We are living through a challenging time; a time which can make us feel frustrated, lonely or isolated. Even if you live in a shared space, spending 24/7 with the same people can get a little...tiresome. Suddenly you realise how loudly your roommate chews, or how messy your sister is, or how territorial your dad can be over the TV remote. It’s totally normal to crave some time to connect with people outside of your house, and so important to check in with your friends and family, especially those that might be more isolated than you.
But how to do this when we’re mostly staying at home, and not allowed to meet up with others outside of our household? We all know how to use the myriad of video chat apps and programmes available, but if you’re getting a bit bored of just talking about the news with your friends, why not take a look at some of our more ‘novel’ ways to socialise (by using technology, or some more old school methods) whilst social distancing.
Let’s get quizzical
Get a group of your friends together for a virtual pub quiz. All you need is a video chat like Zoom or Houseparty and a head full of quiz questions. Why not make it a weekly thing, and keep a leader board going; there’s nothing like a bit of friendly competition to take your mind off of being in social lockdown.
No doubt plenty of us are spending a little more time in front of the TV at the moment. With programmes like Netflix Party, which synchronises your video and adds in a chat function, you can have a virtual movie night, which instantly makes a solitary activity social. Pop some popcorn, order a pizza, and then all that’s left is to decide is what to watch- Tiger King anyone?
Why not find out your friend’s local radio station and request their favourite song or ask the DJ to mention them in a shout out. It’s a great way to let a friend know you’re thinking of them, and give them a song to dance to!
Put pen to paper
Nothing quite beats getting a handwritten letter in the post. If your daily walk goes via a postbox, consider posting a letter to a friend or relative. In our world of emails, text, and DMs, it’s always exciting to get something so personal through the letterbox. And for those who might struggle with more technical based forms of communication, especially our elderly friends and relatives, the effort made to connect without technology will be even more appreciated.
Extra tip- if you’re helping do the shopping for someone, why not sneak a little handwritten note, or drawing, inside one of their bags? A simple surprise is guaranteed to lift their spirits.
It is so true that no amount of virtual socialising will make up for meeting your loved ones in real life. When you’re feeling a little lonely, just remember that by social distancing now, we can be with our friends and family again sooner. But until then, stay safe, stay home, and keep socialising in every novel way you can think of.
If you're struggling with your mental health, all students at Ada have access to Kooth: a free, anonymous, online support system. Use your Ada email to register here.