Monday, June 1, 2020

Physically Distant, Socially Connected

I know that some places are starting to open up, so maybe this post is coming a little bit late. But I do think that whatever normal we're opening up to now isn't going to be the normal that we're used to. And I don't think that the road ahead of us is going to be straight, either - I don't think anyone really knows what it's going to look like! I know that as someone at higher risk, my coming days/weeks probably aren't going to look much different than they do now. And I think that there are lots of other people in the same situation as me, or people who live in cities/areas that are less open.

So I think it's important that we keep looking for ways to stay connected, even if it's not physically. I recently saw on Twitter the idea of calling it physical distancing, rather than social distancing, because keeping our social connections strong is so important right now. Isolation only adds to stress, and there are ways to keep from being isolated while maintaining physical distance.
Virtual Game Night
There are probably lots of ways to do this, but I've used Jackbox Games. Someone buys a game set - it usually comes with 5 or so different games - and then shares their screen on Zoom so everyone else can play, too. They're usually silly and simple games, but they're a lot of fun.

Friend Dates
The important thing is making sure that you're staying connected - so you can do FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, or even just a regular phone call. I think the key is to plan them regularly, but not too often - it seems like too many virtual hang outs actually just seems exhausting rather than refreshing!


Virtual Movie Night
Sometimes the best part about watching a movie is the group experience - knowing that you're all seeing the same thing, at the same time, and talking about it afterwards. There a browser extension called Netflix party that helps a group of people all watch a movie "together," at the same time. You can even chat during the movie - and since it's not talking out loud, you won't even interrupt everyone else's experience and be shushed!

Zoom Trivia
I love trivia, but sometimes I think I'm too old for bar trivia - I want to be in bed before it ends! So virtual trivia has been PERFECT for me, and it's been so fun! The ones that I have done use Zoom - you start out all together to hear the question, then you're sent to a breakout room with your team to discuss (or, sometimes, just to chat when you have no idea what the answer is). I have not yet even come close to winning, which is hard for me because I'm so competitive, but I've had a great time nonetheless.

Letter Writing
The most low-tech suggestion of them all! I have been sticking with my new habit of sending people little cards to let them know that I'm thinking of them, and it's been a fun way to send a little piece of cheer through the mail. And I still love looking at my stationary (from this post), so it makes me happy, too!

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