Staying connected during times of cold weather is essential for the well-being of yourself and those around you. Bad weather, such as in winter, prevents you from getting out as much as you would like. This can escalate the feelings of loneliness if you are alone and may also reduce family interaction when cooped up inside. Fortunately, there are tons of things you can do that will help keep you connected to others, whether in the same home or separated by distance.
Staying Connected as Winter Approaches: Friendly Online Gaming
Online gaming is one of the most enjoyable hobbies of modern times. And before you go running for the hills, it isn’t all Call of Duty and Fortnite. For pretty much any game you can think of, including chess, checkers, and roulette, there are online games available. You can play some of these alone or with friends via the Internet. And even casino games can be fun if you don’t like to gamble, as there are non-gambling versions available on many gaming sites across the web.
Traditional games are fun, and you can benefit from the social aspect if you are older. But of course, you don’t need to be young to enjoy any game, and playing online games in general can become a great hobby. For example, you can play Star Trek Online if you are a bit of a Trekkie. And there’s even a Star Wars online game. And if you need to capture some nostalgia from your youth, you can buy or stream classics on PlayStation Plus and Nintendo Online.
Staying Connected with Remote Video Services
The pandemic highlighted a seemingly useless technology that wasn’t being used a lot. But being stuck indoors meant we needed better communication methods than just the phone and text. Video conferencing was once seen as something high-end offices used. But the tech made its way into our homes because of how useful it was during lockdown. And it still remains one of the most used services today, with companies like Facebook and Amazon investing a lot into it.
Because larger companies are investing a lot into remote video services, the prices are coming down, and the quality is higher. Services like Zoom and Skype are easy enough to use at home with a webcam and a microphone. But systems such as Amazon Echo Show and Facebook Portal offer fast and reliable all-in-one systems. These are excellent for keeping in touch with family and friends in a more personal way that exceeds the limitations of a telephone call.
The holidays are, of course, prevalent during the autumn and winter months. Christmas, Thanksgiving, and even Halloween are great times of the year when people like to get together. As an introvert, loner, or someone with no family or friends, these can be stressful. So much so that over 30% of adults surveyed state they feel loneliest during the holidays. But this doesn’t have to be the case. You can try using some of the services mentioned, such as gaming.
But of course, visiting others in person will always help. The cold weather might mean you cannot get out as much as you would like to. And this is understandable. But getting out to see family and friends is a massive benefit to helping alleviate loneliness, even for a day. Special days like Christmas are best enjoyed with others and help keep relationships strong. So even when the times are tough, and the weather is isolating, you can spare one day for festivities.
At-Home Activities to Try as a Family
Whether it’s just a cold Saturday or a snowed-in holiday, family time is always essential. The kids can go a little stir-crazy when they can’t get out for extended periods, and this can make you a little insane, too. However, there are tons of things you can try to pass the time as a family:
- Introduce the kids to your hobbies or take an interest in theirs.
- Get together for family game nights playing classics like Monopoly.
- Multiplayer video games are also extremely fun as a family.
- Make family dinners fun by getting everyone involved in the process.
- Do chores like clearing leaves together while playing outside.
- Take a trip to nearby parks when walking the dog each day.
- Sit together and watch family-friendly TV shows and movies.
Hobbies are a great way to pass the time, and some are excellent for connections. Getting into hobbies with your kids will form bonds that can last a lifetime and make great memories. However, cooking family meals teaches vital skills and encourages family stability as well.
We all need something to do to relax, rest, or have fun. Hobbies are excellent for passing the time and getting what we need as it flies by. Sports, gaming, or gardening, everyone has their thing. In one survey conducted, 74% of people stated they believe hobbies are important. This is largely because many of us feel the stress of work, life, and family commitments, and we must blow off some steam now and then. Yet many hobbies are based outside of the home.
Because of this, you may not be able to access them as you usually would when the cold winter weather is severe. So, what do you do? Fortunately, today, there are multiple ways to keep up with hobbies from the comfort of your home. The web is filled with forums, online clubs, and social media groups for staying connected and up-to-date with your hobbies. Private and public groups can post about upcoming activities, and you can also learn from each other as well.
Using Social Media for Staying Connected
As mentioned, you can use social media to keep up with hobbies via groups. But social media also allows you to communicate in ways that weren’t possible only a few years ago. Sites like Facebook allow you to be invited into people’s lives and them, yours. Daily posts, instant messaging, and photo and video uploads are a great way to see what people are up to and inform others about your life. And these are especially powerful when you can’t make it outside.
Social media allows you to talk with others and keep yourself informed. But there is also the risk of personal information. Socials can be useful and help with decreasing feelings of loneliness. But for all the benefits of social media, there are just as many risks. So always be careful when using these platforms and try not to reveal anything that can be used against you or stolen. For example, ensure there is no personally identifiable information in your images and videos.
Like many, many others, you probably have access to streaming channels such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney Plus. And if you enjoy these, they can bring a lot of fun to your life. But what’s better? Watching your favorite shows and new movies with others. Many streaming services allow you to host watch parties, so you can watch and chat with friends and family while enjoying the live entertainment together, guaranteed to make you feel less isolated.
Watch parties are a valuable feature for social streaming. But there are some things you also need to be aware of. Most watch parties require you and your guests to subscribe to the highest-tier subscription service. However, some just require a subscription. Also, be aware that anyone can see what you say, so be careful and think before you type. Always check the terms and conditions and rules of watch part services to avoid getting into copyright trouble.
Online gaming helps when staying connected when you cannot get out as much. But you can also keep the family fun going with at-home activities, so stay connected at home. And if your friends have the same streaming services, watch parties are great fun for a catch-up.