Buzzwords like social distancing, self-isolation and quarantine are being thrown around a lot lately. And while we totally agree that they’re necessary and important, none but the most committed introvert can say they sound especially appealing. So how can we make the best of a bad situation – and stay social?
Discover how to cheer up your friends from afar, help your community without posing a risk and (way too easily forgotten!) look after your own mental health, all while social distancing.
In this article:
- Keeping Up With Friends
- Doing My Bit for the Community
- Looking after me!
- Is It Actually Safe to Send and Receive Post?
Stay Social: Keeping Up With Friends
Never mind the Kardashians (no judgement, we’ve all been there) this about your pals.
Even if you can’t be with your friends you can still be there for them. And we’re guessing it’ll make you feel a little more connected too! So here are some of the best ideas we’ve come across to help you stay social with your mates even while you’re social distancing.
- FaceTime date night – pour yourself a glass of wine or grab a bar of chocolate (or both! ?) and get some friends together over the ‘ole internet. And if everyone’s talking at once? Breath… Then invite some organization into your hangout and consider playing a game using an app – like Psych! whose lie-detector trivia questions will have you bonding and laughing from a (social) distance. Or how about showing each other a talent or a skill you’ve learned in the past days?
- Send one of these supportive cards. If you have a friend craving a (somewhat) physical connection, a humorous or supportive card might be just what the doctor ordered! There’s just something about getting a card in the post amidst all this craziness that makes us feel like we’re not on our own. Inspire yourself with these motivational quotes if you’re not sure how to start.
- Watch a Netflix series together. Even just being on a call while you chill and watch something can feel comforting and help you stay social. You can install the Netflix party extension for some extra ease.
- Have (digital) fun! Tag friends in memes that made you laugh, record videos of your quarantine life, get them on the phone, recommend a book and talk about it. Social distancing feels a lot less distant when you can still feel the other person is present. Here are ten apps which help remind your favorite people you love them
Stay Social: Doing My Bit for the Community
Helping other people is basically helping ourselves. According to psychologist, Elizabeth Midlarsky, helping others works as a method of coping and giving our lives some purpose. Well, we don’t know about you, but to us that sounds just about perfect for our social distancing efforts! Plus, you know – endorphins and so on!
So here’s what you can do to help people near you (and stay social)…
- You’ve probably heard of #stayhome? You’ve probably also heard of friends or family members who … errr… are not staying at home? Chances are, they don’t realize how important it is to practice social distancing to help #flattenthecurve. And as someone they can trust, most likely you’re someone who can influence them. Well, actions speak louder than words – try sending them one of these campaign postcards to encourage them to join the global fight! ?
- Offer to help an elderly person shop (or even just give them a call)! Where older people live alone or far from relatives, loneliness can set in even in normal times. Offer to shop for them and leave it outside their door to decrease their risk of catching COVID-19. Help them stave off loneliness and stay social themselves while their relatives are unable to visit by offering to chat with them on the phone for a bit. If you’re not sure how to offer without making physical contact – try dropping a note through their door with your offer.
- Say thank you to the amazing health workers, supermarket employees and anyone bravely carrying on with their jobs for us. Say it in person if it’s possible, or from a distance with a thank you card. If you want to read about what it’s like for health workers, take a look at what they’re saying here. And if you’re one of those people and are reading this – then THANK YOU, YOU ABSOLUTE STAR!
- Avoid spreading panic with any false information. Check your facts and only trust and share official sources. We like Full Fact, an independent UK-based non-profit which checks sources in order to stop an #infodemic.
Stay Social: Looking after me!
We cannot stress this enough! Do. Not. Forget. About. Yourself.
However you’re coping with self-isolation or living in a pandemic – be it helping out neighbours, staying at home, starting a DIY project or just sleeping – it’s OKAY! So that being said, here’s a few ways you can help yourself stay sane right now.
- If you live with people, pick one evening of the week to bring the restaurant experience to you. That means dressing up like you’re going out, cooking something nice, and talking about (preferably pre-corona) fun topics. Maybe you can finish up the evening with a board game!
- Start a creative project. You could begin a blog, read a book, start a painting project or create a photo memory calendar from scratch. One thing we can all agree on, it’s helpful to focus on something ELSE right now.
- Create a routine. Sure, things are crazy, but that doesn’t mean we should, ermm… “forget”… to get dressed in the morning.
- Make sure you’re feeling comfortable in your home office. How about decorating it using one of these decor trends before you get down to work?
- Try an online workout at home. ClassPass is just one of the many apps offering great workouts that you don’t have to leave your home for.
- Ask for help when you need it and stay social! Don’t let feelings vent up and TALK to friends and family – try using the tips from section one to get yourself feeling more comfortable with online socializing.
It’s okay to feel overwhelmed by all the advice and content encouraging you to treat your isolation and social distancing like some kind of retreat. It’s also okay to feel paralyzed and scattered. Listen to your body and let them know how you’re feeling.
P.S. Is It Actually Safe to Send and Receive Post?
We’ve talked a lot about the post and postcards as an alternative to physical meetings and as a great way to show people you’re there for them even when you’re social distancing, or even as a strong community campaigning method. But how safe is it?
The short story: According to the experts, it’s extremely unlikely that you will contract COVID-19 from your mail.
A study by the New England Journal of Medicine published March 17th 2020, suggests that the virus is unable to survive on cardboard for longer than 24 hours, and any viable particles disintegrate over the course of the day. Combined with the (current) unlikelihood of an infectious person directly sneezing or coughing on your post, this promises an extremely low risk of catching Coronavirus from the post.
If you are still worried, how about taking the additional precaution of wiping post with disinfectant and washing your hands after handling?
The good news is that you can still confidently send and receive postcards and other mail in your social distancing bubble so that you’re able to stay social and stay sane.
That’s it for now…
Just one last thing… Be safe, remember to have fun washing your hands to your fave song (we reckon you can’t go wrong with the Backstreet Boys’ ‘I want it that way’) and remember: you’re not staying at home just for your sake, but for the sake of vulnerable and elderly people, and the healthcare staff who’ll have to look after them.
You’re truly a social distancing hero!