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The coronavirus pandemic has brought many challenges to the forefront of people’s lives over the past couple of months, but perhaps one of the toughest things about the current situation is that we aren’t able to see our friends or family. For many, having to isolate and social distance may have a negative impact on their mental health and wellbeing. That’s why it’s incredibly important to keep in touch during these uncertain times. 

It’s time to get creative in regards to strengthening bonds with loved ones and to take care of our mental health. Fortunately, the internet is a powerful resource when it comes to keeping in touch. On that note, we have rounded up 5 simple ways to check-in and keep the lines of communication open with friends and family. Check them out below!

Schedule virtual visits 

Although it may be an obvious one, video calling loved ones is a great way to stay connected. It enables you to talk face-to-face, chat about what you are up to and even keep each other company. Even with various measures in place and different work calendars, make the time to schedule in a ‘virtual visit’ to ensure all participants can attend.

There are plenty of free communication tools available to anyone who has access to a smartphone, tablet or computer. From Zoom to FaceTime, scheduling a virtual visit offers a way to interact with loved ones without physically going to see them. If your loved ones, especially elderly relatives, don’t have access to this technology, a simple phone call is a great way to keep in touch. 

Celebrate happy occasions

Celebrating a special occasion at the moment is very different from what it would have been a few months ago. Is your best friends birthday coming up? Or perhaps your parent’s wedding anniversary? Don’t let the virus stop your celebrations! Get together with your loved ones on a video call to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ or to raise a toast. No matter how you virtually mark the occasion, it’s a time to get together online to celebrate happy occasions. 

Take part in activities online 

From a weekly Zoom quiz to a virtual dinner date, there are plenty of ways to take part in activities together online. Taking part in fun online activities with family and friends, allows you to socialise and spend time together, all from the safety of your own home! Other ideas for fun activities to keep you connected, include:

  • Watching a TV show or Netflix movie at the same time 
  • Throwing a virtual quiz over video call
  • Creating a book club 
  • Completing a workout together over video call
  • Catching up over coffee online

Play your favourite games together 

Missing your family games night? Now is a great time to get online and play games with your loved ones. A variety of websites offer users the ability to play their favourite card or board games virtually, without having to leave your home. You could even try to play a game over video call. Whether it’s a quick game of charades or your favourite trivia quiz, there are plenty of ways to get creative and ultimately have some fun! 

Don’t forget the old-fashioned way

It’s important to remember that not everyone may have access to technology or the internet. If you know of a family member or friend who is in this position, reach out to them by picking up the landline or sending them a handwritten letter. Utilising these resources shows you are thinking of them and want to stay in touch.  

Remember to reach out to those you love or look out for your friends who may be finding this time difficult. Staying connected with your loved ones online is a great way to ensure we all stay united and get through this together. 

Have you got any other ideas for how to stay connected with loved ones during this time? Let us know in the comments below! 
Helen Durkin

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