5 Easy Ways to Stay Connected During COVID
For nearly everyone, these past 9 months have been some of the most difficult EVER. If, like me, social connections are vital to your well-being (and honestly, they are for us all to some degree!) then you’re probably taking the pandemic-induced social restrictions particularly hard. I get it. I think we all do.
If you’re pining for the days of leisurely coffees with friends or wine tastings somewhere other than your living room … well, we can’t fix that. But we CAN offer some simple ideas for how to stay connected in these truly challenging times.
Writing LettersLike baking bread and knitting sweaters, writing letters is back in fashion as all sorts of old-fashioned traditions and hobbies are coming back due to COVID. These days, we often can’t meet even our local friends and family in person, and visiting anyone who lives far away is essentially a complete no-go. This situation is going to get harder and harder to take as the holidays approach, so a heartfelt, hand-written note or letter is the perfect pandemic-approved way to reach out.
Zoom Parties/Happy Hours/Family Reunions
One of the few bright spots of COVID times is that even technophobes have mostly had to learn how to get connected via video chat. And it’s given us the perfect excuse to “get together” with people we don’t often see — during Coronavirus, a virtual Happy Hour with your downstairs neighbor is equally as possible as one with your college roommate in Hawaii or your grandmother in Poland, so we are suddenly free to “visit” with them all! My extended family on my dad’s side has hosted two Zoom reunions this year, and we’ve all had a fabulous time connecting and learning about each other. I’ve spoken with a cousin I haven’t seen since I was twelve and an aunt and uncle who still imagine me with pigtails. My kids have gotten to bond over Doctor Who and Star Wars with relatives who they only vaguely sort of knew about before. I highly recommend setting this up!
(As an added note for Zoom/Google Meet/FaceTime ... how many of us have kids at home doing "distance learning"? We know a few parents who have been using coloring books/pages to help keep their kids busy and focused during online learning. For some kids, this would be a distraction, but for some, a little creativity and movement can really help to keep the boredom and distraction at bay.)
Virtual Game NightIf you’re craving some structured social time (or maybe you’re just competitive) setting up a virtual game night could be the answer! Pam’s husband meets up with his college friends every week for Bridge, and I’m planning to set up an online playdate with my kids and their preschool cousins to play Chutes and Ladders. Everyone plays together and follows along with the game play, and no one catches COVID! Win-win! (And if you actually win the game, I guess it’s win-win-win?)
Movie Watch PartyDid you know that there’s a Netflix browser extension on Google Chrome that lets you watch movies along with friends for a socially distanced movie night? Neither did I, but I can’t wait to see a movie “with” friends again! Bonus: no sticky floors (actually, that’s a lie) and the popcorn is both cheaper and better.
Custom Coloring Page for Your CommunityColoring has the benefit of creativity, stress relief, and either being social or solo, depending on what you need in the moment. Have an idea for something to color “together” with family, friends, or colleagues? Want to have a piece of art that uniquely reflects your company, your neighborhood, your family, or your sewing circle? Just ask, and we’ll put one together just for you!
Bonus: Pick Up the PhoneSort of like writing a letter, making an actual phone call to an actual person can seem like a relic of a bygone era. Seriously, I sort of freak out when my “phone” actually RINGS. But don’t we all want to hear someone’s voice right now? Wouldn’t it he nice to laugh and chat with another human? Pick up your phone and give it a try (but you might want to give the other person a heads up via text first so they don’t think you’ve been arrested or are in the hospital)!
We hope we’ve inspired you to reach out and connect with your friends and family during this (literal) disaster of a time. What other ways have you come up with to stay in touch when we can’t all be together? Let us know! We love to hear from you!