Five tips to stay connected to friends, family this Easter long weekend - InfoNews

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Five tips to stay connected to friends, family this Easter long weekend

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
April 07, 2020 - 12:15 PM

With the Easter long weekend just days away, the Canadian Mental Health Association is offering tips on how to stay connected when for the first time in people's lives they can't get together in groups as normal.

The week of Passover starts tomorrow April 8, Good Friday is on April 10 and Ramadan starts April 23, but long-standing traditions which ordinarily would bring us together will be different this year.

"These celebrations with their associated traditions are embedded in our lives, in our communities and culture,” Canadian Mental Health Association Vernon and District Branch executive director Julia Payson said in a media release. "Having to drastically modify our holiday plans isn’t simply a behavioural shift, it is a cultural adjustment that may be very difficult for some."

Everything from family dinners to Easter egg hunts will look very different this year, and the Canadian Mental Health Association is stressing that social connection is a key part of mental health and wellbeing and it's important to stay in contact with friends and family, whether they live across town or on the other side of the world.

"This is a time where many people need the support of others. Check-in with your friends, family members, and neighbours," Payson said. "We all need to work together to promote a good mental health."

The Canadian Mental Health Association has compiled a list of five helpful things to do to stay in touch during the holidays. All from the comfort of your own home.

  1. Send a package. Create an online group of friends or family and create and have each person send an Easter treat or small gift to another member. Chose an item that is meaningful, a book, a small trinket, and be creative. If you have someone specific in mind become pen pals and send letters. The CMHA reminds people to practice hygiene and physical safety when sending and receiving packages.
  2. Have a virtual dinner or coffee date. Set a place at the dinner table for an iPad or tablet and connect with family and friends over dinner. For a coffee date with a friend, pick a favourite specialty drink for you both to create, then join your family or friends on a video chat. Or call a loved one on the phone and ask how they are doing.
  3. Online Gaming Session. There are many group video and computer games available online, allowing groups of friends and family to connect which each other while playing. If you have a headset you can chat away while playing.
  4. Create a book club. Create a group, decide on a book, read it and then discuss it in a video chat. If reading a book isn't your thing, do the same thing but with a TV show. To be more adventurous try writing a book with your group. Someone writes the first page and then passes it to the next person, and so on.
  5. Movie Night. Organize to watch a movie and have friends or family watch the same movie at the same time. Then call or video chat or with them afterwards to talk about what you thought of the movie. Have each person in the group share their top five favourite movies and then organize to watch your way through the recommendations.

If you are in crisis or need emotional support call the crisis line 24/7 at 1-888-353-2273.

For more information along with resources and tips for mental health and wellbeing go here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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