As our freedom of movement increases with the recent move to level 2, it’s a good time to break any bad lockdown habits and seize this opportunity to get back to traditional, quality time with friends and family.
For many of us one of the toughest things about lockdown has been staying away from our loved ones as we all hunkered down in our homes to keep each other safe. This, together with an exponential surge in screen time, has taken a real toll on our physical and mental health.
Many people took to their digital devices to both stay connected with their family and to ensure they could work remotely. According to the latest report from App Annie, the daily time spent on mobile devices has increased significantly since the world went into lockdown. The time spent by those using Android devices increased by 20% year-over-year in Q1 2020, while consumers using both iOS and Android apps were also up 15% and 5%, respectively.
It’s true that technology has made our lives easier in many ways and has helped us stay connected. However, too much screen time can have its drawbacks. In homes where families are always on their phones, children may feel lonely and isolated. It’s important to find the right balance to bridge the distance and loneliness. In addition to this, a digital overload can also disrupt our sleeping patterns as it overstimulates the brain.
Below are my practical tips to rekindle healthy social habits – while still staying safe.
Mealtimes can be fun. Looking for and trying out new recipes, and ultimately sitting together to share a meal as a family is one of the most important things that we can do. It creates an opportunity to talk and connect. It’s important to set a time for meals and include rules like no phones at the dinner table to enable the family to have conversations again. “As a Multiply member, you get cashbacks on your whole basket when shopping for food at one of our retail partners”, says Kleu.
Social ‘fitnessing’ – challenge your friends
Our world has changed. Getting together with your friends and family now means maintaining social distancing, practicing good hygiene and wearing your mask. While the regulations allow for gatherings of not more than 50 people, it’s important to continue to look for creative ways to socialise with your loved ones to ensure everyone’s safety.
For example, if you and your friends have a common fitness goal, you can challenge each other to social “fitnessing”. If you are all Multiply members, Kleu says see who can get the most Active Dayz™, or who can get the most steps in a month? Log them at the end of the month and agree on a prize that everyone can contribute towards. This is a fun way to ensure that you and your friends stay active. You can also use virtual exercises available to you to stay active and healthy.
Make plans and take trips
Under level 2 regulations people are now allowed to travel to other provinces and go on holiday. So family holidays and trips are back on the table. Making plans for a getaway is something to look forward to and everyone can get involved in the planning. Organise a few hikes with your family to enjoy the days out in the sun, especially as we head into warmer weather. Link your fitness tracking device so that you can earn more Active Dayz™.It’s important to reassure your family that while Covid-19 may still be with us for some time, life should not stop.
“Since most people are working from home and seeing their families every day, we might take for granted the importance of what it means to really spend quality time together. Our reality is a little different now, so it’s important to prioritise and schedule activities that ensure you spend time with your family and make plans that you can look forward to,” concludes Kleu.