Keeping in regular contact with friends, family and loved ones is more important than ever. Checking in with others is a great way to offer encouragement and support to our network, and stay socially connected to help our wellbeing. Here are three ideas for checking in with friends and family during the holiday season:
1. Set a virtual coffee date
Schedule a time to have a cup of tea or coffee at the same time as your friend and catch up via video chat. Give them a call or use a free video chat service – search the internet or your mobile app store to find the best video chat program for you.
2. Commit to a regular group video chat
Invite your friends and family members to check in and assess if everyone is doing okay – emotionally, mentally and physically, via video.
Video chatting enables us to see people’s faces and read their body language. This can help us have more connected and honest conversations and get a better idea of how our loved ones are doing.
By setting up a group chat, the conversation can be a cheerful event, rather than a reminder of challenging times.
3. Send regular text messages
Send a text to your friends and family to remind them how grateful you are to have them in your life. By sending these feel good reminders regularly, you will not only feel great about sharing kind words and compliments, but your friends and family will feel valued and supported too.
If you’re going through a hard time, it often helps if you’re able to talk to a trusted friend or family member about how you’re feeling. If a friend or family member reaches out to you, you can even support their wellbeing by ‘just listening’. Often people make sense of what’s going on for them through knowing someone is listening, and by being able to tell their own story.
If you’re feeling disconnected from your friends and family, or opening up doesn’t feel like an option, there are supports available. See ‘Services and support’ for some options.
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Being connected to other people is essential for our overall health and wellbeing. Good relationships enrich our lives, help us deal with difficult situations and support us to achieve our goals. We need to connect with our family, friends, colleagues and neighbours in meaningful ways, often to keep us happy, healthy and well.