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Studies have proven that surrounding oneself with family and friends is beneficial to one’s happiness and overall well-being. However, due to certain circumstances, we may not have the opportunity to connect with our loved ones the way we want. 

The COVID-19 pandemic’s lockdown, social distancing, quarantines, and isolations are one example of how our connection with our loved ones has been challenged. If anything, this pandemic has made it more prominent just how important your relationships with your family and friends are. But just because it’s challenging doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Here are X ways to check in on your loved ones and keep the connection strong and healthy. 

How to Stay Connected With Your Loved Ones 

1. Schedule your calls 

Treat your calls to your family and friends like you would work meetings. Having a schedule ensures that you make time for your call but also keeps things organized considering how the majority of people are working from home and have their hands full with balancing their work and home life.

Regular phone calls are great but video calls provide that extra level of connection because you’re seeing each other’s faces. You can connect with your family wherever they may be through a plethora of video calling platforms, what’s important is you do get on that call.

2. Create group chats and keep them live 

Being available to pick up a call isn’t always an option but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected through other means. Creating group chats with family members or friend groups is a fun way to still be involved in each other’s lives. 

Keep the group chat alive by sending recipes, funny videos, good articles to read, new songs you’ve discovered, or any other fun thing you would want to share. Cute photos of pets and babies are also appreciated.

3. Plan virtual events 

From virtual happy hour to trivia and game night, there are a lot of fun events you can do with your loved ones online. There are a bunch of applications and online platforms that allow you to host virtual game nights. You and your friends can also have fun being your own mixologists for a virtual happy hour and share your cocktail recipes for everyone to enjoy.

Birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, and other special occasions can still be celebrated together. Gather everyone on Zoom or Skype or any other video platform of your choice and celebrate the special day with your special people. Birthday gifts can be shipped directly to your loved ones and you can buy food and drinks for each other on a delivery service app to really amp up the party vibes. 

4. Remote movie nights 

With the abundance of streaming platforms available online, there is bound to be a show or movie that you and your family and friends can enjoy together. Distance won’t stand in the way between you and your loved ones from binge-watching your favorite shows. And because the internet is a magical place, there are several platforms that support both your streaming site as well as chat and video call options so you can enjoy your movie together in real-time. 

5. Online clubs 

Just because you and your friends can’t see each other face to face, that doesn’t mean your hobbies are put on hold. In fact, you may even have some extra time on your hands to actually dive deeper into those interests. 

Gather your friends and create a book club, scheduling your virtual meetings with each other bi-weekly or monthly to discuss your new reads. You can also share recipes with your cooking or baking buddies, discussing new techniques you’ve learned or ingredients you’ve cooked with. 

Choirs and bands can even meet up online. You can even record music virtually and eventually host an online concert if that is something your group is interested in.

6. Online Classes

If you haven’t picked up a hobby yet, or you’re looking to learn something new, online classes are a great way to develop a new skill while also meeting new people. Check your local dance, yoga, or art studios, contact your local colleges, and look it up online, there is surely an online class you’re interested in that you can enroll in.

Some online classes are pre-recorded and can be done at your own pace which is great for independent learners but if you want to enjoy it with a friend, have them be your new classmate and accountability partner and you can take those online classes together. 

Staying Connected for a Healthier Life

Strengthening your relationships with those you love is so important it can actually help you live longer and healthier, a study published by Harvard Medical School suggests. By staying connected with your family and friends, you are reminding them that they have a support system and that someone has their back, ready to pick up their call when life can be a struggle.