Whether you live far away from your family or are currently unable to be with them because of the pandemic, being separated from your family can put a strain on some relationships, especially closely-knit families who see each other often and do things together.
In some cases right now, a parent has to be isolated from their kids, and that can profoundly affect parent-child relationships. Staying connected anytime is so important but especially during this current global crisis. By establishing a few new habits, you and your family can come out of the pandemic – or any separation – even stronger than before.
How to Stay Connected With Your Family
Here are some practical ways to encourage you stay connected with your family when self-isolating:
Engage In Conversation
Talking is the healthiest way of dealing with any issues related to emotions. If you want your relationships to survive a pandemic lockdown or to repair fractured relations, you have to take some time to talk to your loved ones.
Talk about the disease and why it is essential to maintain a period of isolation. Go on to discuss in detail how the separation will go and what methods of communication you will adopt to stay in touch. Make it a must to give each other regular updates until the period of isolation is over.
Stay Connected With Technology
Check on your loved ones through regular texts and video calls. We live in the technology era, which makes it possible to remain connected with people regardless of the distance. It is even possible to have group calls where the whole family can participate in different locations.
We’ve set up a regular Wednesday afternoon video chat with my mom using her Grandpad. It gives us the chance to stay in touch and help her relieve some of her anxiety (and ours) by checking in with each other and making sure that everyone is still well.
Staying connected with family does not mean talking and chatting alone. You have to incorporate other activities that you can do together. Playing games online, together as a family, can maintain the connection needed to get through a lockdown with minimum damage.
There are different kinds of games online to suit various family interests. Depending on the sort of things you like as a family, you can play board games, sports games, role play, strategy, adventure, etc. My sister’s family has been using House Party to play games together (one of their favorite family pastimes.
Start A Family Project
Another way to reconnect with family members is to start a family project. A family project will ensure that you frequently communicate as a family. It will also bring about some challenges that you will have to work together to overcome, thereby uniting the family.
The family project does not have to be complicated; it could be starting a family YouTube channel, blogging, or business. You could also start preparing the family’s genealogical tree. My grand nephew is an avid amateur genealogist and he loves showing us his new discoveries!
Make Plans For The Future
While you are in self-isolation or lockdown, try to work together as a family to plan the next gathering or family vacation. You can give each other tasks to do and make decisions together until the whole plan comes along.
Planning together gives family members the feeling of being loved and being relevant, which plays a significant role in building connections and reconnecting for those who had lost touch. This is a fantastic way to cultivate hopefulness too!
Reach Out And Help Each Other
Encourage each other in coming up with goals and resolutions. Discuss and establish each other’s vision board and come up with a mutual vision board as a family. Help each other evaluate past achievements and failures and map up new objectives for when the pandemic is over.
By being involved in each other’s lives, you build a stronger bond, guaranteed to withstand any crisis that may threaten to shake your walls.
You can also offer each other some practical help if you’re able to. My mom’s vision isn’t the best so we’re helping her to order birthday gifts for family members online. If you live nearby, you could pick up groceries or other needed items for high risk family members and make a porch delivery to them.
Heal Old Wounds And Move Forward
A time of crisis is an excellent opportunity to tackle past hurts. Talk about these issues openly with the relevant family member and forgive or ask forgiveness where necessary.
Paradoxical, though it may seem, a pandemic is an opportune moment to mend and start over with any broken or wounded relationship with other family members. It may hurt at first, when dealing with these issues, especially if there were deeply buried emotions, but the intense feeling of relief and restoration will be liberating once relationships are mended.
It’s important to remember that everyone is feeling anxiety though, and emotions can be a little more raw during this time. Be patient and offer one another some grace. Give yourself some too and apologize where needed.