Mental Health

Staying Social (While Social Distancing)

OK, so we all know what’s going on in the world at the moment – I don’t think you guys need a refresher. 

I’m sure there are many (many) posts and ideas floating around the internet on this very subject, but here I want to detail seven ways I’m trying to stay social while social distancing – aka in lockdown.

Texting / Phone & Video Calls

I’m getting the obvious one out of the way but this is honestly a great way to keep in contact with people. As much as I would love to see all my friends and family in person, this is the next best thing and I’m so grateful that we are at a point where we have this technology at our fingertips (quite literally!).  If you miss someone, or you wonder how someone is doing and want to check in on them, do it. 

Quiz Nights

Personally I think that by the time lockdown is over everyone will be quiz masters because so many people I know are doing quiz nights.

I have an almost weekly one with some friends from work where each person takes a turn to host. I also recently did a quiz with my cousins where we took turns asking each other six questions each and then for the final round (which turned into final rounds) we took turns calling out items which the others had to retrieve and be back in front of the camera to get a point.

Honestly, it was so much fun! During the quiz nights we all sit and chat for a bit, so you get a catch up as well which is really nice. 

Most of my family live in London and I think two things: One, when all this is over, I won’t take for granted that I can go up whenever I want and visit more often. Two, maybe the video calls could become a regular thing without the lockdown? 

Virtual Birthday Gatherings

Don’t forget birthdays!

In the month of March, when all this was new, I sent cards to friends who had birthdays however, I wish I’d tried to organise something more.

In April was another friends birthday and, again I sent a card but, a friend organised it so that we all had a games night / catch up session over Discord. First we did the Jackbox games, plus someone found a site for Cards Against Humanity. 

We surprised the friend and she had a lot of fun, we all did. We all wish we could be there to celebrate in person but sometimes in these circumstances you have to do the next best thing. Yes, we’re all apart but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the day at least a little special and memorable. 

Podcasts

Before lockdown and social distancing, even before COVID-19, listening to Podcasts online is something me and a friend have done for months. 

However, it’s been great over the past few weeks. We listen to a show called King Falls AM.

“King Falls AM, a production of the Make Believe Picture Company, is a bimonthly podcast set in the fictional town of King Falls. It is hosted by Sammy Stevens and Benjamin Arnold, the two hosts of a late night talk radio show, and features many regular characters from the town of King Falls. Something is off in King Falls – whether it’s UFOs, Kingsie, or the apparitions of John Wilkes Booth and Abraham Lincoln haunting the local library – one thing is for sure: Nothing is what it seems, but we are in good hands when Sammy and Ben are at the helm of 660 on the AM radio dial!”
– https://kingfallsam.fandom.com/wiki/KingFallsAM_Wikia

She introduced it to me and I was hooked. During lockdown we have listened to it together a lot more, to the point I am officially all caught up. It’s a great way to stay in contact but also it’s also extremely entertaining and something we both love to get hyped up about.

Facebook Groups & Group Chats

When all this started a friend of mine created a Facebook group page. We’re all in messenger group chats but it’s a page where we upload pictures, videos, voting questions and an almost daily quiz (yes, another one! This is what I mean when I say we should all be a quiz masters by the time this whole thing is over). It’s lighthearted and fun and a great way to keep in contact with people while doing something entertaining. 

Letters

Yep, good old fashioned snail mail.

Admittedly this is one that my sister has done, not me. 

This isn’t necessarily an idea for convenience however, my sister did this and sent each of her friends a small homemade gift that would fit into the envelope. Needless to say, it went down well! A little surprise and it lets people know you’re thinking of them. 

Work Friends

Putting the weekly quizzes aside for a moment, I’m still working and in regular contact with a lot of my friends from work – albeit from home.

However, I would say, even if you’re not working, try to keep in contact with your friends from work. Whether you’re working from home, not working at all or still working but perhaps on a rota – you both are sharing a very similar experience right now. Yes, so is the rest of the world. But sometimes it’s great to talk to someone who understands the ins and outs of things. They might be feeling the same way too. Besides that, they’re your friends – don’t let them fall off the radar just because you no longer see them every day. 

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