We've all been told that even if we don’t have symptoms of Covid-19, the best thing we can do is stay home during this time. And that’s what we’re doing. But rather than social distancing, what’s actually needed is physical distancing – because we need our social connections more than ever now. So while we can’t nourish our social health by getting together in person, here are a few recommendations to keep our social connections strong.
1. Text at least 2 people a day. Even something as simple as “Hey, what’s up?” can do the trick.
2. Phone calls. Make at least one phone call a day. We connect better the more physical cues we get from one another and hearing someone else’s voice can convey much more information than a simple text message. It’s nice for us, and nice for them. We are all longing for it right now.
3. VIDEO CALLS!! You’ll get the most social benefit from being as close to physically present with one another as possible and video calls are the best way to maintain this contact. Seeing people’s faces and having conversations with real social cues is going to be key to staying sane. Try video chatting one person at least once a day (because you’re obviously still getting dressed and presentable for your remote work day). Some of the best places to host 1:1 video calls and their capacities: WhatsApp (4), FaceTime (32), Google Duo (8), Google Hangouts (10), Skype (50), Zoom (100), Facebook Messenger (6), Houseparty (8), and Squad.
These are small but important things you can do daily to keep social connections strong. And should you need ideas for reasons to call besides a virtual happy hour, here are 9 of my favorites:
1. Start a movie club or start binge watching the same show as a few friends. Keep a group thread going to comment on what’s happening. Leave your favorite show suggestions for us all in the comments! Black Mirror on Netflix is great for interesting conversation starters.
2. Schedule daily meditations and hold each other accountable. Your mental health is key right now and studies have shown that nothing is better for your brain than meditating. There are apps, podcasts, and YouTube channels with guided meditations that are easy and free to access. Designate a different person each day to send out the meditation and commit to sharing your experiences.
3. Workout together! Do the same workout video/app/channel/activity and open a video chat together while you take the class. Or hold each other accountable by checking in after each session on the days you’ve agreed to workout.
4. Cook the same recipe and then do a virtual dinner party. Leave your recipe recommendations in the comments!
5. Post journaling prompts or table topics and then share your thoughts with each other on the subjects. Here’s a great list to get started.
6. Help each other clean out your closets. Try on clothes and get feedback on what you should keep or toss.
7. Start a virtual book club. Check in every few days and comment on the latest chapters in the book. Already reading something? Let us know what it is and why we should read it in the comments.
8. Learn something new and take an online class together. There are thousands of Ivy League classes available – and likely more coming soon. Also check out Coursera, General Assembly, Masterclass, or LinkedIn Learning. What do you want to learn this week?
9. And of course, BYOB and host a remote happy hour – or coffee club! – on a regular basis.
Let us know what you’re planning to do to keep your spirits high and socially connected while practicing physical distancing. Hopefully in a few weeks we will all be able to get back to safely connecting with each other in person, but for now, we hope all members of walraa, their friends, coworkers, and family, stay safe, healthy, and mentally nourished. Happy connecting!