With stay-at-home orders in place, millions of people have been forced to stay at home and minimize contact with anyone outside of the household – myself included. While there are many difficult aspects of coping with a quarantine, ranging from boredom to financial frustration and anxiety, one of the toughest parts for many involves social distancing. Not being able to see friends and family is tough – especially when they’re the ones you lean on during hard times.
It’s more important than ever to stay connected with your family during quarantine, but how do you make that happen when you can’t physically see one another? Here are a few ways to strengthen bonds and keep that sense of closeness in place while stay-at-home orders are in effect:
HAVE REGULAR VIDEO CALLS
Fortunately, we have access to more technology than ever at our fingertips. You can not only call family members whether they’re down the street or halfway around the world – you can see them, too, thanks to video calls.
For an easy way to stay connected, schedule a standing video call for the whole family to participate in. Choose a time and a frequency that works best for the majority of the group. Then, make it a priority to hop on the call and check in with everyone.
And if you’re thinking about giving someone a call to catch up or chat – a regular phone call – make it a video call instead. Not only will you benefit from the face-to-face interaction, but it’ll also give you a good reason to get dressed!
CELEBRATE MILESTONES AND TRADITIONS
Life goes on during a quarantine. Birthdays and anniversaries come and go. Babies are born. Like Easter, we might be forced to spend other holidays and important milestones under social distancing.
Make time to celebrate those holidays and milestones like you would if you could be together. If bringing over gifts and cards is a birthday tradition in your family, get something in the mail or drop a present off on the doorstep.
Do you always get together at the start of summer for a big family BBQ? Ask everyone to fire up the grill – and their webcams – for a virtual backyard BBQ. In lieu of the standard family portrait, ask everyone to post for the webcam and snap a quick screenshot!
FIND NEW WAYS TO HAVE FUN
Do you and your family love to play games or watch movies together? You still can when you’re under quarantine – you just have to get creative! Have a Netflix Party and watch a new movie or show together. Hold a virtual cooking competition, set up a book club that meets once a week via Zoom, or play charades together. You can also play the Jackbox Games together – just be warned that not all of them are family-friendly (but many do have a family-friendly filter option).
Don’t let your family bonds weaken as a result of COVID-19. With a little determination and creative thinking, you’re guaranteed to find lots of ways to stay connected, have fun, and make memories together – even at a distance.