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Hi everyone. Winter is officially here, and I wanted to check in on each of you to make sure you’re doing alright. Anyone else having issues finding the energy to connect during this harsh seasonal transition? Fear not. Here are 4 creative ways to stay in touch with family and friends this winter.

Photography provided by Molly Yeh. Recipe from Molly on the Range © 2016 by Molly Yeh. Reprinted with permission from Rodale Books

Share a Homemade Meal

Cooking for people is one of the easiest ways to connect and combines all the love languages. Since it is officially soup season, coordinate a soup trade among your inner circle. Have each person make a large batch of a different soup, divide it up equally and distribute among your friends. Take it all a step further and eat together over Zoom. Molly Yeh’s tomato and squash soup recipe is a perennial crowd pleaser.

Get Lost in a Story

Book clubs are having a resurgence. Getting lost in a story with others is an authentic experience and a great way to get to know your bests a little better. Schedule discussions periodically throughout the book to keep everyone engaged and on the same page. Select a bestseller like Leave The World Behind by Rumaan Alam at an independent bookstore near you. (Don’t know where to find an independent bookstore? Search here!)

Photography by AJ Longabaugh

Raise a Glass

Virtual happy hours were a big hit at the height of the coronavirus outbreak — then we all got Zoom fatigue. But seeing your pals on a screen is better than not seeing them at all! Get some friends together for a series of virtual wine nights with the help of a wine subscription from Twin Cities shop Henry & Son. True, it’s not quite the same as the cozy night in your best friend’s living room you’ve been craving, but it will bridge the gap until we can all gather again.

Photography by Victoria Campbell

Put Pen to Paper

The comforting feeling of receiving a handwritten note is seemingly universal. Make someone’s day by sending them some snail mail, asking them how they are feeling or what hopes they have for the future. One trick I found helpful with my pen pal is adding a question at the end of each letter, which keeps the conversation going. We often share recipes and beauty tips, and my pal even sent me some tea from her latest grocery run.

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