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How to Safely Engage with Sick Loved Ones While Being Mindful of COVID-19

Covid-19 has greatly affected everyone’s social lives and activities, but no group has been as affected by this virus as those who are immuno-compromised. The anxiety and stress that comes from a worldwide pandemic, combined with the inability to engage normally with friends and family, has left many feeling lonely, depressed, and purposeless. Luckily, there are still many ways in which you can keep your loved ones safe and engaged. We compiled below a list of five ideas that will keep sick family members or friends interested and optimistic! As always, before you participate in any new activities, ensure you are following proper hygiene, safety protocols, and social distancing.

1. Set Up an Outdoor Seating Area

If your loved one has any outdoor space, place a few chairs beside a table to create a welcoming new space to enjoy the fresh air. Sunlight and nature have been proven to improve moods and mindsets and your companion will enjoy having a new space to utilize.  Whether they choose to watch the sunset unaccompanied or entertain a socially distanced guest, you can feel more secure knowing they have a safe space. Maybe your loved one already has an outdoor seating area? Jazz it up with decorative plants, umbrellas, lawn ornaments, and more. It’s easy to add flair to an outside space and your companion is sure to appreciate a cheerful new aesthetic.

2. Coordinate a Weekly Video Call

Whether it’s just with you or with a few different participants, this weekly call gives your loved one something to look forward to and depend on. You could keep it casual or give it a theme: “game night,” “happy hour,” or “dinner club.”

3. Plan a Picnic

Plan a socially distanced picnic, with individually wrapped portions for you and your loved one! Getting outside and experiencing a new setting is an easy way to improve your companion’s state of mind. This outing will give them something fun to look forward to and perhaps even help prep for!

4. Start a Garden

It doesn’t need to be a large garden. Perhaps you start with a few planters and different varieties of fruits and vegetables set up outside. Gardening is a simple and inexpensive thing that will help give your loved one a sense of purpose and routine. It also gives them something to discuss; ask them about their garden on your phone/video calls. Ask to see photos or for a live virtual tour to keep them engaged and excited. You can also purchase from a variety of indoor hydroponic gardens online if you’re looking for something to keep them interested year-round.

5. Schedule a “Watch Party”

Netflix Party and Hulu Party both provide subscribers a new way to watch movies/shows with your friends and family online. Each platform synchronizes video playback and adds group chat options to your streaming video, so you can comment with one another as you watch!

6. Using the Internet to Travel

Travel right now is not possible, so help your loved one explore the world from the comfort of their home! Visit museums, other countries, or infamous landmarks. Check out Travel and Leisure’s 12 Famous Museum Tours, so that you can experience infamous museums from Paris to Seoul! If museums aren’t their thing, give Google Earth a try! Fly to any part of the world that appeals to you and explore spectacular views and terrain.

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