Social distancing and travel restrictions over the past year have left many people feeling isolated and lonely. One recent survey found 67% of Americans have felt more alone than ever before since the pandemic began.
People have also been coping with increased stress, sadness, worry, and uncertainty. They’ve lost loved ones and jobs to COVID-19, struggled to care for children forced to study from home, and lived in a constant state of vigilance trying to keep themselves and their families well. Almost 4 in 10 Americans say worry and stress in the pandemic has harmed their mental health.
We all hope the pandemic will be over soon, bringing an easing of restrictions and a return to a more normal life. Yet for many people, it may be some time before they’re able to connect with loved ones in the same way they did before.
Fortunately, there are many ways to connect deeply with the people we care about and stay in touch until the time when we can see them in person again. Here are some ideas to try that can help you feel connected and in touch with those you love:
Use technology to ‘see’ your friends and family — Sure, many people complain they are tired of virtual meetings, but technology has allowed many to keep working and learning during the pandemic. While nothing beats face-to-face gatherings, the same technology can help you continue to feel close to people in your life. Try using video calls with software such as Zoom, FaceTime, WhatsApp, and others. Grandparents were using these tools to stay in touch with their children and grandchildren before the pandemic, and they will continue to be a blessing for those who live far away from loved ones.
Lend a helping hand — Volunteering your time to help others is always a wonderful way to make a difference and feel more connected to your community. If you have skills like teaching art, a second language, or energy healing, you might volunteer your time to virtually offer classes or sessions to anyone needing some support.
Hold a virtual film night — You can share an experience such as watching the same movie or television show at a distance. Virtual watch parties make it possible to watch a movie at the same time, syncing up everyone’s start time. You can also chat while you watch on some platforms, or talk about the show after it’s over.
Host a virtual game night — Game night is another great way to have fun from afar. Plan a video call where you ask trivia questions to compete with friends or coworkers to see who can answer more of them correctly. Or try out a digital game platform such as Houseparty where you can play a number of different games together.
Write a letter — Before the digital age and telephones, people often wrote long, detailed and heartfelt letters to loved ones, and letters remain a powerful way to connect deeply. Sometimes it’s easier to fully express yourself with a written note. You might send a postcard from your hometown, decorate a page with arts and crafts, or simply share what’s happening in your life.
Send thoughtful gifts — Sending a care package is a wonderful way to let someone know you care! Apps such as Doordash and Ubereats are meal delivery services that allow you to send dinner or a sweet treat to a loved one, even if they live in a different town. Or you might pack up a box full of your homemade cookies, send a craft kit to a friend with kids (or a creative spirit!), or anything else you know your friend loves!
Spend time outdoors together — If you live close by, meeting up outdoors can be a great way to connect while keeping everyone in your life healthy. You might plan to meet up in a park, or take a walk together. Exercise is a wonderful way to support your body and mind.
Join online community groups — If you’re feeling lonely during these times, try connecting with others through online support and community groups. No matter your interests, there’s bound to be a group out there where you can discuss your passions, connect around your interests, and make new friends.
Share recipes and cook together — Ask a few of your inner circle to send their favorite recipes, then choose a night to cook them. Sharing a meal even while far from one another can be a wonderful way to connect. You might chat on the phone or set up a laptop with video chat as you cook, then share photos of your culinary creations.
Release Trapped Emotions — Sometimes we can feel disconnected from our loved ones even when we are spending quality time with them. If you often feel lonely, sad, angry, frustrated, disappointed, or other strong negative feelings, it could be a sign you are harboring Trapped Emotions. Trapped Emotions happen when negative emotional energies get trapped in our bodies, and they can block us from giving and receiving love freely. We have found that these emotions can become trapped around the heart, forming an energetic wall we refer to as a Heart-Wall. Heart-Wall Trapped Emotions are often responsible when someone feels as though they can’t connect deeply in their close relationships. Tools such as The Emotion Code® and The Body Code™ are designed to help people free Trapped Emotions and release Heart-Walls. This can help you feel more connected to your friends and family even when you’re far apart.
No matter the distance, there’s always a way to connect, let people know you care, and give and receive love. Sharing deeply — or just having fun with those we care about — can relieve stress, give us hope, and bring more joy to our lives.
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