Staying connected, virtually

Good morning and welcome to another Wellness Wednesday from your SEAC team, with today's topic being: Staying connected, virtually! #bethellegacy #onebethel #wellnesswednesday #stayconnected

As humans we are made to crave connection with others. Typically this looks like face to face connections so when a pandemic hits, and that is no longer a safe option, a lot of people are left feeling lonely and disconnected, especially our children.

We hope you know that grieving that loss of connection is completely normal and your feelings are valid. Allow yourself to feel those feelings and acknowledge what you miss, but don’t let those feelings cloud your judgement.

 Here are a few tips for you and your family to still get that feeling of connection, while keeping everyone around you safe and healthy:

1. Virtual get togethers

You can encourage your student to get together with friends to decompress and share stories of the day and about their experiences during these challenging times. They don’t need to do this in-person. They can do it virtually.

Choose a platform. Some of the most popular video platforms are FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts and most recently House Party. Create a meeting time, send out invites to friends or loved ones,  and get started.

“Talking to each other about our experiences and observations helps to make these unusual times feel a little less strange,” Welch says.

2. Stay social with online gaming

Video games today can be played across long distances. It’s no wonder online gaming is seeing a boom during the COVID-19 pandemic as people strive to stay social while practicing social distancing.

Popular games include Fortnite, Minecraft and JackBox Games, which can be played on multiple platforms. “If you don’t know how to get started setting up or playing video games, this is a perfect time to flip the tables and let a younger person be the expert,” Welch says.

The gaming industry is doing its part to help protect our safety by teaming up with the World Health Organization (WHO) in support of its #PlayApartTogether messaging campaign. The campaign uses video games to promote the importance of social distancing and other safety measures during the pandemic.

3. Try online exercise programs

Missing your workout partner? A lot of major exercise franchises have made all or part of their platforms free in response to the pandemic. Whether you do CrossFit, yoga, dance cardio or Pilates, you and your workout partner can still arrange to meet at a certain time, log in together and do your workout.

4. Watch free concerts online together

Many musicians and celebrities are putting on events for their safe-at-home and essential-worker fans. Whether you like rock, R & B, alternative, country, classical, opera, or anything else, it’s out there for the finding.

You can get started by Googling keywords for your favorite genres along with “free online concert.” Well-known musicians participating include John Legend, Pink and Chris Martin of Coldplay.

For children, celebrities have been offering virtual story times, too. Jimmy Fallon, Oprah Winfrey, Rami Malek, Melissa Gilbert and Betty White are among the celebrities who have taken the time to read to our kids. You might enjoy the stories too!

5. Take virtual tours as a family

You can still go to the zoo. You can go to many incredible museums around the world if you desire and still stay home. Many zoos and museums have made their virtual tours available for free to support the public during the pandemic. You may see footage of zoo animals encountering each other for the first time, something not usually possible during business as usual.

So, hop on your desktop, tablet or smartphone with your friend and visit a zoo or museum or take a virtual tour anywhere that you’d like to go.

“If you had a vacation that needed to be rescheduled due to the pandemic, go anyway with Google Earth,” Welch says. “Of course, it’s not the same, but you’ll still see things you haven’t seen before, guaranteed.

6. Write letters

Is there a senior citizen in your life (or even a non-senior) who would appreciate an actual physical card or letter? Of course, there is.

Spending extra time indoors with our kids gives us a chance to teach them how to write interesting and heartfelt words on paper by hand. Many consider handwriting a forgotten art but it doesn’t have to be.

-Cited from scripps.org

Social connections are the threads that bind our communities together. By prioritizing human interactions and finding meaningful ways to connect during this time of physical distance and social isolation, we can support each other and our own health and well-being.

As always, if you have any questions about your child(ren)’s mental health, please feel free to contact your Bethel SEAC Team. 

In Wellness,

Your SEAC Team: Sara Davidson (Grades: K-5) davidsons@blsk12.org  Coleen Henderson (Grades: 6-12) hendersonc@blsk12.org