Social Connections

Staying Connected

Don’t Let Social Distancing Lead to a Social Recession

Overview

Most of our conversations around health focus on diet and fitness, but did you know that social connection is just as important? Humans are hardwired to interact because our social connections (or lack thereof) can have a dramatic impact on our health. Studies suggest that social connection can contribute to a healthy body mass index, control blood sugars, decrease cardiovascular mortality, decrease depressive symptoms, mitigate symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and improve overall mental health.

Staying connected becomes especially important to your health and well-being during a global pandemic when social isolation is required. With the need to stay inside and separated from others, it is easy to feel lonely and isolated. Here are some ideas ranging from “low-tech” to “no-tech” to help you stay in touch with your loved ones while you are physically apart.

  1. Woman sitting bench Face Timing  with her mobile phoneConnect Digitally - Leverage technology to stay connected with your loved ones. If your loved ones have a smart phone, computer or tablet you can schedule a video conference using FaceTime or Skype. If your loved one does not have a smart device, you can send them a Echo Show. This device makes it easy to stay in touch and make video calls to your family and friends. It is also easy to set up over the phone if your loved one has WiFi.

    Going digital unleashes unlimited possibilities for staying in touch. Here are just a few ways to stay connected once you have the technology set-up:
  • Start the day with coffee and a morning call with your loved one
  • Host a digital dinner party and invite your loved one to join virtually
  • Call your loved one to read a bedtime story with the grandkids

Don’t forget to follow Eskaton’s social media platforms! Communities are sharing photos and videos daily on Facebook that highlight life at the community. 
 

  1. Paper, pen and envelope for writing a letterSend Letters – When was the last time you mailed or received a letter from someone? Send a letter to your loved one and encourage other family members to do the same. Here are some ideas:
  • Encourage your kids or grandkids to participate and send together
  • Note sure what to write? Send a drawing or picture instead
  • Include a self-addressed envelope with a stamp to encourage your loved one to send a response
     
  1. Person holding a care packageSend or Drop off a Care Package – Care packages are a great way to reach out to your loved ones and show them that they are always in your thoughts. Whether you are looking to send them a little joy, keep them entertained, or help them learn something new, these care packages will show your love and care. You can put these kits together yourself or sign up for a monthly delivery using an online retailer
  • Create a crochet or knitting kit with instructions for a specific project ut together a garden box to start a small indoor garden (include living plants, potting soil and a decorative pot)
  • Send an arts and crafts crate designed to teach a new craft
  • Create a beautifully designed photobook online and ship it directly to your loved one 
     
  1. SmithsonianAttend a Virtual Class or Event Together – Museums, zoos, theatres and other local community partners are getting creative, offering opportunities to enjoy what they offer digitally. Even better, most are making these services, classes and attractions available for free. Plan to watch or join these experiences with your loved one and discuss afterwards. 
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium: Tune into a variety of webcams: aviary, coral reef, sharks, and jellyfish to name a few!
  • San Diego Zoo: Take a glimpse into the world of the animals and see what they’re up to while the visitors are away.
  • Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Move at your own pace through the 360-degree room-by-room tour of every exhibit in the museum.
  • The Vatican Museum: The Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and Raphael’s Room are just some of the sites you can see on the Vatican’s virtual tour.
  • The Sacramento Ballet is streaming their educational senior fitness classes as well as ballet performances on their SB@Home Page.

Want a full list of experiences? Visit our partners at Front Porch for a comprehensive guide of virtual experiences available online.
 

  1. Open book with middle two pages folded into the middle to make the shape of a heartShare Stories and Capture the Family Legacy – Discover family stories that you never knew. Schedule calls to discuss your family history. Not sure what questions to ask? Start with these 52 questions for capturing family stories. Prefer a more structured process? Create a beautifully designed story book online featuring the answers from your loved one.

We hope you are able to use these resources and suggestions to stay connected with your loved ones now, and in the future. For more incredible ways to stay engaged and in touch, take a look at these Eskaton blog posts for additional ideas and on-line resources.


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