By Jordan Cryderman
Seeing our families in person may not be doable this holiday season – at least not physically. However, there are many ways to connect virtually with your family as we celebrate the holidays during COVID-19.
On December 7th, the BC provincial health officer, Bonnie Henry, extended the province-wide restrictions for social gatherings until January 8th, 2021. Unfortunately, this means that many people will not be able to see their families over the holidays. This may cause people to feel isolated and lonely during a time their accustomed to visiting with friends and family.
Loneliness and isolation can have negative effects on one’s mental, physical, and cognitive health. It is important to monitor not only our own health, but those around us including friends and family.
Although the pandemic has limited our physical social interactions this holiday season, there are a number of creative and meaningful ways people can connect virtually this holiday season.
1. Video calls: There are many programs available nowadays that allow you to connect with people via video. These include Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, and many others.
2. Watch parties: There are a number of platforms that allow you to watch television shows or movies with others – virtually!
3. Online video games: If gaming is your thing, you can play a multitude of games online with friends or family. It could be a game as simple as even Pictionary. The possibilities are nearly endless.
4. Sharing hobbies: You can share new recipes with your loved ones, and challenge them to make it better! This goes for many other hobbies as well, such as painting, drawing, knitting, and so on.
5. Activity trackers: Part of staying healthy during the pandemic is staying on top of your exercise routines. To make your exercise more fun, share your progress and challenge your friends to do the same.
These are just a few options to stay connected during the holidays this year. However, if you’re experiencing extended periods of loneliness or isolation, or your mental health is being affected negatively, reach out to a friend or family member, or a healthcare professional. There are also a number of crisis lines that will be available during the holidays, including the 24-hour crisis line (1-800-784-2433).
Now, more than ever, it is crucial that we take care of not only our own mental health, but our loved ones. Regularly check-in with one another, and virtually connect with the five options we listed, or any other activities that you can safely enjoy.
We are all in this together. Even though we may not be able to physically spend the holidays with our friends or family, we can do so virtually, and by doing so, will be protecting our loved ones from COVID-19.
Last modified: Monday 19-Dec-22 15:19:48 PST