Reconnecting with
extended family and friends is important but can be overwhelming if there is no time to simply be with your immediate family and fit back into the normal flow of everyday life.