When we cannot see friends or family members, remember there are many ways for us to still connect. Human connections promote wellness, here are ways to reach out to family and friends who may be alone. Reframe your thinking. Instead of focusing on the negative, flip the script and think about the positive ways you can use this time. Start by reaching out to those who are important to you and deepen your relationships.
Use or learn new technology
• Most of us have the use of some technology. Use video chat such as Skype, Zoom, Facetime, etc. as it is the next closest thing to being together in person.
• If technology isn’t your thing, or your loved one isn’t tech-savvy, a phone call is the next best thing.
• A quick text message or email is a great way to stay in touch between extended conversations.
Engage family and friends
• Encourage members of your social groups (faith groups, fraternal organizations, and volunteer groups) to reach out to those who are socially isolated
• Involve kids by having them create artwork that can be shared with grandparents, older family members, and other isolated individuals that you may know.
• Host a digital dinner with family and friends. Everyone joins online from their respective homes and eats together with family discussions.
• Join online communities, such as exercise groups, book clubs, webinars, etc.
• Empower yourself to help other individuals and hopefully lift your spirits. Some examples include calling those who are isolated, helping those who cannot get out, or engaging civically.
My family including my parents and my two brothers recently connected using a video calling platform. It was new to my parents and we were able to walk them through how to use it. It was lovely to see their faces when I cannot go see them in person. I encourage all of you to get creative and connect with your family and friends. What are ways that you are connecting at a distance?
Adapted from a North Central Region Aging Network (NCRAN) infographic that I was a co-author on.