8 ways to find connection with your people
A connection is more important now than ever
“A season of loneliness and isolation is when the caterpillar gets its wings; remember that the next time you feel alone.” – Mandy Hale
In these times of social distancing and less direct connection, it’s vital that we find ways to bond with others. Depression and loneliness may set in when we have little human interaction. Have you had moments where you struggle with the thought of much more of this?
It’s time to get a focal activity on your calendar to look forward to.
Obviously, we look forward to doing the things we did pre-COVID-19. I know I’m itching to get a hair and massage appointment, a date night, and a fun night with friends on the calendar. But who knows how far out we need to plan for any of that to actually happen?
If it helps to plan future activities, by all means, PLAN THEM! Keep in mind that the farther out you plan, the more likely it is to actually happen. And still, aim for a smaller group if your plan is to go out. Skip out on those concert plans for now (which hurts me too).
Aside from being a calendar event to dream about, think local when planning your first night out to reconnect. Local restaurants and small businesses have suffered as a result of all this, so be sure you support them! They will desperately need our business when the floodgates lift.
But what can you do right now for human connection?
Even if not a social person by nature, you’re likely still craving interaction with people who aren’t members of your household. (Have you been chatting it up with the UPS driver just for someone else to talk to yet?)
Fortunately, this COVID-19 crap is happening during a time when we have amazing technology. Here are a few ideas to stay connected while we’re forced to stay apart:
Virtual happy hours
Schedule a Zoom meeting after business hours (or really anytime, no judgment here) where you can catch up with co-workers, friends, and other family members while enjoying an adult beverage. There are many apps out there if you don’t want to use Zoom; Google Hangouts and FaceTime work great, too. HouseParty gives the option of playing games as well. BONUS – your drinks will be cheaper and you won’t have to worry about driving home while getting the joys of connecting with others – that are not your family.
Like the first idea, minus the booze (maybe?), but with extended family members. Get it on the calendar to make sure it actually happens. My family used to have intentions of FaceTiming my brother in Florida but didn’t put it on the calendar. We’d get wrapped up in our routine and space it off. But now we schedule it and chat with him almost weekly. You can include as many family members as you want, although it can get a bit chaotic with too many. It’s just nice to see each other’s faces from time to time. Especially if you can get Grandma in on it.
Host a Netflix Party
Netflix Party is a way to join up with friends and watch the same show or movie. Then you can comment on it to one another as you’re watching. It’s almost as kickass as watching a movie together in the same room. Thank you, Netflix!
Find someone to “Pen” Pal around with
Remember when people used to physically write letters to each other? Let’s bring it back! This is something you can get your older kids involved in too that doubles as a writing lesson. Think of someone you know in a nursing home that doesn’t “get” technology. They might appreciate something in the mail when most of their visitors are no longer allowed. Plus, how fun is it for us to get something not a bill in the mail? It could really brighten someone’s day. We’ve made a list of names for the girls to write letters to, including our family, their friends, and all those special teachers at their school. When we have a gap where they are “bored,” they crank out a letter.
Besides finding ways to stay connected with extended family members, friends, and co-workers, it’s crucial for everyone’s happiness to do the same as a household. Put something special on the weekend calendar you can all look forward to during the week. You may have to get creative since you spend day in and day out with these people, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
Throw some sleeping bags on the floor and watch movies all night. Complete with pizza, popcorn, and candy, of course. Consider splurging on an early released movie (Trolls World Tour is amazing and gets everyone up for a dance party!). You may feel it’s a bit pricey for digital rental, but I bet it’s still cheaper than paying admission and concessions for your whole family at the theater!
Themed movie days
Have you been wanting to do a Harry Potter marathon? Or think your kids are finally ready to watch the Avenger movies in order? If there’s a rainy weekend day coming up, consider watching a movie series your family is into. You could also subject your children to movies from your youth…All. Night. Long. Consider it payback for the time you had to watch Frozen 300 times. Movie nights have become apart of our weekly routine – don’t forget the popcorn and M&M’s!
The weather is getting warmer and we could all use a little reprieve from our homes. Schedule a day to take a hike, go on a long bike ride, or walk somewhere to have a picnic. Spending some time in nature has a way of soothing the soul and making everything feel alright again.
Scheduled “ME” nights
Rotate nights with your spouse to have a “night off.” Squeeze in some quiet time with a book and a bath WITHOUT interruption – that would be a change, wouldn’t it? It isn’t selfish to make you a priority and reconnect with your quiet thoughts – solo. Read more on making sure your cup is full so you can keep up with all that you give to your family. If you need a refill, check out some ways you can do that here. Being home with kiddos non-stop is exhausting. Take time for you and recharge – and filling your cup up with an adult beverage doesn’t hurt either.
Hopefully, you’ve found some inspiration in this post for ways to connect with those outside of your home AND to reconnect with those within.
I know it’s easier than ever to feel isolated from the world right now. That’s why it’s so important to put a few things to look forward to on an otherwise empty calendar. All ties are not cut just because we’re physically social distancing.
You are not alone.
I have faith that we will all come out of this better than before, with a new perspective and appreciation for the little things.
Hang in there, friends!