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Staying in Touch While at a Distance

  • Socialization is an important part of maintaining mental health. It can improve your brain function, increase your feelings of well-being, and stave off depression (especially when you or a loved one is undergoing cancer treatment).

    But, what do you do when socializing in-person is not possible and social distancing is a part of daily life?

    New technologies have made it easier than ever to socialize from afar, and there are plenty of options for staying in touch that don’t require the use of an electronic device. Here are some ideas for staying in touch with your loved ones when you can’t see them in person:

    Phone Calls or Video Chats: The tried and true way to keep in touch from a distance is through phone calls and video chats. To avoid conflicting schedules, or calling at an inconvenient time, it may help to schedule something in advance with your loved ones.

    For those connecting with multiple family members or friends in various places, many video chatting platforms have options for multiple users. With these applications, you can schedule a digital meetup with friends, host a family reunion, or get together with your book club from the comfort of your couch.

    Exchanging Photos and Videos: It can be difficult to miss special moments with your friends and family, but taking and sending photos and videos during these times can help you and others feel more connected and engaged. The photos you take and receive from loved ones can also help fuel a new hobby, such as scrapbooking.

    Watching Something Together: Sometimes, it’s nice to watch a new show or a favorite movie with a friend. Even if you can’t share a couch, some video streaming platforms have introduced “watch together” options. Take a look at your favorite streaming sites and see what options they are offering for you and your loved ones.

    Sending Mail: While using technology to connect can be fun, it can also be a nice change of pace to send or receive a handwritten letter, children’s drawings, or other items in the mail. Start a new tradition of writing or sending care packages to those that you love. A family recipe or a thoughtful card can brighten your loved one’s day.

    Trying out a few of the ideas above can be a great way to avoid the feelings of sadness and isolation that come with social distancing. Although you may not be able to share a space with your loved ones, there are other ways to connect and be part of each other’s everyday lives.