As we continue our “new normal” we are missing physical connection with family and friends. We miss having them over for dinner or share stories over coffee. Here are some ways to stay connected and keep your relationships strong during the pandemic.
Have a coffee or cocktail hour
We all have people in our lives that we think about, but don’t have the time to connect with. While in isolation and fewer responsibilities, this is a good time to connect with that long lost friend or family member. Arrange a time with a one or more people, connecting via Facetime or WhatsApp, and have a conversation while enjoying a cup of joe. If you are not a morning person, then arrange something for later in the afternoon and enjoy a cocktail or mocktail together while social distancing online. Not sure what to talk about? Play a game asking questions of each other, such as what’s your favourite colour, favourite book, or best vacation you ever took (you can find these questions with a simple google search). This is a nice way to know the people in your life on a deeper level. Keep in mind that reconnecting with family and friends works well when it is scheduled in advance and another time to speak is scheduled at the end of each call. Everyone marks it in their calendars and commits.
Spend quality time with your family in your household
Pre-pandemic, you may have been so busy that you were passing family members, like ships in the night. Sometimes not having time to enjoy a meal with them. Now that you are under the same roof 24/7, everyone is in different rooms, on screens, immersed in social media or texting with friends. Consider carving out time with your family and shut down the screens. Make a meal together, play a board game, or turn on the music and dance in the living room. Each night re-connect by having a screen free meal together and connect about your day, your goals for the future, or how the pandemic is impacting you. Sharing your dreams or your struggles could bring you closer together.
While you may get some moans and groans about spending family time, encourage your family and you take a leadership role in making it happened. In the end, the family will appreciate it and hold these memories close. Embrace this time together, you may not get this time again.
Connect with Self
Sometimes we just need time to ourselves to reflect or quiet or minds. Take some time to journal or meditate for 15 minutes a day. If 15 minutes feels daunting, start off with 5 minutes and work your way up. You can take a walk around the block while keeping physical distance from others. Enjoy the time to be with your own thoughts, breathe, and be mindful. Quieting our mind and having self-reflection can be rejuvenating and allows us to bring our best self to our relationships.