While current circumstances may be keeping us apart physically, it’s never been more important to stay emotionally connected to those we love. From rethinking the ways in which we communicate to creating new rituals to share, it’s the perfect time to not only practice self-care, but also to care for each other as well.
As Dr. Asaf Bitton recently pointed out in The New Yorker, “Social connection is already challenged so much in these crazy times. Let’s not overly disconnect.” Beyond simply making time for remote video chats and phone calls, there are a number of creative ways to nurture your relationships at a distance. Here are a few of our favorites ideas on how to stay connected to your loved ones, whether you’re minutes, hours, or miles apart:
Host a Remote Dinner Party
Especially around the holidays, a meal is a perfect way to share time, memories, and great conversation. This Easter, consider sending out e-invitations, encouraging guests to dress up, and creating a special menu. Tools like the BlendJet are perfect for crafting everything from blended Easter cocktails to easy and delectable pasta sauces and desserts. Best yet, clean-up is easy, and individual portion sizes are ideal for those celebrating the holidays in isolation. If you have some festive decor on hand, consider decorating the area in which you’ll appear to other guests on your computer screen.
Have an At-Home Spa Day
Like so many of the best things, pampering yourself is even better when shared. Invite your closest friends to connect by phone or video, light a scented candle, and spend an hour or two doing face masks and home manicures together. Skin and hair treatments with restorative ingredients like peppermint, coconut, and rosehip oil can be good for both the body and the mind.
Share a Wellness Ritual
Being stuck at home is no reason to let your health fall by the wayside. Sharing wellness rituals can be a great way to encourage others while also creating accountability for yourself. As Dr. Jeff Toll notes, “Since there’s such a lack of testing at this point, the best thing anyone can do is just stay at home as long as you’re feeling healthy enough.” Even from home, sharing a cup of tea (especially with ingredients geared toward emotional wellbeing and stress relief), engaging in a free yoga class at the same time, or taking a walk while on the phone can have a powerful impact on your relationships and moods.
Play a Game
While certain board games might be harder to pull off at a distance, a number of word games, card games, and classics like Guess Who? and Trivial Pursuit can be adapted for remote play. Others, such as Scrabble and (if you’re feeling cheeky) Pandemic, have app variations that make connecting with other players a breeze. If you’re more of a computer or a PC gamer, fire up your computer and play some party games together (like those you’ll find in the Jackbox Party Packs).
Send a Gift
In times of physical separation, a thoughtful, unexpected gift can be a beautiful way to show someone how much you care. Consider sending a bouquet of flowers, or a piece of custom fine jewelry that can be treasured while you’re apart.
Take a Class
What better way to stay connected (and always have something to talk about) than to take an online course together? During this time, a number of platforms are offering classes, webinars, and educational resources for free, from industry-focused content at HubSpot to invaluable career mentorship videos from Career Contessa (free during COVID-19). If you share personal or professional interests with someone in your inner circle, this can be a great way to not only stimulate your mind but also help support each other in reaching your goals.
The Joys of Getting Together When You’re Apart
While it’s easy to focus on the negative aspects, social distancing can offer some surprising opportunities for deepening relationships and creating new traditions with our favorite people. Connecting remotely isn’t just good for your sanity; it’s essential for supporting the health and wellbeing of those you love. (For those who might be unfamiliar with the CDC’s social distancing guidelines, it’s well worth having a look and sharing the details with loved ones.)
Ultimately, whether your tastes tend toward workouts, tea parties, hot yoga or happy hours, there’s never been a better time to get creative and stay connected.