Social distancing is a bit of a misnomer – while you should stay physically distant from others, you don’t have to stay emotionally isolated or distant from the people you love.
Video chatting tools, like FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts, are wonderful for seeing and speaking with people you may be otherwise separated from right now.
If you find yourself struggling to come up with things to do over video, here are five activities you, your family, and your friends can do on your next video chat.
1. Cook Dinner Together
Cooking is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable activities you can share with other people. When you’re separated physically, you can still cook together with someone over video chat – and then savor your meals together when you’re done.
Each side of your video chat can make the same recipe or a different one – the important part is to talk about the experience of cooking and what you’re doing in the moment. Just make sure you agree on the menu in advance to eliminate trips to the grocery store for forgotten ingredients.
You can bring your kids into the kitchen, too. Have younger kids rinse and wash vegetables, and ask teens for help with chopping tasks. Ask them to stir and mix ingredients, smell spices, and show them how to check if meat is cooked through.
Short on recipe ideas? We recently shared an easy salmon recipe that’s great for the entire family, and part of a heart-healthy Mediterranean diet!
2. Have a Dance Party/Karaoke Night
Kids cooped up inside need a chance to release some of that pent-up energy – and so do adults!
Having a dance party or karaoke night is a great way to let loose. One person can curate a playlist or each person can have a chance at picking out a song. Just prop up your phone or computer on a stable surface, hit play, and go wild!
You can also set the scene if you happen to have glow sticks or Christmas lights in storage. Turning off the lights and pulling out some glow sticks can turn any home dance party into a mini-rave.
3. Gather ‘Round for Story Time
Before TV was widespread, families would traditionally spend evenings gathered in the living room talking, crafting, making music, and telling stories. As we spend our evenings at home, you can revive those traditions – with the help of technology this time around.
You can read books or magazines aloud to each other. Or, invite grandparents to recall stories from the past, which is a great way to help younger kids connect with their older relatives. Younger children may have trouble keeping their eyes focused on a phone screen, so let them color or play with Play-Doh while they listen.
4. Host Virtual Workout Sessions
Exercising is always more enjoyable with a partner. One person can lead a yoga session or aerobics class by video, and others can follow along via FaceTime or Zoom video chat.
Regular exercise can improve your mood and physical health. Staying active can lower your blood pressure, help you sleep better, and help you cope with mental stress. Working out is difficult with gyms and public parks closed, but it’s still just as critical to staying healthy.
The WHO recommends setting a regular exercise schedule when working out indoors, and sharing that schedule with other people can help.
5. Compete in a FaceTime Scavenger Hunt
You can turn your own home into a new and exciting play area with a scavenger hunt!
The rules for a remote scavenger hunt are simple. First, one person makes a secret list of some common household items. Then, the list is revealed and teams on either side have a set amount of time to track down each item in their respective homes and bring it to a central location.
Some item ideas include coffee mugs, spatulas, baseball caps, rubber bands, hairbrushes, and any other common, portable items. You could also make clues that are more open to interpretation, like “something black and white” or “something that you can balance on your head”.
The winner is the first person to gather each item or bring the most back before the time runs out.
We Need to Stay Connected Now More Than Ever
Thanks to the technology we have today, there are tons of Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime activities to help you spend time together. Whether that’s playing a board game over video or just chatting, it’s important to keep in touch with your loved ones even when separated. Doing so can help you feel less isolated and alone during times like these.
And while you’re maintaining your relationships with relatives and friends through video, don’t forget about your physical and mental health, too. Florida Medical Clinic offers telemedicine visits for all patients who still need to check-in with their healthcare providers.
Wishing you good health, from your FMC family!