For a lot of us, sheltering in place is now a daily part of our lives. We’d love to be able to get out more and spend time with friends, but circumstances are getting in the way and preventing us from doing so in the way that we’d like.
Unfortunately, isolating yourself from other people isn’t always good for your health. Researchers think that it can put some people into a state of panic that hypes up their stress hormones, leading to chronic illnesses. And that’s precisely what you DON’T want during a pandemic.
Staying connected with others at this time is vital. But how should you go about it? Let’s take a look.
Give Yourself A Virtual Happy Hour
The concept of a “happy hour” originated among office workers giving up practically every waking hour to do their financier or insurance jobs. They needed some time out, usually in the early evening, where they could just enjoy themselves and prep for the day ahead in the company of others going through the same thing.
In the past, a happy hour meant going to a bar and raising a toast to your friends. But that’s not possible, especially if you’re sheltering in place for health reasons.
Giving yourself a virtual happy hour, however, can be a great way to replace the experience. Try to have a group chat every night with people you work with – or just your friends – and make sure that you spend plenty of time laughing. The more you can connect with positive emotions, the better your health outcomes will be.
If you want to reach a wider audience, you might consider streaming instead. This way, you can broadcast your ideas and then get feedback from the community.
There are thousands of people out there who are interested in your content, so long as you’re willing to make it. Start with a topic and then go from there. Try to pick something you know a lot about and that excites you. If you provide people with value, they will continue coming back for more.
Get In-Home Support
Getting in-home support is a great way to increase your social interactions, especially if you have to stay at home for health reasons. Seniors Helping Seniors is a good example of an organization trying to solve this problem. They’re creating a system whereby older people help each other through difficult situations and improve their quality of life.
While connecting with people online is fine, there aren’t many good substitutes for having a physical person with you.
Host A Virtual Book Club
Do you love reading? If so, you might consider beginning a virtual book club.
Getting books to your devices is easier than ever before with modern technology. And thanks to audiobook reading sites, you don’t even have to spend time flicking through pages to consume content. You can just have somebody read stories to you.
Hosting a virtual book club over Zoom can be a lot of fun. You and your friends can order wine and cheese to make the event feel more authentic – just like it did before the lockdowns.
Connect To A Fitness Class
Sheltering in place is great for protecting yourself against the coronavirus. But it also means that you’re probably a lot more sedentary than you were before. And that’s not a good thing for your long-term health.
Fortunately, there are more opportunities than ever before to take part in exercise classes over the internet. Many personal trainers have stopped going to gyms and are running their classes online instead.
You can take part in both solo and group training sessions, receiving instructions over the internet live.
You can also download apps that allow you to take part in fitness challenges with other people in your group. Peloton, for instance, lets you pit your cycling fitness against other people in your class.
Get A Pen pal
In the past, a lot of lonely people would regularly exchange letters with a pen pal. But it is also something you can do when sheltering in place. Sometimes, it’s nice to go back to old-fashioned pen and paper after spending weeks doing nothing but typing into chat boxes online.
Take A Virtual Lunch Break
Remember lunch breaks when you’d chat to your colleagues about their lives casually? Those days seem like a long way behind us now.
But that doesn’t mean you can recreate the essence of a lunch break with your team. Virtual lunch breaks are easy to organize and can be a great opportunity to share your ideas.