Relationships

5 Ways to Connect With Loved Ones and Maintain Social Wellness in Quarantine

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We’re all observing safe social distancing guidelines as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19), but that doesn’t mean our relationships have to suffer. Even though we’re not able to be with our friends and family physically, keeping our social connections is necessary for our wellbeing.

We often think about wellness as one generic concept, but experts say that it’s a multi-dimensional state of wellbeing. Researchers at the University of Maryland say there are eight dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, environmental, vocational, intellectual, and social wellness. That means that establishing a connection with others is crucial to good health!

We realize that social distancing is making this pretty tough, so we compiled a list of different ways you can connect with your loved ones and even meet new people. As we’ve come to see it, the quarantine is actually providing us with some unique opportunities for deep social connection. Check them out below.

Play a virtual game.

Virtual games are a great way to interact with others while we’re staying at home. You can play with people you know or even play with random people in virtual game rooms! You can play games like poker online at PokerStars, inviting friends or joining large game rooms with folks from all over the globe.

Other sites like Playingcards.io allow you to create your own virtual game room and invite your friends and family to play with you. This one has a few classic games like Checkers and Go Fish! 

Have a virtual hangout.

If you’re one of the few people who hasn’t downloaded Zoom yet, go ahead and do so or join your friends and family on another platform and take advantage of the virtual hangout! Nowadays, families and friends all over the country are able to gather together for birthdays and happy hours in a way we’ve never seen. Use this time to catch up with your best friends from any and everywhere — all while staying in your comfy pants.

Donate to a humanitarian effort.

Another important part of social wellness is feeling like you’re a valuable part of your community, and a great way to do this is to give something of yourself. If you’re one the lucky folks who still have an income right now, consider donating to a local relief effort. If all you have is time, give some of that to a friend who needs to vent, or use that time to make and donate face masks to hospitals in need.

Write a letter.

Maybe you don’t have to send an actual paper letter, but hey, it could be fun! Write a heartfelt letter to a friend or family member you miss spending time with. I was recently inspired by this post about a father who writes his daughter a letter everyday. How sweet!

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“My dad is a character. Literally. His actual name is James. But everyone calls him Buz—with only one ‘z.’ He loves being the center of attention. When I was a kid, whenever we took family photos, he’d lift up his shirt to show off his hairy stomach. And he still calls my grandmother every April Fool’s day to tell her my mom is pregnant. Not everyone thinks he’s funny. I used to be terrified that he’d start talking to other parents at school dances. Because he doesn’t really converse. He just launches into stories. And they’re not always appropriate. The letter writing started in fourth grade. I went to a sleep away camp thirty minutes from my house, and he wrote me letters every day. Then he did it again in fifth grade. And sixth. And seventh. My trips to camp grew longer until I was working as a counselor and staying all summer. And he still wrote me a letter– every single day The letters continued into college. And I still get them today. I’ve gotten almost 500 of them since I moved into this apartment—even though my dad lives 20 minutes down the street. Most of the letters just talk about his day. But they can also be very creative and hilarious. He once wrote 250 words about his Subway sandwich. I don’t think he can stop at this point. It’s part of his character. I wrote an article about him in my college paper, and he just loved being ‘the guy who writes his daughter letters.’ But I also view the letters as insane devotions of his love. He cries every time he takes me to the airport. He brings me flowers whenever I’m sad. With all his quirks, I really lucked out with this guy. I was once talking with my friend, and I asked her if she thought my dad was… you know… a little… ‘different.’ And I’ve always remembered her response. She said: ‘If he is, would you even care?’” #quarantinestories

A post shared by Humans of New York (@humansofny) on

If there’s no one you really want to write a letter to or you’re interested in the idea of writing a letter to a stranger, try out digital pen pal services like Pen Pal World! The digital space has made connecting with others so easy. Sites like Pen Pal World connect you with others from all around the globe, and you can write to them via their messaging service! Apps like PenPals also allow you to write to a pen pal right from your phone.

Take virtual classes.

Experts in a variety of fields are hosting digital classes via services like Zoom where folks can tune in via video chat to connect and learn. If you’re into fitness, try looking for classes to take online that offer that sense of community, rather than just completing a workout at home alone. Fitness expert Denise Austin, for example, is offering free workouts via Facebook Live everyday! If that’s not really your thing, try joining a virtual book club — the New York Public Library has one! — , meditation session, or dance class. 

Here’s to staying sane and social during the quarantine!

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