Quarantine bites, doesn’t it?!
It’s no fun to be separated from the people that you love. We’ve basically all been in a long distance relationship with our family and friends for the past year, whether they live across the globe or across the street.
It’s hard for younger people, sure, but what about the older people in your life? Your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles etc?
In the age of zoom, FaceTime, Skype, Facebook Messenger, Instagram Messenger, WhatsApp, etc (…need I continue?) Millenials and Gen Z have adapted to a contactless society as much as can be expected. It’s very easy to forget that growing up with all of this technology, our family on the older side hasn’t had all of this available for much of their lives.
I’ve been thinking a lot about ways to cheer up my parents, aunts, uncles and family friends now that I’m unable to see them, and here’s what I’ve got.
1. Snail Mail
Ok, maybe this is just the word-lover in me, but there are few things I love more than a handwritten card. And that’s saying something, considering I have the world’s worst handwriting. Seriously.
But as much as I love this, I feel like my parents and extended family love it even more. It shows that someone took the time to sit down, put their thoughts and feelings into words and went the extra step of mailing it, as opposed to firing off an email while watching tv.
2. A Music Streaming Service Playlist
Did you know that music is one of the things most closely tied to memory? Sometimes with Alzheimers patients, as a form of therapy, they play patients’ songs from their childhood and it greatly improves their moods. Guess what? Turns out that other people really enjoy music too! Who would have thought, huh? ;)
Make a playlist that makes you think of your favourite person. Do you have songs together that you would call “our song?” Does a certain song have a special message you want that person to hear? How about something that just lets them know you’re there and you’re thinking of them? There’s a reason for the famous lyrics “I’ll have to say I love you in a song!”
3. Watch a Movie Together
Did you know there are a lot of apps now that let you stop and start movies at the same time as your favourite person watching a world away? Even without the help of these apps, there’s always the good old-fashioned pause button. Toss on a movie at the same time as your mom, and chat throughout the entire thing. Make comments, make predictions, or make fun, but most importantly, make memories!
4. Start a Book Club
Never underestimate the power of a good book! Reading alone is fun, but reading with other people just makes it even more exciting. You have someone you can be shocked with when the pages take a turn for the mysterious, or you can fall in love with Mr. Darcy all over again. I promise, your mom will LOVE doing this with you!
5. Send a Celebrate Video
Did we mention that a Celebrate Video is a surefire way to cheer up anyone in your life? Your Uncle who lives in a different state/province will love seeing the faces of the people he cares about without putting anyone at risk — trust me, I participated in one for my Uncle and it absolutely made his day! With pretty minimal effort on your part, not only does your loved one feel appreciated from across the miles, but they also have an amazing keepsake — a forever memory of all the people who cared enough to contribute.