As we face a new world of social-distancing and self-isolation, we are confronted with the reality that we can’t just drop in on an old friend for a chat and a cuppa, or cuddle a loved one, or make plans with a group of friends and family to get together for a meal or catch-up. But while physically connecting with others might be out of the question, it is vital that we find ways to remain connected emotionally if we’re going to make it through this crisis together.
So how do we share the love? How do we touch others’ lives without physical contact?
“Any one of us can pick up a phone and call to see how people are doing and what they might need. Not only will helping others potentially help them, but it can help us to still feel connected as well.” — Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Brigham Young University
Five Ways to stay connected when you’re apart…
1. Connect Online
Amidst all the stuff that isn’t going great right now, we are so fortunate to live in a very different world, technologically speaking, than any other generation facing a crisis of this scale before us.
Social media, messaging, emails and phone calls help us to stay connected when we’re apart. Ask others how they are doing; tell them something uplifting or funny about your day. Share local news or information that would be helpful to those who don’t have easy access to information, or tips on how you’ve managed to stay sane with a house full of cabin-fevered kids. Look to making a difference in someone’s day and both of you will feel better for it!
“Communication is merely an exchange of information, but connection is an exchange of our humanity.” — Sean Stephenson, Get Off Your “But’
2. Send some snail-mail
Write a letter on pretty stationery or spare note paper, address an envelope or postcard, lick a stamp and send some snail mail! No one has ever complained about getting handwritten letters and postcards in the mail. There’s nothing to compare to the heft of a chunky envelope with your name and address on the front, which contains a letter with lots of detail about a loved one’s comings and goings, with maybe a photograph, newspaper cutting or cartoon enclosed. Older generations especially appreciate old fashioned mail, and with most of these people being in mandatory isolation at the moment, and a good number being less technologically equipped or able, a letter in their post box would mean the world to them.
“When you understand that being connected to others is one of life’s greatest joys, you realize that life’s best comes when you initiate and invest in solid relationships.” — John C. Maxwell, Today Matters
3. Talk face to face (even though it’s through a screen)
There are so many options to ‘see’ people on calls these days, with FaceTime, Skype, Zoom etc. With family and friends, there’s no need for make-up, hair and wardrobe… just connect, talk, laugh, and even cry if you need to. Set up a time each day or week to chat ‘face-to-face’ this way until you can catch up in person again.
“Happiness consists more in small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom.” – Benjamin Franklin
4. Don’t forget the people in your home and community
As useful as technology is at times like these, we can find ourselves neglecting those closest to us even as we keep up with those furthest from us. The people living with and around us are the ones in the best position to keep us going through this and are the ones we are best able to help! Take the time to enjoy some quality chats with your family over a meal (even if you’re sitting on opposite sides of the room) and check in with each of them during the course of each day to see how they’re doing. Enjoy a chat with your neighbour from your driveway/balcony. Support your local businesses and, if you are able, share resources with or run errands for an elderly or vulnerable neighbour.
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” – Charles Dickens
5. Reminisce a bit
Share stories and memories with friends and family on the MyMeander App, and build your story, or the story of your parents, kids and family. They could be memories from your childhood or theirs, or the most memorable moments from a wonderful family holiday you took a few years ago. Or you could just use it to record your experiences of this global crisis, and end up with a story told by your kids or grandkids one day…
“The best things in life are the people we love, the places we’ve been and the memories we’ve made along the way” – Anonymous
Stay connected ❤ Stay safe