Senior woman uses technology during social distancing to keep in touch with loved ones.

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How to Keep in Touch with Loved Ones During Social Distancing

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was easy to think we could do it all on our own. But we’ve recently been reminded that John Donne’s observation, “No man is an island entire of itself,” has never been more true. As social beings, humans don’t just need the help of others to accomplish things, we also need interaction with others in order to be happy. But when everyone is encouraged to maintain social distance, how can we stay connected? How can we share family activities with our relatives when we can’t be around each other? This post will look at some ways to interact while social distancing, including fun things to do at home and long-distance gift ideas.

Bridging the distance.

Now more than ever, technology makes it easy to share experiences even while we social distance. We can text, email and instant message. It’s possible to see and talk to each other with video chat programs like Skype and Zoom. And streaming services like Netflix and Hulu allow us to watch shows whenever we want. Here are eight things to do at home that you can share across a long distance.

  1. Give them a ring: Probably the simplest, most straightforward way to stay in touch with someone is to give them a call. To get started, plan a specific time to talk on the phone every day. Even if you end up leaving a message, it’s a great way to let your family member know you’re thinking about them.
  2. The written word: When was the last time you got something in the mail that wasn’t a bill or advertisement? Now imagine how it would feel to get an actual letter from someone you love? If you don’t have enough to fill a letter, you could send a postcard or a greeting card. The important thing is to let them know you’re thinking about them.
  3. Box of love: Everyone loves presents. In fact, possibly the only thing better than a present is a surprise present. Your care package doesn’t have to be expensive… you could even send items from around your house, such as photographs or trinkets that remind you of your loved one. You can also order a gift for them online and have it shipped directly to their address. If you’re looking for care package ideas, suggestions 4 – 7 could also be great idea starters.
  4. Cover to cover: If you and your loved one enjoy reading, what better way to use your time than to have a long-distance book club? You both can pick out something you’ve been wanting to read. You could also use a book you both already have or order one and have it sent to them. Then you can discuss over video chat or the phone after every few chapters.
  5. Watch a movie “together”: If you have a favorite movie or want to watch a new streaming release, plan a date where you and your loved one both get snacks and watch it together. You could even video chat with FaceTime or Zoom while you watch. Don’t have a streaming service? You could find something on TV or order the DVD online and have it shipped to both your houses. Just as with the book club, you could video chat or talk on the phone while you watch.
  6. Get crafty: One of the great family activities you can share together is a virtual craft project. You can find ideas and supply lists online. Then have the supplies shipped to your loved one, and set up a specific time to get together and work on it. You can share progress and when you’re done, ship it to each other so you can both see how it turned out.
  7. Fun with photos: Mail an unusual item — a figurine, stuffed animal or other fun object — to your loved one and have them take pictures of themselves with it throughout the week. As they go, they can send you the things they do with it and when they return it, they can send you an object for you to do the same. You can repeat this process as many times as you find something to share.
  8. Plan: During this time apart, you may have realized there are certain activities you miss doing with your friends and family. Now’s a great time to start planning for the future. Not only does it give you something to look forward to, but you’ll have a chance to reminisce.

It’s the connection that matters.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as everyone has fun doing it, because part of any relationship is shared experiences and memories. At Lakewood during this unprecedented time, we’re developing new ways to safely keep residents active and engaged. To learn more, fill out our contact form.

Until we’re all able to safely get back together, remember to stay connected.