The lockdown imposed to prevent the coronavirus pandemic from ballooning is certainly helping. With social distancing in place, we are trying our best to arrest the spread of COVID-19. All private offices are shut down and people are working from home. Schools, colleges, social gatherings, malls, theatres are closed and citizens are dutifully staying inside their homes.
But social distancing has put a damper on our spirits. Being social animals, humans tend to spend the majority of their time surrounded by people. While most of us spend our weekdays chasing work, tasks or household chores, the weekends are reserved for relaxation and socialising. Due to the lockdown, we are unable to check up on our older relatives, visit friends or go back to our hometowns. And this is causing a rise in anxiety, depression and the feeling of isolation.
Yet we have been blessed with extra time to connect with our family and friends. There are tons of ways to stay connected and maintain a healthy social life while in quarantine. Here are some tips to strengthen your bonding with family and friends during the lockdown.
12 Tips To Maintain A Healthy Social Life While In Self Quarantine
1. Open Conversation
Those of us at home with kids, take up this opportunity to answer any questions about coronavirus. With social media, kids nowadays are exposed to a lot of information. While most of it is helpful, the influx of misinformation is concerning. So sit down with your kids and have an honest conversation. Give them the appropriate information and answer their queries. It is an effective way to create a bond of trust between parents and children.
2. Welcome Technology
Everyone around us is constantly telling us to cut down on screen time. Kids have restrictions, young adults are under surveillance and adults avoid binging altogether. But this is the time to lift those restrictions. This is especially helpful for teenagers. Since their social life depends on social media, let them stay connected with the world through technology. You can start watching that series you have been wanting to watch or learn new skills through online tutorials. Watching a show together as a family will do wonders for your bond.
3. Work Together
Being home without domestic help means there are added chores to your everyday life. This is a great opportunity to include everyone and do things together. Delegate different tasks to all the family members. Teach your kids to clean, dust, scrub and even cook. If you are working from home, align it with your kids studying.
4. Family Time
Make family time fun by playing games and doing puzzles. Play cards, board games, watch movies, look at old photo albums, dance and even exercise as a family. Cooking and baking together is a great example. Reading books just sitting together at an allotted time is also helpful.
5. Roommates Are Playmates
If you live in PG or share a house with roommates, take this up as an opportunity to connect with them. Exchange recipes, cook together, make chores a lot more fun. If your roommates speak different languages, here’s your chance to learn one. Turn weekends into a movie marathon session and make the most of this lockdown.
6. Workout Partner
Living alone during such a testing time can be difficult. Exercising and working out will help keep you healthy, physically as well as mentally. Set up a time slot with a friend and workout together while video calling. This will help your social life and keep mental ailments away. Share online workout tutorials to try and learn how to do them together.
7. Virtual Happy Hour
If having a drink or two on the weekends is your thing, don’t let the lockdown stop you. The adventure of hitting up local breweries or a new pub might have stopped, but the fun hasn’t. Get on a video call with your buddies and toast to a healthy life. So grab your drink of choice or make a new cocktail, get your friends on a video call and socialise virtually.
8. Start Gardening
There is nothing more relaxing than spending time in nature. Start a small garden or plant new seeds with your family. Your kids can learn all about botany in reality. Give them mustard seeds to plant and watch them get excited as the sapling starts growing. Plant some vegetables and herbs in your garden.
9. Online Date
Are you far away from your partner, dreaming of the day you finally meet post quarantine? Well, you don’t have to wait anymore. With so many technological solutions available, this is the time to try virtual dates. Both of you can start by cooking a meal and sitting down for dinner at the same time. Pour a drink, start the video call and enjoy the company of your loved one.
10. Create A Network
Utilise this time to grow your network. Build a community of your own or find one that best suits your interests. Share stories, skills, music, movies, podcasts, books and blogs. Help out those in need by answering their queries online. Offer volunteer work online through a variety of organisations, groups and charities.
11. Rediscover Connections
Remember your bench partner from school or your travel buddy from college? Many of us have lost touch of age-old friends and childhood buddies. With all the free time graciously gifted by the lockdown, it’s a great idea to connect with long lost friends. Use social media to track them down if you aren’t already friends online and reminisce about the good times.
12. Stay Sane
Couples living together might see a surge in frustration. Things your partner did might have looked cute till about a month ago. But spending 24 hours locked together in close proximity can bring out the worst in us. Squash this toxicity at the roots and work on creating a stronger bond. If both of you are working from home, do that in different rooms. Working out or cooking together will bring you a lot closer. And indulge in some no-stress Netflix and chill time.
Mental health professionals are urging us to not confuse the necessary physical distancing with social isolation. We all need each other and maintaining our social connections as much as we can is a must for us to function well through this crisis. There are many ways to stay connected with family and friends, and all it requires is a little creativity.