A few days ago, a colleague told me she was having difficulty remembering what day it was because of the "lack of defining moments" in her week. When you can't be around people or leave your house except for the essentials then there's not much to set Monday apart from Friday, Tuesday apart from Thursday and so on.
For me, Sunday night Zoom calls with my family have become a defining moment of the week that resembles some sort of routine.
When the coronavirus pandemic first forced us into our homes and away from normalcy, my mom had an idea. In order to stay in touch, we could have a weekly Zoom night with a theme. So far, we've had a Zoom dance-a-thon, joke-a-thon and a hat-a-palooza (I never knew my dad had so many hats). One week, we chose a background image of a place anywhere in the world where we would like to travel once this is all over. This past Sunday, we kept it simple and had a virtual family pizza night. Next week, we'll have a scavenger hunt with things we can find around the house. The family to find the object the fastest wins.
While I admit the themes can get a bit corny, it's the first time I've talked to my family on a consistent weekly basis since I moved out of state and hundreds of miles away from them seven years ago. Every week, my 12-year-old niece eagerly asks what the theme for the next week will be, and every week, I'm amazed at how fast my 1-year-old nephew is growing.
However you are handling this unprecedented time, I hope you are all still able to find some sense of normalcy and routine. And if not, feel free to steal my family's idea.
— Allison Collins, digital and engagement editor, firstname.lastname@example.org