Fun ways to feel the old connection with friends
If you read Part 1 of this two-part series on the importance of friendships during the pandemic, you know that honest conversations with your support network of friends and family are important for positive effects on your mental health. Few, if any of us, have been spared the mental strain that has come over the past year with the COVID global pandemic.
What you didn’t get in that first article were some suggestions for what comes next when you’ve re-connected with old friends or had some deep conversations with people and are looking to build on it. And also to add some fun and levity into a year that has been challenging personally and professionally for so many.
Part of the key to physicians and other healthcare workers, well, anyone’s, mental well-being in the stressful times of the pandemic challenges is finding joy, laughing and focusing on things outside of the world of health care. Everyone needs a break once in a while, and physicians and other healthcare professionals are definitely no exception.
Make Sure to Make the Time
Physicians and other healthcare professionals are busy, and even more so during the pandemic. Considering all the extra efforts needed for safety while still seeing patients in-person who require your services, there’s a lot more to think about to keep your practice efficient and effective. But it is also critical to create the time you need for balance in order to stay healthy, mentally, physically and emotionally. Skipping a lunch or two is one thing, but do not starve your soul of the sustenance it gets from enjoying and strengthening friendships. Get help with things at your practice that you don’t have time to do yourself. For instance, consider outsourcing your medical transcription to a trusted online medical transcription service and use those extra hours to take care of yourself and your loved ones, and of course, to have some fun!
So here are some ways to socialize while being socially distant.
FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangouts and Houseparty are all easy ways to connect. Even before the pandemic, they were popular methods of keeping in touch with long-distance family members and friends across the globe, replacing the traditional phone call. Dialing in multiple people at the same time on Zoom can bring a sense of normalcy for celebrating things like birthdays or other holidays. Quick tip: Limit the call to four or five people at a time, rotating family members and friends in and out of the call.
Getting together for game night might not be part of this new normal – at least for a while yet – but that doesn’t mean you’re restricted to getting your social fix from social media or streaming entertainment.
You can still sit around the kitchen table and play some great board games virtually. There are a lot of great ideas on which games work best online, and how best to set them up. Game night staples like Codenames, Scattergories, and Taboo are all easy options for online play.
You can also play games that you own like Pictionary and Outburst, using Zoom’s whiteboard feature or by showing your answers in the camera.
Take in a Flick
Maybe it has been a while since you’ve been to the theatre and depending on which city or province you reside in at the moment, getting back into a Cineplex might not be possible for some time yet. The good news is many of their refreshment stands remain open for takeout and you can catch movies at home – with friends – by using Teleparty.
The browser extension formerly known as Netflix Party, now Teleparty links people together for TV, video playback and group chat supporting Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, and HBO. Also check out different platforms at https://www.purewow.com/entertainment/watch-movies-together-online.
What’s Old is New Again
A love for books has been rekindled during the pandemic and virtual book clubs are a fun way to stay connected. Pick a book for you and your friends to chip away at, commit to a certain number of pages a week and then meet up on your platform of choice to talk about what you’ve read so far.
For your kids, check out virtual story time at https://mymodernmet.com/virtual-storytime. There are online read alouds that you can watch at the same time as a child or grandchild, sharing the book experience. And if you’re looking for ways to stay in touch with grandchildren, check out ‘A Place for Mom’.
Also check out your alumni association to see what they’re offering online.
If nothing else, it’s a reason to get together regularly with a set agenda that facilitates fun conversation.
To read Part 1, click here.
2Ascribe Inc. is a medical transcription services agency located in Toronto, Ontario Canada, providing medical transcription services to physicians, clinics and other healthcare providers across Canada. Our medical transcriptionists take pride in the quality of your transcribed documents. WEBscribe is our client interface portal for document management. 2Ascribe continues to implement and develop technology to assist and improve the transcription process for physicians and other healthcare providers, and recently introduced AUTOfax. AUTOfax works within WEBscribe to automatically send faxes to referring physicians when a document is signed off by the healthcare professional. As a service to our clients and the healthcare industry, 2Ascribe offers articles of interest to physicians and other healthcare professionals, medical transcriptionists and office staff, as well as of general interest. Additional articles may be found at http://www.2ascribe.com.