Staying Connected When Feeling Disconnected
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, social distancing has become our new normal. Social distancing refers to increasing the amount of space between people in order to slow the spread of the illness. But, for most of us, our new normal probably looks a lot more like only leaving our homes for activities that are absolutely essential. With all of this time at home and away from people we are accustomed to seeing regularly, many people are feeling lonely and disconnected. We want to share a few ideas to help you stay connected to those you love during your time apart:
Exercise Your Creativity
Write a letter or card to someone. You can even get the kids involved to decorate cards or create artwork to include with the letter. Not only will you (and your kids) have a great time making it, you will also brighten someone’s day when they check their mail!
Get The Group Together For A “Virtual Hangout”
Technology makes it easy to get the whole group together with a video chat using a platform like Skype, Google Hangouts, and many others! Here are two fun ideas for a virtual hangout:
- Coffee Date: Are you missing coffee dates with your friends? Pick a day for everyone to make a cup of coffee and hop on a short video call to catch up!
- Happy Hour: Are you used to weekly happy hour trips after work? Move happy hour online! Have everyone make their favorite drink and share the recipe with the group.
Virtual hangouts can be great for your kids too. If they are missing their friends, get the group together for a quick call (with parents supervising, of course). They can play games or make crafts together on the call!
Have Some Fun With The Neighborhood
If you live in a neighborhood, get the neighbors involved to share some fun and positivity!
- Chalk Your Driveway: Ask your neighbors to use chalk to decorate their driveway with encouraging messages or fun pictures. Then families can take a walk and have fun looking for the fun artwork!
- Scavenger Hunt: Organize a neighborhood wide scavenger hunt! Choose an item, like a teddy bear or photos of easter eggs, and ask your neighbors to place it somewhere in their house that is visible from the road, like a window. Walk or drive through the neighborhood with your kids and count how many of the items you find!
Attend An Online Class Or Event
There are so many gyms, museums, and zoos offering online classes and tours! There is something for everyone – take a fitness class to keep up with your exercise goals, have a “family trip to the zoo” with one of the virtual tours, or even learn a new skill with an online class.
Make A Phone Call
Another easy way to connect with someone is to make time for a brief phone call! This is an especially great way to connect with those friends and family members that may not be quite as tech savvy. Give someone a quick call just to say hello and see how they are doing, it’s sure to brighten their day (and yours as well)!
Call Grandparents For A Virtual Bedtime Story
This time of social distancing can be difficult for kids and grandparents, especially if they are used to seeing each other regularly! Utilize a service like FaceTime to have grandparents read a bedtime story to your kids a few nights during the week.
Foster Connection In Your Home
While staying connected with those outside your home, don’t forget to make time to build connections within your home. Utilize some of the extra time you all have at home together to play favorite board games, cook together, or even learn something new!
Whether you use one of these ideas or an idea of your own, we encourage you to stay connected with those you love even though you are physically apart. Brooke Anderson at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley encourages people to ask themselves each day, “Who am I checking in on, or connecting with, today?” Try to pick two or three each day to reach out and connect with family and friends. (1)
- Anderson, B. (2020, March). Six Daily Questions to Ask Yourself in Quarantine. (https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/six_daily_questions_to_ask_yourself_in_quarantine)