Reach Out! How to Stay Connected and Calm While Social Distancing from Home

Ava Andrews

May 13th, 2020

While we’re still in quarantine and patiently waiting for a long term solution to COVID-19, I’d like to turn our attention to what we can control: how we feel and act during this time. In this global crisis, most people are in the same situation, including, most likely, the very people you wish you could hang out with. So why not find inventive ways to spend time together also remaining safe? Here’s a guide to some fun activities you and your friends or family members can do together while physically apart.


Get baking/cooking!

Ask a friend what they have in their pantry or fridge and devise a menu you can make together using the same ingredients. If you’re making a meal, you could kill two birds with one stone and connect with your family members by making dinner or a dessert for them. Choose something easy that you can both make that’s simple enough that even your younger sibling will love it.


Exercise

Take a walk while chatting on the phone or do a light online yoga class together. I recommend the Nike Training App which has recently made all of their premium classes available to everyone, free of charge. You can select your intensity level and what kind of workout you’d like to do as they also offer a plethora of other effective, home-based workouts. An online dance class could also shake things up and get both of your hearts pumping.


YouTube Drawing & Origami Classes

I’ve found drawing with a really nice black pen to be very cathartic and calming lately. YouTube is full of drawing tutorials for anything you can imagine for every level. Choose multiple short, easy ones or a harder one that you can struggle and laugh through together. Origami tutorials are also all over YouTube. If you don’t happen to have some origami papers lying around your house, cut a piece of regular printer paper so that it’s a square shape (usually measuring 3x3 inches or 6x6) and it’ll serve as a sufficient alternative.


Gardening

A really nice surprise for your friend could be sending a packet of your favorite flower’s seeds in the mail and growing the same plant together. Gardening could add some more stability and regularity to your schedule and is a nice reminder for you and your friend of each other every time you see the plant on your windowsills.


Trivia Night

Get a group of friends together and ask each person to select a topic they love and are really passionate about. Each person provides ten questions to the group. Answers are revealed and points are tallied up at the end to crown the virtual trivia winner!


Zoom Activities

On Zoom, there are many games you and your friends can play using the features that the platform offers. To play virtual Pictionary, use the whiteboard function to draw out your sketches and have your teammate guess what you’re drawing. Another game worth trying is What Did You Say?! where teammates mute their microphones and say a word while teammates attempt to guess what they are saying.


Whether you choose to do these activities or not, recognizing how you feel and realizing that your friends are probably feeling the same way is the first step towards pulling you and someone you care about out of the coronavirus blues. Your friends and family members will appreciate the fact that you are reaching out to spend time with them regardless of what you do. These activities will help them enjoy themselves and maybe even temporarily forget the situation we’re all living in right now. Although we’re physically apart, there’s no reason we can’t spend time together virtually and laugh a little in the meantime.

©2017 by The Highly Indy Project

highlyindy@gmail.com, New York City

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