By now we’ve all established a Covid-19 routine. But as we all know, humans are social creatures, and a lot of us might be feeling really sick of the constant nights in, netflixing without the chill, and not being able to see all our friends or family.
Here are some ideas to help you stay social during lockdown …
- Wine and dine over FaceTime! You might be living alone right now, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a meal with family or friends. Use apps like Zoom, FaceTime and Skype to talk and connect over good food and drink.
- Do an online quiz on websites like Kahoot, Buzzfeed or Sporcle whilst on Zoom with friends or family. A lot of pubs are also doing live quiz nights over Facebook you can tune into!
- Start a book or a film club with your friends. In your own time you can read and watch films, giving you something different to talk about in your usual group chats and calls. I recommend Fight Club, The Virgin Suicides and Life of Pi (book or film versions).
- Visit a virtual museum or art gallery with a friend over FaceTime. Google Arts and Cultures have hundreds of virtual tours of some of the worlds best museums, galleries and cultural sites. Also, Chester Zoo has been doing virtual tours of the different animal enclosures – it’s so cute!
- Use the Netflix Party app to watch the same Netflix shows as your friends. You’ve probably already watched Tiger King by now, but I’d also recommend Dare Me, Outer Banks and Friends (classic).
- Join an online language class. Organisations like the Bangor Confucius Institute are running free online language lessons, so you can learn how to be social in other languages, and practice speaking online with other people in the class.
- Join an online learning community. Online courses such as TEFL and Open University free courses often have chat rooms and forms for you to discuss learning with other people on the course.
- Use social media to chat to your friends and also to reach out to people you may have lost touch with over the years. Now is the perfect time to reconnect with old friends and slide into some DM’s (but not your ex’s).
- Do the little things … like tagging your friends in memes, quotes and Facebook memories to remind them you are there for them.
- Make a social media account for your new hobby or interest. Over lockdown I’ve really got into baking, so I’ve made an Instagram account to share pictures and recipes of what I’m making with my friends.
- Online dating. You might not be able to meet IRL yet, but all dating apps like Tinder, Hinge and Plenty of Fish are all still live and working. Now could be the perfect time to think about what you really want in your next relationship, and what type of person you’d like to go for.
If you’re anything like me, all this online working and socializing will have meant your screen time has gone from 2 hours a day to 12!
If you’re looking for something to do to give your eyes and your mind a break from screens, then here are some offline social activities for you to try …
- Spend quality time with the people in your household. For me this is the longest time I’ve lived at home for years, so I’m making the most of being able to spend time with my family by playing board games, doing quizzes, and cooking together every night. When all this is over I’ll definitely miss seeing them every day!
- Send cute letters or postcards to your friends and family in the post. Everybody loves receiving handwritten post and, if you have the time, you could also make your own cards with personalised designs.
- Bake for a vulnerable person in your area. Leaving some home baked goods on their doorstep is a small gesture to show that you care about them, and it also means you can enjoy baking without feeling the guilt for eating everything you made.
- Be friendly when you’re out and about. We may not be able to go near people when passing them in the street or shops, but we can still smile and say hello to people when we see them, especially the shop assistants and other people still working.
- When you’re out in the garden, or outside clapping for key workers on Thursday nights, chat to your neighbours over the fence or from your doorsteps. It’s a good way to check in on them to see if they’re ok and managing, and also an opportunity to talk to somebody not in your household.