How to stay connected (and have fun) while quarantined
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Let’s admit it: being quarantined — whether voluntary or mandatory — is difficult. Those who are living alone are in total isolation. Those who live with others are now together 24/7. Both extremes have their challenges.
What they have in common is not being able to get together with close friends, family members, co-workers, neighbors, customers, students and so on. For the time being, this is our new norm.
As the novelty of being home all day wears off, it’s natural to feel frustrated, restless and lonely. This is when we need to find some creative ways to stay connected and, hopefully, have a little fun. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
1. Write postcards and letters. Everyone loves getting mail. A handwritten note makes the receiver feel special because you took the time to sit down, gather your thoughts and put them on paper.
2. Send care packages. This is especially nice for people who cannot get out and get supplies. It’s also a way to send thoughtful gifts (they can be small or handmade) to let the people you love know that you’re thinking about them.
3. Play multiplayer internet and video games. There are thousands of apps and video games that are designed to be played with others.
4. Start a virtual book club with friends or family. You can use FaceTime, Skype or Zoom or search for book club apps online as a way to get started and organize it.
5. Organize a virtual party or board game night. You can use any of the online video platforms listed above or search for virtual party apps online to help add structure to your activity.
6. Trivia, anyone? Many people regularly attend trivia nights at local bars in their community. You can shift the fun by organizing the same activity virtually.
7. Organize a group yoga or fitness class online. If you’re fortunate enough to have a friend or family member who is a trained yoga teacher or fitness professional or you are one yourself, why not organize a regular online class? You can also sign up for one of the many virtual classes being offered online now.
8. Watch a movie together using Netflix party. Don’t want to watch movies alone? Netflix now offers Netflix Party. According to the website, “Netflix Party synchronizes video playback and adds group chat to your favorite Netflix shows.”
9. Attend watch parties or live streams together. Many people now do watch parties Facebook or live YouTube streams. You can round up some family or friends and share the experience.
10. Organize virtual karaoke. This is similar to what was said about trivia nights. You can do this if a friend or family member owns a karaoke machine or you can search online for websites and apps that provide a virtual karaoke experience.
11. Write a story together using Google Docs. For each story, have everyone who wants to participate pick a number so that you know who writes first, second, third, etc. Decide how much each person should write (a sentence, a paragraph, or a page) and how many rounds you want to make before the story is finished (one may be enough). The first person starts the story, the second person continues the story with each person writing their part of the story. The last person in the sequence has to write the ending.
11. Start a group blog. Each person can share photos, videos and written content. Or you could do a newsletter using a platform like MailChimp.
Any one of these activities can help you connect and add some fun to your days in quarantine. In the meantime, while not to take away from the challenges of quarantine, if you’re warm, dry and safe; have plenty of food; are still able to be educated or work; can find ways to relax, rest and care for yourself; are able to spend time doing something creative; and are in touch with your loved ones, don’t forget to be grateful and counting your blessings!
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