One of the biggest causes of stress during COVID is being separated from friends and family. Since COVID introduced itself in early 2020 the way we engage socially has changed. For some, this has meant a loss of face-to-face contact and sources of support. This can make us feel lonely, scared and at times like we just cannot bear it anymore. But staying home does not mean that we need to feel isolated.
There are ways to ensure we still feel connected to the outside world. We are blessed to live in a time where technology can help connect us to those people in our lives who are important to us. Through video chat platforms we can see and hear the people we care about. This helps us remain connected and gives us a sense of comfort in the familiar. Technology provides the added benefit of bringing together people who live physically distanced from each other or may experience other barriers such as childcare.
Here are three ideas of something new to try, to help you stay connected to family and friends:
1) Why not try a socially distanced movie night? Set up a time that you will meet and watch a movie together, via video. Streaming services such as Amazon and Hulu offer a watch party option to help make this connection. Enjoy your favourite snacks and beverage while laughing at your favourite movie, in a physically safe way.
2) You could also start a remote book club. This will not only help you bond but will also help you put down your phone or computer and go back to the basics of reading a book. You can then meet once a week, virtually, to talk about what you have read.
3) Set up a virtual game night with friends or family. You can re-connect over some of your favourite games. Zoom offers a free service that allows multiple people to see each other. Games that may work best for this are Trivia and Charades. Tabletopia and Board Game Arena offer games that can be played online together. Let’s Roam offers a virtual scavenger hunt while Confetti offers a virtual form of Jeopardy.
Staying connected to family and friends in this time of COVID is important to our mental health. Making connections in new ways can help us feel support and comfort during a time when it feels like social outlets have been taken away from us.