Stay Connected During the Coronavirus and Feel Closer to Loved Ones
Since the first coronavirus case in the US, our lives have changed dramatically. The global health crisis has extended shelter-in-place mandates past their initial end date, and many people are feeling the psychological effects of isolation—including depression and anxiety. In times of uncertainty, it helps knowing that you are not alone in feeling this way.
While support systems can look different for each person, studies show that supportive relationships can increase your mental health and ability to cope with stress. Connection is as important as ever, especially during this crisis. In this article, we detail different ways you can stay connected during the coronavirus outbreak and feel closer to your loved ones.
Eight tips for staying connected during COVID-19
Just because you’re self-isolating doesn’t mean you have to go through it alone. Modern technology has given us more options than ever to stay connected during the COVID-19 crisis. Below are eight different ideas on how to stay connected to loved ones during coronavirus.
1. Video chat
Feeling stressed, anxious, upset, and fearful are normal reactions to crisis, but human connection can alleviate some of those negative emotions. Free apps like FaceTime, Google’s Hangouts Meet, Zoom, WhatsApp, and Skype help bridge the physical gap between you and your loved ones. You can simply catch up, lend a sympathetic ear, participate in a virtual happy hour, or help parents by entertaining their children for a much needed mental break. This is also a perfect time to reconnect with people you’ve lost touch with.
2. Create a fitness group
According to the American Heart Association, adults should participate in at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic activity a week. While most gyms and parks are closed due to shelter-in-place mandates, you can still accomplish a full workout at home. There are countless home workout videos that don’t require any equipment to get started.
While most of us know that home workout videos are an option, it is often difficult to stay motivated and exercise when our bed or couch is nearby. Accountability programs are a great way to encourage others and maintain a regular workout routine. Participating in the same workout video while video chatting your fitness group can also stimulate a group class environment, making it more fun for everybody involved. To keep things interesting, your group can take turns selecting the workout video and see which ones you like the most.
3. Host a virtual game night
Board games are a fun and engaging way to connect with people. Plus, there are bound to be many laughs as the game goes on. Although you may not be able to host a game night in person, you may be able to find an online equivalent.
Here are some of our favorites:
All of these games can be played online with your favorite people. Staying connected while social distancing can be fun and entertaining–just remember to switch up the games to keep things interesting. You can also video chat while playing to communicate and collaborate.
4. Start a fundraiser
The coronavirus pandemic has been at the forefront of our minds, often dominating every conversation. As the disruptions to daily life increase, so do the needs. If you discover a friend or family member is struggling, you can talk to them about starting a fundraiser on their behalf. Or, if you or your loved ones are passionate about the same cause, you can decide to start a fundraiser together to help your community. The joint effort of brainstorming and executing your plan is not only rewarding but can help bring you closer together. The more people partake in team fundraising, the better. We make it easy to turn compassion into action–all you need to do is sign up, and you can start receiving donations immediately.
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5. Plan a lunch date
It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the whirlwind of coronavirus coverage. This is why it’s important to take a step back and spend dedicated, quality time with your loved ones. Even though restaurants are closed to the public, you can still order delivery service and set up a video chat to mimic a lunch date. Or, you can cook something up if you don’t want to order take-out. Take this time to catch up, lend an ear, and enjoy the presence of others.
6. Watch a movie together
Have you ever tried coordinating a virtual movie night? It’s not as easy as it sounds. One of the biggest difficulties is synchronizing the stream so that everyone can watch together. The Netflix Party Chrome extension solves this problem by letting you watch the same movie at the same time. It even features a chat function where you can discuss what’s happening.
To deepen the experience of watching with loved ones, you can start a video chat. If so, we recommend everyone use headphones so there’s no audio feedback. That way, you can talk about what’s happening and witness their reactions in real time.
7. Start a podcast club
Think of a book club but swap it out with podcasts. They offer a great alternative to books in an age where local bookstores are closed indefinitely and online shipping is delayed. Most podcasts are free and more accessible than a traditional book, giving more people the opportunity to participate. Additionally, they are broken down into bite-sized episodes. Podcast episodes typically run between 30 minutes to an hour, requiring less commitment. Because the episodes are relatively short, it’s much easier to focus on than a full-fledged book, especially if you’re frequently thinking about the coronavirus.
You can listen to it while you walk, cook, or sit down for your dedicated podcast time. Your podcast club can get together and discuss a podcast episode each week. Or, you can meet every month–it’s entirely up to you. These discussions don’t have to follow a strict timeline, nor do they have to follow a certain structure. It is simply another avenue for people to come together, stay connected, and discuss a shared experience.
8. Take a virtual trip together
To curb the spread of the coronavirus, traveling is highly discouraged at this time. But, you can still travel the world from the comfort of your home. You and your loved ones can embark on a virtual tour to:
- Experience the northern lights through an Abisko National Park virtual reality tour
- Explore Yosemite like never before
- Wander around the Taj Mahal
- Learn more about Machu Picchu
- Watch fish swim in the Georgia Aquarium
- Take a tour at the Louvre
Use these tips for coping with isolation during coronavirus
Humans are social creatures by nature and social distancing can take a huge toll on our well-being. Gloves, hand sanitizer, and face masks can help protect you from the virus, but they do very little for your mental health.
While there is still a lot left to uncover about the virus, medical professionals are seeing that it disproportionately affects people with weakened immune systems. This is why it’s so important to reach out to your social networks. By using these eight tips to stay connected with your network, you will be better equipped to cope with isolation, improve your mental health, and strengthen your immune system.
Find connection through giving back
If you discover that one of your loved ones is experiencing hardships because of the coronavirus, there are a number of ways you can help from afar. One of the easiest and risk-free ways is to create a crowdfunding fundraiser for people who need emergency financial assistance. Our free fundraising model allows you to keep more of your donations and make an even bigger impact. Create a GoFundMe within minutes to start fundraising today.