2020 was a hectic year for all of us. It was full of uncertainty, canceled plans, new challenges, and a toilet paper shortage.
One important element that is severely impacted due to restrictions placed by COVID-19 is our social interactions and how we connect with other people. As humans, we strive for social connectedness by way of going out to dinner, attending concerts, watching sports, and being around those that desire the same connections that we do. When we eliminate these fun parts of life, we miss out on those opportunities to be with one another both physically and emotionally.
Thankfully, we live in a world where technology is king, and there are many different ways to stay connected with one another during these troubling times. Author, Sonja Lyubomirsky, of The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach of Getting the Life You Want says “if you begin today to cultivate and improve your relationships, you will reap the gift of positive emotions”. Maintaining our social connections not only helps us keep our friendships but it also allows us to boost our mood, improve our self-esteem, and share our experiences with one another while keeping safe social distances!
Here are some ways to stay connected with others during COVID-19:
Scheduling phone, FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom calls
For those of you who opt for the standard phone call, this is always an option when talking with friends and family. And, it gives you a reason to leave your hair up and stay cozy in your PJs. BUT, when we add the virtual face-to-face interaction, it allows us to not only see one another, but to really be fully immersed in the conversation with whoever you are speaking with as well.
Joining an Online Group or Educational Conference
Now is as good of a time as ever to join that online group that you’ve been thinking about or to may be learn a few new tricks or tidbits of information. Self.com is a resource about online groups that are currently meeting.
Did you know that there are plenty of universities offering online classes for free? You have the opportunity to join classes for free and gain more knowledge on different areas of interest. Here are two resources to consider: https://online-learning.harvard.edu/catalog/free and https://mashable.com/article/best-free-online-courses-and-classes/
I know what you are thinking… writing letters is old school. But, there is authenticity and originality behind writing letters whether they be to loved ones or to those you may not know but could use the additional love during this time of year! Love for Our Elders is a nonprofit organization based out of Ohio whose mission is to provide love and support through written words to those who are age 50 years and older. Learn more how to participate at https://loveforourelders.org/letters
This is just a short list of what you can do to improve upon and cultivate your relationships now and moving forward! I hope that these resources help you remain connected with one another, extend your love and support, and to immerse yourself with those who share the same challenges during these times.