COVID-19 has caused many events where families would have traditionally gathered have been either cancelled, rescheduled, or heavily modified to fit within the guidelines.

Even though your family can’t gather as they normally would during summer, here are a few simple ways to stay connected to them:

Set up weekly face-to-face calls

Modern technology has given the world the tools to be connected now more than ever. Now, you can use your mobile phone or social media accounts to conduct video chats with your family. Schedule a time each week that works best for you and your crew to sit down and talk about your week, make announcements or even just to share a laugh or two.

Send a card

A card is a simple way to stay connected to those who may not be as tech savvy as some of your other relatives. A card lets the receiver know you are thinking of them and that you miss them. You can include an updated family photo, one of your child’s piece of artwork or a few sentences about what’s new in your life.

Have a family game night

Online gaming doesn’t necessarily mean playing Fortnite or Call of Duty. There are plenty of apps and online games that the whole family can participate in and enjoy. For example, apps such as Scrabble or Uno allow users to play the classic games on their phones with friends at any time for little to no cost.

Throw a Netflix Party

Eager to have a family movie night or catch up on the latest episodes of you and your grandmother’s favorite show? Netflix Party is a Google Chrome extension that allows you to watch content on Netflix with your family or friends at the same time. Netflix Party also includes a chat feature where viewers can make comments on the video in real-time.

Make a playlist together

While you may not be able to jam out to the latest hits with your favorite family members in person, you can build your own family music library. Music apps such as Spotify have developed a feature to let users make collaborative playlists with their friends and families. Each user can add their song of choice to the playlist and it will be shared with the rest of the group. Keep the playlist and use it at your next family event to showcase your different personalities and experiences.

It is important to try to find some sort of normalcy during COVID-19. Until your family can gather as they traditionally would, use these tips to enjoy your family and keep connected with them throughout quarantine.

Call UofL Health – Peace Hospital’s Assessment and Referral Center if you think you are in need of a crisis assessment at 502-451-3333 or 800-451-3637. Or contact the 24-Hour Crisis and Information Center Line at 502-589-4313 or 800-221-0446.

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Article by: Kelly Gillooly, M.Ed., LCADC

Kelly Gillooly, M.Ed., LCADC, is the System Director of Behavioral Health at UofL Health – Peace Hospital. She is a licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor. Kelly has worked in the behavioral health field for more than 25 years and has been with Peace Hospital since 2012.

All posts by Kelly Gillooly, M.Ed., LCADC
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