One of the many things people have to sacrifice when doing social distancing is family gatherings. In many places, mass gatherings and even family reunions are strongly discouraged. It’s not hard to understand why. Transmission of diseases can happen very quickly when people congregate socially.
Missing family gatherings is difficult and sad. It only exacerbates the emotional burden we feel in the midst of a challenging time. But don’t worry. There are several creative ways to connect with family and loved ones despite the distance. Here are some of the helpful ideas you may want to try!
Have a virtual dinner together
While visiting the homes of your family and relatives when doing social distancing is impossible, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy fun conversations over a hearty meal with them. Because you can. Thanks to the internet, you can still eat together even from afar!
Because family gatherings are made extra special when there’s food, why don’t you plan a virtual family dinner which everybody can enjoy over a video call? Prepare your favorite meals and dishes and schedule the dinner on a day when everybody is present. A weekend night perhaps? Or a midweek dinner will do, too. Whenever you want to have it won’t really matter. The important thing is that you are all gathered together (virtually) to share conversations and nice meals to bond and keep the connection alive.
Hangout virtually whenever you can
There’s no better time to make good use of the internet than now. So, don’t hesitate to ping a family member from afar and hangout virtually every chance you get. If you’ve got some free hours on any random day, invite family or relatives to jump in on a video call while you’re having coffee or watching your favorite shows. You can have fun conversations over coffee or tea or watch the same TV show or movie together!
There are plenty of platforms to choose from. You can do it on Facebook Messenger, Facetime, Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp and more! Not only is video chatting helpful in bridging the distance to make family gatherings possible; having those face to face interactions and socialization is also good for your mental health. Even when they are virtual.
Play online games together
Games make family gatherings more fun and exciting. And even when you’re doing social distancing, you can still inject fun and excitement into your virtual parties by playing online games together.
Look for online multiplayer games where several players can participate. From board games such as puzzles, scrabble and chess to more complex, role-playing games, there’s an extensive range of games out there to entertain your family for hours!
Create an online group for the family
Does everybody in the family have social media accounts? If they do, choose an online platform everyone is comfortable using. Create a group and invite the rest of the family to join in! Use this group to stay connected with everyone through chats, photos, audio and video calls – anything to keep everybody in the loop. This is also an excellent place to share old memories to remind you of the good old times and make you look forward to gathering together again in the near future.
Go back to the traditional method of communication – write a letter
Writing letters may seem a little old-fashioned but who says they’re a bad idea? In fact, writing a letter may make a family feel extra special.
There’s something about handwritten notes and letters that gives the recipient a warm, fuzzy feeling. Perhaps, it’s the fact that it’s more personal because they’re written on a piece of paper and not typed in an email or text message. So go ahead and write a family member a letter or a greeting card. Feel free to include photos or scribbles and hand-drawn pictures from the kids. This is an excellent way to maintain a sense of connection and provide a reminder of love even from afar.
Family gatherings may not always be possible due to certain circumstances but who says you can’t keep the connection alive? With a little creativity, you can maintain the connection and continue strengthening the bond with family members despite the distance!
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