Staying Social, From a Distance
March 20, 2020
While we all adjust to this new situation, it’s important to remember to take care of your mental health! While we can’t do many of the usual activities like we used to (socialize, go to the gym, attend concerts or gatherings), there are some great online resources to give us a sense of normalcy. Below are a few ideas and resources to help keep us sane as we transition to our new environment.
With gyms closing in many cities, now is a great time to discover alternative exercise activities. You are still able to go for a walk, ride your bike, or even practice yoga in your living room! Some companies are even offering discounts or extended trials of their fitness programs. Peloton has extended their app free to users for 90 days. Users can try out yoga, cardio exercises, or even stretching guides. Alongside their guided lesson plans, you can connect with other users on the app via usernames and track each other’s progress. This could be a great way to stay in touch with your gym buddy!
Pretty much all venues across the city have shut down, but musicians are trying to adapt! Many musicians are performing concerts via live stream. NPR has a great list of some concerts you can stream: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/17/816504058/a-list-of-live-virtual-concerts-to-watch-during-the-coronavirus-shutdown
Many musicians are posting live stream concerts on their social media profiles. Follow your favorite artists to see if they’re participating and show some love for them in the live chat with other fans!
Grab yourself a bowl of popcorn and turn on Netflix with the Chrome extension Netflix Party. This extension allows you and your friends to watch movies together across the internet. Users can start and stop the stream for everyone and even comment on the content via live chat. Now you can keep up with the latest developments on Love is Blind or discuss the wild finale of Ozark.
Being stuck inside gives you some serious time to learn some new skills. Why not use it to improve something we do every day — eating? Cooking or baking can be a great way to challenge yourself with new or difficult recipes, keeping you looking forward to each meal of the day. The New York Times has a cooking section filled with endless recipes for any home cook. https://cooking.nytimes.com/ (Note: it’s a paid subscription.)
Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street also made all of their online classes free during the outbreak: https://www.177milkstreet.com/school/classes/online-classes for those who want to learn from a legend in the kitchen.
If baking is more your speed, why not make a sourdough starter? Take a hefty tablespoon of flour, mix it with a tablespoon of water, and store in a sealable jar. Allow to ferment for 2-4 days and soon enough you’ll have your own yeast.
Sports might be over for now, but you can always play board games! While you might not be able to gather all of your friends together in a room and play, you can still jump online. You can play one of the old staples like chess, checkers, or backgammon, but why not challenge your friends to a game of Settlers of Catan? Their app allows users to play each other for free. Another option is the Jack Box Party Pack. These (paid) games pit users against each other as they answer funny questions on their phones. The results are then displayed on the TV and the group votes on an anonymous winner. It’s a great way to pass the time while connecting with those you care about.
Regardless of how we all decide to pass the time for the foreseeable future, it is important that we all stay in touch. May it be through text messages, emails, phone calls, video chat, or good old-fashioned postage, make sure you send your love to those you care about. Everyone is sure to be feeling a bit lonely during these times, even if they don’t show it. Reach out to each other! Say hello or wish someone well. It’s sure to make everyone feel good. Our office has implemented daily lunch conferences. Everyone is invited to grab their lunch, turn on their camera, and jump on a call! It’s the little things that mean the most, especially now.