The holiday season is usually a time of celebrations and joyous memory-making with friends, family, and colleagues. This year will be different for many people. Due to the ongoing pandemic, many have decided to forego large gatherings and celebrate apart in observation of public health concerns and travel restrictions. While following social distancing practices and other precautions is the best way for older adults to protect themselves from contracting COVID-19, being alone can be mentally draining and may exacerbate feelings of loneliness or depression.
If you and your loved ones are unable to be together this holiday season, here are some ways to stay connected and celebrate while physically apart:
- Plan calls. Schedule regular telephone calls or video-chats to talk, share memories, or to watch holiday movies together.
- Virtual walks. Move together by planning a walk-and-talk phone conversation around your respective neighborhoods, attend the same online workouts, or schedule online dance parties.
- Cook together. Create a recipe exchange by email or text. You can also cook meals and eat together on video-chat.
- Game night. Invite family and friends to play online games together using phone apps and gaming websites.
- Virtual field trips. Call or video-chat with friends while taking virtual tours together of museums, national parks, and more from various arts & culture websites.
- Book club. Start a virtual family book club by selecting and reading a book together, then schedule a time to discuss your thoughts and reaction to the book. Take turns picking books from different genres.
Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Can Help You Connect
If you want help with building and maintaining social connections with loved ones, your Component EAP is a good place to start. Your EAP provides confidential, no-cost counseling and can help you set goals to improve your personal relationships and develop an action plan for achieving your relationship goals.
For more information or for help in contacting your EAP, write to your DHS Work-Life specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org.