27 Mar 11 Ways To Stay Connected With Family, Friends & Loved Ones
If you’re living in isolation, missing family, friends and loved ones, here’s how to stay safely connected amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
Social distancing and staying at home has been recommended as a way to impede the spread of COVID-19, the new infectious disease that has taken over the world. However, self-isolation has made a lot of people feel detached, alone and lonely. Staying connected with friends, family and loved ones is more important than ever.
Even if you’re busy taking care of kids, pets and other family members while working from home, make sure to check in on those who might be all alone right now. If you have an elderly relative, friend or family member abroad, or someone living alone, make sure to check in on their needs, offer encouragement, or just talk. You might be making a huge impact on someone’s life right now just by saying hello.
If you’re finding it difficult to stay connected with others during these trying times, here’s a list of ways to stay in touch with those you’re missing — or those who might miss you.
1. Pick Up The Phone
With all the different ways to connect these days, many of us don’t have frequent phone conversations anymore. Simply picking up the phone and making a call right now is the best thing to do. Surprise someone with a phone call and if they don’t answer, leave a message and check in on them another time. Go through your phone book and make a list of who to contact and spend an afternoon simply chatting and catching up.
Tip: Put anyone who lives alone at the top of your call list!
2. Video Call
Better yet, make it a face-to-face experience with a video call through free technology like Skype, Facetime, Zoom, Messenger, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts or another free video app. You might have to offer help (or get help) setting up the app or creating an account for someone, but the effort and time spent will be well worth it, especially if kids are involved. Children missing their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends will get so much more out of a video call than a phone call.
Tip: For toddlers, preschoolers and grade school kids, try setting up a virtual play date with a friend or two so they can get some face to face interaction with someone of their own age.
3. Send A Message
More frequent, spontaneous communication is better suited for messages. Whether it’s text messages through your phone or app, instant messages, emails or even direct messages through social media, sending a quick note doesn’t require much time or effort, and yet it still offers a nice way to connect on a daily basis. Starting a group message or thread can be a great way to connect with a number of people all at once, sharing family news, information or even fun memories from the past.
Tip: If you’re not able to connect with someone through a video call, you might still be able to send them photos or even videos through a messaging app.
4. Write A Letter
Most of us aren’t in the habit of writing letters or sending cards, other than the annual holiday cards or occasional greetings. Now is the perfect time to connect with someone the old-fashioned way through written words. This can especially be a fun way for kids to connect with friends and family, even with just a short note, homemade card or drawing. If you know someone working in health care, law enforcement, public safety, first responders, or any of the fields considered essential right now, send them a thank you or thinking of you note — it will really mean a lot. Pinterest is a good place to find ideas for DIY cards and fun notes to send, especially for kids. And artists, like our very own collaborator, Kate Smith, are giving cards away for free so you can send some love to those you care about most.
Tip: Younger kids who can’t write yet can still participate by dictating the words you write and signing their name or drawing a picture to go with the letter or card.
5. Send A Care Package
If you want to go the extra mile, make someone smile with a care package filled with goodies they can enjoy. This is perfect for anyone celebrating a birthday or another special occasion, but can also be a nice thinking of you gift that will be much appreciated. 1-800 Flowers, Harry & David, Cravebox, Cratejoy and others offer a wide variety of care package options with food, drinks, self-care items, books and everything in between. Just make sure to include a note or card to let the person or family know you’re thinking of them.
Tip: You can also order personalized gifts at Personalization Mall to let your loved ones know you’re thinking of them. Although the delivery dates are temporarily being delayed, you can let them know that their package will be arriving shortly through the Email to a Friend button on the site.
6. Host A Virtual Sunday Dinner or Family Party
If your family is like my family, Sunday dinner is a big deal. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and sometimes even friends and neighbors all gather around a meal to chat, celebrate and connect. You can bring back some of that same energy and atmosphere with a virtual dinner all through a video call app, like one of the ones listed above. This is especially nice for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and graduations. Send out an invitation and get everyone on the same platform to participate however they can. Then gather around the dinner table and let the technology be the conduit for communication.
Tip: With so many High School and College grads missing out on their graduations this May, plan a virtual graduation party to honor your grad. Then follow up with a real party once the social distancing orders have been lifted.
7. Virtual Lunch Hour (Or Happy Hour)
If Sunday family dinner is not your thing, consider setting up a daily virtual lunch hour to chat and catch up with family, friends or coworkers. And if lunch time is too busy or too difficult to coordinate, make it a happy hour after work – drinks optional! Keep the conversation light and cheerful by avoiding lengthy discussions of the ongoing pandemic and politics. Instead, create a separate space for these discussions in a message or email thread, or via Slack or Microsoft Teams thread with work colleagues. Coworkers can also create a video chatroom during morning coffee hour to connect casually just as they would in a real office setting. Some workplaces have even opened it up to families, so coworkers can meet each other’s spouses and kids — virtually, of course.
Tip: Inviting just one coworker or friend for a virtual morning coffee or afternoon tea to reconnect and chat face-to-face can do wonders for mental health.
8. Virtual Family Reunion
You can take things to the next level with a daylong virtual family reunion. This is especially a nice option for large and extended families, or long-distance relatives you don’t keep in touch with on a regular basis. Treat this like any other event and plan out every detail, including the timing and everyone’s availability, as well as the technology you’re using. Make sure ahead of time that everyone is able to connect and that there are no technical difficulties on the day of. Then create an agenda, plan out games and activities and get everyone on-board for the fun. The Family Search Blog points out another advantage of a virtual family reunion: the ability to record the experience and preserve it for future generations!
Tip: This can also work well for your close group of friends, coworkers or people you normally hang out with, like your book club buddies, classmates and more.
9. Create A Family Webpage
Another way to connect with family and loved ones on a regular basis is through a family webpage, whether it’s a password protected website or a private group on Facebook, WhatsApp or another app. WordPress.com and similar blogging platforms allow you to create a free site where you can post updates, share news and invite friends and family members to stay connected on their own time. If this sounds like too much work, simply consider connecting with others through social media updates on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. For some, this might be the easiest way to stay in touch during this time.
Tip: If you’re using social media platforms, make sure the group you’re creating is private so that only the people you invite are able to join in on the conversation and view the posts.
10. Share Your Interests Virtually
If you’re missing time with your circles of friends, teams and groups you can find ways to share interests virtually. Some have started virtual book clubs to continue their literary discussions. Others continue to stay fit with virtual yoga classes and other at-home group fitness conducted through video calls. You can even setup a family movie night with Netflix Party mode, allowing you to sync video playback and chat in real time about the shows you’re watching. Video gamers can play online games together and for kids and teens learning how to play an instrument you can host a virtual recital. Get creative and see how you can continue to enjoy your hobbies and activities with friends and family remotely through technology.
Tip: Meetup.com is great place to find local groups with similar interests — both in person and online — on topics ranging from family, health, fitness, to music, film, writing, pets and so much more.
11. Setup A Virtual Prayer Room
No matter what religion you follow or what you believe in, prayer can be a powerful thing, especially during these trying times. There’s a familiar quote that says “families that pray together, stay together.” Right now, a place to pray together can be extremely helpful for those who feel alone or isolated, who have previously relied on their church, mosque, temple or place of worship and can’t actively attend now. Creating a virtual prayer room allows you to pray with a group, just as you would in real life. The site
24-7prayer.com shares some tips on how to run a virtual prayer room, choosing the right digital space for your group, creating prayer support, encouraging and engaging others in prayer. If a virtual prayer room is not right for your family, take the time to simply say a prayer for those you love. Prayer is a powerful thing and can do wonders for the soul.
Tip: Don’t forget to say a prayer for those at service to us all, including nurses, doctors, hospital staff, police officers, firefighters, first responders,
BONUS: Have Some Fun
Don’t let these crazy times get you down and pull you away from the people that really matter in your life. There are plenty of ways to reach out to those you love. Most importantly, stay safe and find ways to have a bit of fun while you’re at it. Here are just a few ideas to inspire you.
I wish my neighbors were this fun ?#QuarentineLife
pic.twitter.com/8ZGpVyJzci— Erick (@ecvdblk) March 17, 2020
This pianist serenaded his neighbors from his balcony during Spain’s countrywide coronavirus lockdown.#CoronaVirusChallenge pic.twitter.com/v0InukF50l— Mr Belutsch?? (@Mr_Belutsch) March 22, 2020
Can we make this a thing? We need more variety during our daily walks/gym class! #neighbourhoodDPA #chalkyourwalk #isolationvacation #StopTheSpread #CoronaVirusChallenge #preemielife @wrdsb pic.twitter.com/iR0bRH9NDT— Ms Cook (@QEkindies) March 20, 2020
This is my young cousin. He calls teachers, neighbors and older people, then schedules an appointment to play a song to bring them happiness while social distancing.
We need more goodness like this right now. #CoronaVirusChallenge #CoronavirusPandemic pic.twitter.com/ylLO73ByFd— Brad Meltzer (@bradmeltzer) March 26, 2020
Connect With Us
How are you connecting with friends, family and coworkers during this time? Share your tips, ideas and resources in the comments below or via social media on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
If you have placed an order or have any order related questions, please contact our customer service team by phone, live chat or email. You can also get answers to frequently asked questions and other useful info.
Jenny StonePosted at 15:15h, 05 April
I really like your blog thanks for caring and sharing about this virus!
Diane SmithPosted at 20:01h, 17 April
Are you open? Want to order socks for graduations.2020
KasiaPosted at 11:22h, 21 April
Although our production facility remains closed due to local mandates, we hope to reopen on Friday, May 1st once it is deemed safe by government officials for our employees and customers. Until then, all orders are placed on hold and will ship out once we reopen. You can still contact our customer service team with any questions or concerns. We hope sending a personalized gift will give you a small bit of joy to stay connected with your loved ones during these difficult times.
Deborah ThomosonPosted at 14:32h, 29 June
Are you in US or Canada???
KasiaPosted at 11:33h, 30 June
Our corporate office and production facility are currently located in the U.S. Here is where you can contact us.
Christina Moody DavisPosted at 23:53h, 18 April
Yall are the best
Caroline WelshPosted at 21:15h, 30 April
When will you reopen.? Been waiting on Easter gifts for my grandchildren.
KasiaPosted at 13:43h, 01 May
Thank you for your patience and support during these unprecedented times. We are reopening our production facilities next week and will be emailing you (along with all customers who have open orders) with the estimated shipment timeline. If you have other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our customer support team through phone or email.
Yhana BertrandPosted at 23:29h, 03 May
Will mothers day stuff be out?
KasiaPosted at 12:42h, 04 May
All orders will begin shipping this week, including Mother’s Day gifts. We will also be updating all customers who have made a purchase during the time our production facility was closed with an update. Be on the lookout for an email with more information regarding your order within the next few days. If you have other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our customer support team at any time.
LOTHA JacksonPosted at 22:30h, 05 May
I wanted a picture on a shower curtain for my grandson, having problems with the size
KasiaPosted at 11:32h, 06 May
For the full picture shower curtain, the minimum photo size should be 864px by 888px; the recommended photo size is 1728px by 1776px. Of course, these recommendations vary depending on which product you’re customizing. Please reach out to our customer support team for assistance. They’ll be able to walk you through the customization process to get everything just right.
Olivia CatoirePosted at 23:15h, 06 May
I have not received my order yet and I have been trying to get ahold of someone because I was moving and assumed it would be delivered before we moved
KasiaPosted at 16:44h, 07 May
The latest Illinois Governor’s mandate did not allow us to fully open our production facility on May 1st as we had planned. We are working hard on producing and shipping out all orders and we’re trying our best to communicate all updates. You should have received an email this week with the estimated shipment of your order, if you haven’t please refer to our updated FAQ or contact customer service to get more information – and if you wish, update your shipping address as well.
JenniferPosted at 12:07h, 08 May
I wud like my order cancelled and my money put back on my card please
KasiaPosted at 16:49h, 08 May
Please contact customer service via phone, online chat or email to cancel your order and receive a full refund.
Denise ChiassonPosted at 18:15h, 10 May
I know your shipping is on hold at the moment, but do you ship to Canada usually? I LOVE your product selection!
KasiaPosted at 12:03h, 11 May
Yes, we do ship to other countries, including Canada. You can find more shipping information and rates for Canada on our FAQ here.
Nancy CombsPosted at 09:22h, 27 May
I ordered a personalized laundry bag for my granddaughter some time ago and have never had any communication from you about delivery, etc. please let me know when it will be delivered. Thank you!
KasiaPosted at 07:17h, 28 May
You can get a better idea of when your order will ship out here. But you can also reach out to our customer service team and they will check for you. Please call: 866-386-8300 or email: service[at]personalizationmall.com.
Linda JohnstonPosted at 20:39h, 29 May
I’m still waiting for items ordered for Easter. Any idea when orders will be filled? I also placed another order, since my credit card was charged for first order,. Please update me.
KasiaPosted at 11:36h, 30 May
I’m so sorry about the delay on your order. Please contact our customer service team for more info and details on when it will ship. You can also cancel your order for a full refund, if you wish to do so.
JeniPosted at 19:56h, 09 June
I purchased a banner for a graduation event April. 17, 2020 and I was just informed the item will ship 6/15/20! Two months after this was ordered!!! I would not recommend ordering from this website!!!
Seriously was supposed to be shipped by 5/1/20
Extremely disappointed in this service
KasiaPosted at 11:39h, 10 June
I’m truly sorry about the delay on your order. We were unable to reopen our production facility as planned due to local government guidelines. If you wish to cancel your order for a full refund, please call or email our customer service team.
Janey SnydetPosted at 16:22h, 15 June
I have been wairing for my order. It said delivery June 5th. Still mot here. When I track it, says in transit.
KasiaPosted at 11:26h, 16 June
If shipment tracking says your package is in transit, you should expect it soon. Our customer service team will be able to look into this for you, if you’d like. Please call or email us.
Payne FrancesPosted at 20:15h, 17 June
I ordered two items to be shipped to sulphur springs TX. I have ask about it with no response
KasiaPosted at 11:22h, 18 June
Please call or email our customer service with your order number. We are still working through some delays, but we’ll be able to update you with more details.
sofia katerina navarretePosted at 14:28h, 25 July
i like your ideas a lot