The life of fresh air, brunches with friends, and enjoyable social interaction has hit pause. It’s an adjustment, and one we all need to make in order to stay safe.
We, as humans, are social creatures. It has been proven that we not only need to feel we belong for a positive mindset, but that a lack of attachment and connection can lead to ill effects on health and increased anxiety (for even the most well-adjusted person). (source)
Now, I am not here to talk about COVID-19, I suggest you find all of your information and best practices from the CDC, here.
What I want to discuss is how to stay connected during social-distancing and the benefits that these activities can have on your mindset.
So how to stay connected during social distancing… It is possible.
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Text messages are great when we are not socially isolated. They are quick and to the point when our days are filled with errands, work, and forgetting to pick up the dry cleaning.
But, when we are stuck indoors and potentially alone, hearing someone’s voice can not only provide the listener with a better understanding of your emotions and intent, it can also help you strengthen your connection to each other.
When you hear a song you like, you are overcome usually with emotional attachment. Emotional contagion is the process that we “tend to “catch” the emotions of others when perceiving their emotional expressions. And this process assists us in understanding the feelings of others”. (source)
Why is this important? Because hearing a loved one’s voice can trigger you to feel the same happiness or joy in the message. And it can provide a deepening sense of connection by hearing their vocal inflections.
Now, you don’t have to go write a ballad and serenade your loved ones, but sending a quick audio message helps keep you connected. And hopefully, they send one back.
Miss those movie nights with friends? Well, this can be your socially-distanced version of a movie night.
Using the netflixparty chrome extension you and your friends call all watch the same movie or show and keep a chat going about your reactions and experiences.
If you want to watch a movie outside of Netflix, then opt for a specific time to start the movie together and use facetime or a group chat to hold the same function.
Watching tv and movies alone can get tedious. But, feeling that you are all doing the same activity can create a sense of belonging.
Plus, it’s fun to hear what people think of the movies and to watch something silly to get out of your isolated funk.
Remember to: Check in with loved ones, friends, and family by calling them, texting, or sending audio messages. It is important that everyone have support during social distancing and quarantine. Whether they have a family of four to keep them company or are alone, you never know how someone is handling it. It takes a few minutes to check in with someone and ask if they need anything. Help support others.
Dates at home:
Long term relationships can get stale. We all get so consumed with the day’s tasks and our ambitious career goals that romance can get pushed aside.
But, having the SIP order should help reinvigorate your time for each other.
Having a date night at home is not only possible, I whole-heartedly suggest it.
Make each other dinner, get dressed-up, and spend a romantic evening together without all the stress floating around.
If you want you could even try a theme- A 60’s style dinner complete with martinis and a chic Don Draper suit.
But the most important thing is to appreciate the person you have with you, and let the fact that they never wash their coffee cups slide for a night.
Online Board Games with friends
When was the last time you played a board game with friends? Probably not all that recently, and honestly, that’s a shame.
Board games and interactive online games is a way to socially connect you and to keep you engaged and “active”.
Here are some fun online board games/interactive games for you to try with your friends:
Play Ticket to ride ( a personal favorite game of mine)
Joint video games like Animal Crossing, or multi-player games are also a great idea.
Ok, everyone and their mother are going live on Instagram. And, while I’m sick of those push notifications I must say some of the lives are very well done.
Tune in for an online performance from your favorite artist. Go on an online museum tour, or even cook with your favorite influencer.
Here are some ideas of things coming up in the next week: (if you know of anything else be sure to leave it in the comments section)
Virtual Museum (and other) Tours ( I adore this!!)
And for more ideas check out google explore arts and culture here.
Live Events Online
Cat Cohen will be taking her weekly comedy show on Instagram live every Wednseday at 8 pm.
Paintbox has been doing online tutorials on their instagram stories on how to do manicures at home. Check out their page and their highlights for past tutorials.
March 30th, 1 and 3 pm est -they play daily online, check out their site for specific dates and times
March 30th, 8 pm ET,
March 30th, 2:30 EST, will have guests like Alicia Keys, Selma Blair, and Millie Bobby Brown
Starting April 2nd at 10 pm he will perform a dj set.
And for even more live events check out this running, comprehensive list.
Send Letters or email
Did you know that most mailmen will pick up a stamped (and properly size) letter from your mailbox? Social distancing approved.
Writing letters (or emails) to loved ones, partners, friends, and family is a great way to not only express your emotions but can actually re-connect your bond in a deeper way.
It’s something we often forget to do. In a fast world, we assume that people know what we are thinking, how we are doing, and what is perturbing us. But, the reality is, we often don’t.
So write a letter to a friend, profess your feelings to a lover, or even just send a funny joke to a friend who is alone.
Getting a letter in the mail (or your inbox) will brighten that friend’s day. And, getting one back will brighten yours.
You have the time, invest in a connection.
Cook With Friends
We are all at home and we are all doing a lot more cooking than we had expected. Cooking 3 meals a day, what do you think, I’m superwoman?
But, a great way to connect with people is to collectively pick a recipe with a small friend group (I’d keep it under 5 people total). Then get on group facetime and make the meal together.
The best part is you can enjoy a meal together after it is done. This is a great idea for long-distance couples as well.
I know fashion influencer Tezza, did a “bake with me” Instagram story with her Mom’s Banana Bread Recipe. So if you follow a content creator you love, don’t be afraid to DM them this idea. They want to serve you and their community, so they would most likely welcome content ideas to help.
Here are some recipes I recommend:
Drop a link in the comments with other great recipe ideas!
Online Classes (preferably live)
Taking a live yoga class, investing in a drawing course, or even just learning a new skill can vastly improve your day-to-day.
It’s definitely a bit better if the class is live and you can join in with your fellow classmates.
But also just learning a skill that you’ve always wanted to pursue can help give your day and self-isolation some structure.
Here are some live classes I recommend :
Tone it up has a free for 30 days new user deal, and it offers toning and endurance workouts. They range from 10-40 minutes.
Bandier has free live workouts on Instagram every day at 4 pm EST that require little to no equipment and can be done at home
Y7 Yoga is offering flow classes live on Instagram throughout the week.
Also, be sure to check the Instagram accounts of your favorite studios and teachers. They are probably offering donation-based or free Instagram sessions. And, I’m sure they could use your continued support.
And check Facebook groups for live training, practices, and classes too. Like this “drum with me” youtube training.
Some other ideas:
Share your playlists with friends on Spotify
Create music together.
Read the same book as someone else, and share your insights on it every few days.
Create a drawing on your iPhone and send it to a friend and ask them to add to the drawing. Then when they have finished their artistic contribution to group drawing they should send it to another friend and so on. A sort of exquisite corpse for drawings and a fun way to be creative and connected.
Popular Fashion Blog Man Repeller has a text chat called “MR Thoughtline” where they send you 3 texts a day on everything from things you should read, to outfit challenges to try. If you participate you can tag them on Instagram as well. But, it’s just fun to get the text each day. Click here for more info.
Plan a virtual trivia night with your friends and family who are outside your home, you can use this site to do it!
You can also try the Bunch app to play mobile games with friends through video chat.
Being alone, or even just with your family unit, can feel isolating. And as someone who primarily works from home, I know how it can be difficult to not have those casual social interactions. [ how to work from home and not go insane]
But, participating in just one of these ways to socially connect online can help you keep a positive mindset and remember that we are all in this together. [ 6 life hacks to keep a positive mindset].
So, send those letters, and audio messages to remind everyone how much you care. Watch those bad movies and group chat about their implausible plotlines, and remind everyone who is important to you that you love and care about them.
Stay Safe. Stay Connected.
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