National Siblings Day: How to Stay Connected
By Lauren Noakes
Published 10th April 2020
Last modified 5th March 2023
Last modified 5th March 2023
In recent weeks, identifying simple and accessible methods of communicating with our loved ones has been a priority for most. Our daily lives have been altered entirely and yet, often, the most difficult challenge is adapting to the lack of real, face-to-face social contact – and we’re not the only ones to have noticed.
Facebook, in an effort to highlight their COVID-19 support page, recently released a short video entitled ‘Never Lost’ to remind their audience of the alternative ways in which we can connect. The social platform paired the dynamic poetry of Kate Tempest with contemporary shots of our current environment – showcasing the empty streets of London in tandem with warming moments of distanced interaction. The overarching message was this: ‘we’re never lost if we can find each other’.
So, this National Siblings Day we wanted to highlight some of the best ways that we can find, and stay connected with, our family and friends whilst self-isolating.
Over recent years the topic of social media has been a controversial one. Whilst some adore the ability to share their favourite memories with their loved ones and the wider world, others find the platforms too invasive and damaging to individual self-esteem.
Whatever side of the debate you fall on, there is no denying that social platforms can be an asset in the current period of isolation. In fact, it’s been reported that messaging usage across platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp has increased by 50% and, similarly, the volume of video calls has doubled in some areas of the world!
Evidently, individuals are relying on these platforms to maintain contact with one another – whether this is in sharing posts, sending private messages or playing interactive games. Whatever the cause, these features allow us to reach out to those who may be struggling and offer our support.
Of course, we must recognise the negative effects such as the spread of misinformation, risk of addiction and the overall strain on our mental wellbeing. However, so long as we recognise these risks and actively try to manage them, then social media can still be a positive and necessary resource in the coming weeks.
As briefly mentioned above, many video calling programs are currently witnessing a surge in usage and this isn’t difficult to understand.
Platforms such as Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts allow us to imitate the physical interaction that is missing by presenting us with face-to-face solutions. This is a pivotal way in which we can ensure frequent contact with one another and we would suggest setting up a weekly call, at a designated time. In doing so, individuals can go through their usual, or not so usual, week and look forward to the call – providing the needed social interaction whilst instilling a sense of regularity and structure.
And why not go further? Many people are taking to hosting an array of games, quizzes and interactive activities over video calls. So, why not create one with your family!
Understandably, we can sometimes run out of things to talk about – so why not replace your conversation with a game. Whatever your interests, there is a gaming application that will cater to them whilst additionally connecting you to your friends and family.
If you’re not sure where to start then we would recommend the following; Quiz Up, House Party, and Words with Friends. Each of these applications is tailored to a different skillset and you’ll soon identify which best suits your requirements.
Perhaps your new-found virtual relationships aren’t enough, or maybe it’s a special occasion, in which case sending a care package could be a great alternative to the expected physical event.
Brands such as Izzybee allow you to send letterbox gifts that give your loved ones the pick-me-up that they may need of or perhaps mark a special occasion. So whether it’s a pamper set, cooking set or a cosy gift – you can make their day.
Undeniably, there is an abundance of ways to connect with our loved ones whilst we remain under current regulations – so make use of them!
What’s more, whilst caring for them ensure that you are also caring for yourself as managing our own wellbeing is equally important in this period – whether this is in maintaining a set schedule, partaking in regular physical activity or searching for alternate ways to manage our overall feelings of stress and anxiety.