Bob Dylan once sang, “For the times they are a-changin’,” and that has perhaps never been more true than it is today. The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new phrases like social distancing to the general population, and has also redefined both work and family life, creating a new normal.
This adjustment is not an easy one, keeping most folks from daily interaction with family and friends. The good news is there are ways you can still spend time with those you care about, all while practicing the nuanced art of social distancing.
Start new traditions while supporting those in need
While traditional dining out is not currently possible, it’s the perfect time to start a new tradition around mealtime. Cultivating connection is now more important than ever, and the new family meals make it easy to connect with loved ones over a warm and delicious bowl of noodles, whether they’re miles away over a computer screen or across the table. No matter the distance, noodles can help your family focus on what matters most: company.
Schedule virtual activities
While it may seem easy to connect with family and friends while homebound, many have found it to be quite difficult.
Instead of trying to find additional time in the day to connect with those you love, a great alternative is to leverage the existing time you once allocated to other activities before social distancing took effect. This time can then be spent with loved ones by enjoying activities via video chat.
For example, if you used to take lunchtime walks with coworkers you can now spend that time enjoying a virtual workout class together. If you used to attend happy hours or other group activities with friends or family, you can now take part in online games, courses or virtual book club meetings instead.
Commit with your friends and family to stick with your favorite activities and routines and you’ll be reunited together in person before you know it.
Switch up story time
If you have little ones at home, they are likely missing the loved ones they are used to frequently seeing in person. One of the easiest ways to incorporate these people into your children’s lives in a meaningful way is to reinvent the story time portion of their bedtime routine. Instead of tackling the story yourself, have a loved one read to them instead via video conference. Whether you flip the pages for your guest reader or they read a book from home across the screen, it’s a simple activity that’s sure to bring everyone closer together.
Embrace traditional communication
In times like these, the communication you send with a personalized touch will resonate with loved ones the most. Writing a letter or sending a care package creates a one-of-a-kind nostalgic feeling the recipient is sure to appreciate. Plus, you don’t have to live entirely in the present. Using letters to plan for future events and vacations can be a great way to reduce stress during uncertain times and can be a promising light at the end of the tunnel.
Social distancing shouldn’t mean isolation. Employ the tips above and be proactive in your efforts to connect with loved ones to strengthen the relationships that matter most.