The pandemic forced us all into a year of social hibernation. Physical distancing, isolating, and lockdowns meant that we had to get creative when it came to maintaining family ties.
Now, as restrictions finally begin to ease, we can start enjoying those freedoms we sorely missed prior to when this whole mess began.
Staying connected with family in a post-covid world means continuing those habits we established when we were forced to be apart.
Setting up new routines to support those special bonds we have with our families and encouraging ways to help parents, grandparents, and kids connect can be vital to our overall health and happiness.
4 ways to stay connected post-covid
Despite the heartbreak of being away from loved ones at the height of the pandemic, it did come with a silver lining. It forced us to make communication a priority. And in many ways, being apart brought us closer together.
While things go back to a new normal, there’s a tendency to start taking those family relationships for granted.
Here are some simple tips to ensure you stay connected with family in 2021 and beyond:
1. Make it routine
Make a phone call, a text, or a video call a regular routine. Having daily contact with family members maintains positive relationships and can really be a boost to our mental health.
Just like you would pencil in a workout or doctor’s appointment, make a note in your diary to reach out to family and see how they’re getting along.
If distance isn’t an obstacle, arrange for a family get-together or a catch up. This can be a great opportunity for grandchildren and grandparents to get some quality time together, and also gives grandparents something to look forward to.
2. Celebrate the small things
It can be easy to forget to call or text as much now that you might be seeing family a bit more, but for grandparents it’s more important than ever to stay well-connected.
In particular, taking time to celebrate things like birthday parties helps older family members feel connected to their grandkids. During the pandemic, 83% of seniors sorely missed being able to see their children/grandchildren in person. By organising a special celebration (even if it’s via video chat!) it helps to combat feelings of loneliness and gives grandparents - and kids alike - quality contact.
Whether it’s a milestone birthday, celebrating a child’s graduation, or simply a party to toast to new beginnings - get the entire family involved and make it a day to anticipate!
3. Start a new tradition
Having a family tradition is one of the most treasured aspects life has to offer. These memories will stay engraved in the heart’s and minds of children for years to come.
Some ideas can include:
- Taking grandma on a weekend drive
- Hosting a family talent show
- Baking a passed-down family recipe each birthday
- Starting a family scrapbook
- Getting everyone involved in researching the family tree
- Going on a weekend camping trip every summer holidays
- Hosting a weekly group video chat or virtual games night
- Having a mummy/daddy daughter/son date
These traditions will encourage further bonding between families, and are a meaningful way of providing a sense of identity. Not only that, but traditions help break up the humdrum of everyday life and can help carry us through difficult times.
4. Keep planning for the future
There have been so many changes to our daily lives this past year. One of the hardest parts was not being able to spend quality time with family and friends. Even though we’re slowly seeing a light of hope and better months to come, it’s important to remember that these difficult periods that may surface are only temporary.
Many of us have become hesitant when it comes to planning future events. But even if we don’t know what the future holds, we can still plan for it. Organising events and activities to look forward to can be a great source of comfort, and is the key to staying connected in a post-covid world.
It only takes one person to get the ball rolling. Why not be the one to reach out to family and organise a catch up? By making a plan to connect with family and building quality family time into your daily routine, you are starting new wonderful traditions that will benefit everyone. Encourage intergenerational relationships by inviting the grandparents for dinner and having the kids talk to them about school. Challenge the family to get involved and set up a regular meeting schedule. Plan holidays, parties, and events for a nice reprieve from the everyday ordinariness of life. Family ties are super important and should be nurtured as often as possible to help each other to better cope with the uncertainty of life.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 jacquicoombe