Maintaining a social life during a pandemic comes with its challenges. Because most normal social activities would be considered unsafe, or even illegal, in some places, it can be hard to feel connected to friends and people living outside of your household. This is particularly difficult for those who live with high risk family members who worry that having a social life could make someone sick. For this reason, 2020 has had people turning to alternative ways to maintain their social lives while staying safely at home. If you’re looking for ideas on how to do this, read on.
Spending your day shopping for women’s tunics on sale between remote work assignments is only so exciting. Many people have accepted this and have found ways to spend most of their free time with the people they live with. But for people who live alone or who aren’t ready to disconnect from the bigger world out there, creativity has been a game changer.
Many people are planning online virtual parties and events. A way to celebrate the holidays, birthdays, or other occasions, these parties happen through digital programs and applications like Skype and Zoom. While many of us have experience with this this far into the pandemic, there’s a difference between a check in call and party.
Consider themes. What about getting your friends virtually together for an 80s throw back Zoom party? You could pool some money together and make it competitive too. Set a date and timeframe, and the person with the best costume wins. Activities could even include drinking games, 80s trivia, and trips down memory lane.
If a party seems like too much for you, a group meeting where you play a game like Dungeons and Dragons could be the ticket. Poker, and even board games, could work too if you got creative about who was calling the shots and moving the pieces.
Synced movie nights, drive-by hellos and visits, and even ordering take out from the same places are ways to stay connected too. Book clubs, social media, and online groups for people with shared hobbies are also places to stay connected. If you’re trying to start dating, look at this time as an extended period to get to know someone without the physical getting in the way—something that could pay off long term for both of you.
Even finding sober group activities is harder now, particularly if you live in an area where winters are cold. But think about things you might be able to do outdoors where you can. You could meet for a hike, kayak trip, or even to go tubing or sledding. What says you couldn’t meet at someone’s house and have a snow sculpture building contest? As long as you kept your distance, everyone would benefit from that safe, social outlet.
Calling your best friend to figure out what you should get your boyfriend for Christmas is something you might have done pre-pandemic. It’s important to remind yourself that not everything has changed and that, in these ways, you’re still very much connected.
One of the best tools we have to stay connected now is our cellphones. Scheduling regular calls with your loved ones and friends will help you to feel less isolated. But it doesn’t all have to be serious too. Sending jokes and funny messages, experimenting with new applications, and using your phone to shop or research together can be fun activities too.
No one said living through a pandemic would make connecting easy, but we have the good fortune of living in a time where technology makes some of these challenges a little easier. The best thing you can do is to experiment with it, and see what works for you. When you’re feeling down or lonely, reach out to a friend. This will all be over soon, and you’ll be glad you maintained those relationships.