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Staying Home but Staying Connected

The global pandemic has changed the way the world functions. Social distancing has become a way of life, whether people like it or not. During these trying times, it has become a necessity to prioritize health and avoid contact with people along with thorough handwashing and sanitizing to minimize the chances of the virus spreading. For introverts or people mostly having to live alone by themselves, this lifestyle is still somewhat easier to adapt to. But for the social butterflies, it can be stressful. However, most of the world is having to adapt to this drastic change – which can be very depressing. This is the perfect time to look out for your family and friends and assure them that they are not alone in this. That despite being cooped up in your house, you are still hoping for the best outcomes of social distancing. Here are several ways you can bide your time at home and connect with your friends and loved ones, with a little bit of creativity:

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Doing fun activities with your family

Being in social isolation to protect yourself and others does not mean you should socially distance yourself from the people that share the same house as you, your family. You can make use of this time at home to connect with your family. To make up for all the times you were not able to give them time. You could spend quality time with by planning fun little activities with them such as playing board games, physical or virtual, or console games, even games like charades, trying out new recipes with them, playing with your pets together if you have any, teaching new things to one another, etc. etc.

Video calling friends and loved ones

Another way to adapt to these changes is to socialize with your friends and family members - that live far away from you through video calling. There are many video calling platforms to choose from, ranging from ones optimized for offices and universities like Zoom (although it is now widely used by families and friends alike with new features aimed to entertain), ones offering mini-games for the users like Houseparty, and other just as widely used ones (if not more) such as FaceTime, Skype and Google Hangouts . It is also a good idea to play the games you love at home while on call with your friends or loved ones. Video call days can be scheduled for the weekends if you or your friends/family have work, this can be something to look forward to when carrying out the same mundane tasks at home every week.

Making phone calls

If you or your friends and/or loved ones do not have access to the internet or do not have enough internet data to go around, and you feel like talking to them to catch up with them, this minor problem can be solved with a simple call through your mobile device carrier or a voice call made via the internet as it does not take up as much data as video calls do. Letting your friends or loved ones know that you are thinking of them can be uplifting for them and you, no matter what ways you decide on to do it. You can show your peers how much their emotional wellbeing means to you just by video calling, voice calling, a voice message, or even a simple text message just asking of them.

Book, music and/or movie discussions

If you and your friends are either avid readers of books, lovers of music, fans of the big screen, or even all of them combined, you can use video calls, voice calls, or group chats, anything that is convenient for you to discuss your latest reads and recommendations. What movies and TV shows you and your friends or loved ones are currently watching, reviewing them, maybe even watching them together on platforms like Netflix Party. You can create shared playlists of your favorite music. Another way of sharing your favorites could be to have one shared Google Doc where you can make lists and categories and keep adding on to them with every new book, favorite new music album, or a movie or tv show that you have finished watching recently and want to maybe recommend.

Virtual classes or events

Just because you are stuck at home - aside from having to go out to get groceries – does not mean you cannot do anything new. We live in an era of technology that is constantly making its way towards advancement, and we can use that to our advantage. The possibilities are endless, and among those infinite possibilities are holding virtual events or taking online classes. You will find many large companies, schools, zoos, museums, etc. that are adapting to these new norms in the most ingenious ways, by holding simulated events or virtual tours, basically providing their viewers with opportunities to engage with them on a virtual level. If you also find yourself wanting to learn something new either alone or with your friends/loved ones, you can sign up for online classes. While they might not be as close to the real thing, they might still offer a bit of distraction from boredom or get your gears turning. If you join classes with your peers you can share your thoughts with them about the lectures, study for tests with them, or have discussions with them about the lectures. Countless apps that offer to teach a plethora of subjects that can be shared amongst you and your friends.

With all that being said, all it takes to connect with others during times like these is a phone, a bit of creativity, and an internet connection. Being in quarantine should not be a reason to stop you from communicating with the people you value and cheering them up during these wearisome times. In truth, we all need intimacy and contact with our peers, because the mere act of connecting with them can help be enough to make a positive difference.

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