Healthy Habits

5 Ways to Stay Socially Connected During the Holidays

Content provided by the GBS Health & Wellness Team

Enjoying the holiday season during the current pandemic is likely to look different than ever before. Consider the following ideas to stay safe and still be socially connected with those you love during the holidays.

Host a virtual movie or game night

There are several websites that have created opportunities to connect with others virtually. Netflix Party allows for synchronized video watching accompanied by a group chat. Alternatively, a virtual game night can be made possible through JackBox Games, which allows for virtual players and an audience. Take some time to schedule a night of fun with family and friends, regardless of location.

Participate in Zoom-style gatherings

The holidays are a special time to be with loved ones, and Zoom, Houseparty, and other video chatting software can allow for virtual book clubs, cooking clubs (see this month’s From the Dietitian’s Desk for more details on hosting a cooking club), group meals, or even festive caroling as a group. Simply select the software or app, send an invitation to desired guests, and enjoy time with loved ones!

Drop off a treat or meal to a friend

Prepare a favorite holiday treat to deliver to neighbors or those in need. The holidays can be challenging time for many people, and spreading some cheer can go a long way to increase connection and bonding with others.

Schedule neighborhood walks

If weather permits, bundle up for a brisk walk with neighbors. Getting in some physical activity along with social connection can majorly improve overall mood and quality of life.

Write letters to loved ones

Consider this an opportunity to slow down and take some time to write a letter of encouragement, connection, or love. This could also be a fun chance to get creative with painting, drawing, or web editing. The app Ink Cards makes it quick and easy to send letters from a mobile device that can include personalized text and photos.

It is still possible to foster special connections with others with a little creativity, planning, and by taking advantage of virtual resources. Making social bonding a priority can help increase life expectancy, boost immune health, and relieve both physical and emotional discomfort. Plus, spending time with loved ones is a simple way to feel more of a sense of normalcy during a time of significant change.


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