In the outbreak of a disease, one of the most important containment measures rolled out is social distancing. Viruses and diseases spread rapidly due to the movement of people, especially when they aren’t aware they are virus-carriers. To prevent transmission, travel bans and restrictions are enacted and people are disallowed to congregate socially.
While social distancing is crucial to keeping yourself and your loved ones protected, we have to admit that missing family gatherings can be sad. It adds to the emotional burden during trying times. The good news is, with a little creativity, you can find ways to stay in touch and connect with your loved ones despite the distance.
Here’s how you can continue having family gatherings during social distancing.
Hangout over coffee virtually
A pandemic may change the way people connect and stay in touch, but there are still ways to keep the bond alive. We may not be able to invite our loved ones for random coffee dates when we just want to hang out and catch up. But thanks to technology, a lot of things are made possible with the internet.
Go ahead and ping a family member you have been looking forward to talking to and invite them for a virtual coffee or ice cream or pizza date. Have a video call while enjoying a nice conversation over your favorite drink or dessert. This is now the best time to leverage video calling apps such as Facebook Messenger, Facetime, Skype, or Zoom.
Not only is this a fun idea to connect with your family from afar. It’s also a good way to get some much-needed social interaction, which is important for your mental health.
Cook meals together
Cooking with the family is an excellent way to bond. Even if you’re physically apart, this is another one of those situations where the internet comes in handy. Reach out to your family members and plan a cookout session. Decide on a theme or cuisine everybody can agree on, whether it’s Asian, Italian or a fusion of dishes. Then, discuss specific meals each member will cook at their respective homes. Don’t forget to decide on the day and time of the actual cookout so everyone can hop on a video call and enjoy your cooking and bonding time!
Enjoy a hearty dinner
One of the best things about family gatherings is that it’s centered around food. And even if you can’t dig into grandma’s specialty pasta or brother’s famous steak, it is still possible to eat together as a family. Plan a virtual dinner on a weekend perhaps or a Friday night.
So long as everybody’s home and all family members can make it to your scheduled dinner date. In fact, you can make it a regular thing and do it every weekend or twice a month, depending on everybody’s availability.
Watch a movie
Because social distancing also means that cinemas are closed, turn your movie time at home into a venue for virtual family gatherings. Invite your loved ones and family members for a movie marathon at a time convenient for everyone.
Gather suggestions on which movie they want to watch and simultaneously watch it on the agreed schedule. Hop on a video call to watch the movie together so that you can share sentiments and reactions to various scenes. Many video conferencing apps even allow screen sharing so you won’t have to worry about synchronizing individual play times.
Create a social media group for the family
Does everybody in your family have a social media account or do social media? Now’s the best time to make the most of this technology! Choose a platform everybody will be comfortable using. Create a group or online landing page such as a group chatroom on Facebook Messenger. Use this chatroom to connect, keep tabs on what’s going on in each other’s lives, send photos and videos, or plan for a future gathering or vacation. Anything to keep everybody in the loop and to help everyone stay connected.
Family gatherings may be difficult while doing social distancing but with the help of these ideas and by leveraging technology, connecting with loved ones will be so much easier.
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