By now, your city has likely issued a city-wide quarantine. Even if they haven’t, we hope you have issued yourself a quarantine. While our #1 goal at VINA is to always get you meeting new friends offline and in person, we advise you to please hold off on any and all in-person plans right now. We want to make sure that you’re still feeling socially nourished though, and let’s face it… staying at home all day (which I hope you are doing) is LONELY and hard on our mental health! But yours or someone else’s life right now depends on it.
Now is a really good time to be swiping, matching, chatting, and even doing some video calls with your potential new besties on Hey! VINA. We all need some friends to talk to right now. Especially ones nearby, so if (and when!) we need to call upon our local community for support, it’s not just suddenly in a moment of need.
So while we’re actively practicing but not loving the term “social distancing,” we need our social connections — new and old — so much right now. What we must do is physical distancing. If we all commit to fully quarantining ourselves at home with no new interactions for the next 2 weeks, we will be able to know who has and doesn’t have the virus. As a friend and I put it, it’s like the zombie apocalypse but you don’t know if you’re a zombie yet or not. Then, we can safely spend time with others who have quarantined. Please take this thought with a grain of salt, and please refer to the CDC and WHO for official recommendations.
While we can’t nourish our social health through physical contact right now, you’re going to need to talk to people. Here’s our recommendations.
- Text at least 2 people a day. It can be simple. “Hey! Thinking of you. How are things going?” Should do the trick. A new match on Hey! VINA counts, too.
- Phone calls. Make one random phone call a day. Someone you haven’t talked to in a bit if you can muster the courage. People are longing for it.
- VIDEO CALLS! We encourage video conferencing as much as possible. Seeing people’s faces and having conversations are going to be key to your sanity. You should try video chatting at least one person every day. Here are the best places to host group or 1:1 video calls, and their capacities: WhatsApp (4), FaceTime (32), Google Duo (8), Google Hangouts (10), Skype (50), Zoom (100), Facebook Messenger (6), Houseparty (8), and Squad.
Here are a few long-distance activities to do over video calls…
- Pick a playlist and coordinate a virtual dance party with a friend or two. Endorphins guaranteed.
- Start a movie club or start binge watching the same show as a few friends. Keep a group text thread going so you can comment on what’s going on while it’s happening.
- Schedule daily meditations and hold each other accountable. Your mental health is key right now, and it’s proven that nothing is better for your brain than meditating. There are many apps out there to help, there are also tons of youtube channels with guided meditations. If you get a group going with this, or just one other person, rotate who sends the link out for the meditation of the day.
- Workout together! Put on the same workout video, and then open up a video chat on your phone or laptop (easier). Bonus is that nobody is bothered by you talking to each other throughout class!
- Do a craft or art project together. You can even put it in the mail to each other (just note that the virus can live on surfaces for several days, so give it a spray with lysol before opening and touching.) There are also lots of fun art and craft online classes on Brit + Co.
- Cook the same recipe and then do virtual dinner party.
- Do a “show and tell” over video chat and take turns talking about something in your house that is important to you.
- Share journaling prompts and then share your thoughts with each other on the topic.
- Help each other clean out your closets, try on clothes and get feedback on what you should keep or toss!
- Start a virtual book club. Check in every couple days and chat about the last chapter of the book.
- BYOB and host a remote happy hour or coffee club in the mornings.
- Learn something new and take an online class together. There are thousands of Ivy League classes available for free. Or check out Coursera, General Assembly, or Masterclass.
Hopefully these ideas inspire you to have some fun and different ways of keeping your spirits high and connecting with friends… whether you’ve known them for just a few minutes or for years!
If you ever want to message me directly, ask me advice, or see my updates, you can always follow or message us at @heyoliviajune or VINA @vinazine on Instagram, too! And if you ever need any technical support, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!