We’ve all been cooped up for what seems like an entire year and we’ve missed spending time with our friends and family! This isn’t a surprising fact considering that we are innately social beings who thrive on relationships in order to stay happy. Lockdown hasn’t come to an end yet and even when it does, we’re going to want to socialise safely and in the right way. Maintaining our relationships is still incredibly important for our wellbeing so here are a couple of things we can do to stay in touch and stay social the right way. 

1. Remember why you’re practising social distancing

Lockdown and social distancing can cause high levels of frustration and loneliness, causing us to become more and more negative. Sometimes, a simple reminder of why we’re social distancing can really go a long way. As a young, healthy individual you may be wondering why this is even relevant to you and honestly, it’s not. The reason why you’re practising social distancing is not for yourself but to protect those around you who are high risk. Something as simple as maintaining social distance can save a life. You’re choosing to respect the lives of others around you as you practice social distancing and wear a mask every day. 

2. Stick to your usual routine while staying social in the right way

If you typically meet up with friends on a Friday night or gather for a mom’s club on a Thursday afternoon, continue doing this. Sticking to a routine is important for your mental health. There are safer ways to connect with these friends like scheduling a Zoom call with your mom friends to share tips or sharing your latest story with them over a WhatsApp group. We’re creatures of habit and we typically really dislike change so establishing a sense of routine and normalcy will keep you in the right frame of mind and will help you deal with change in a healthy way. 

3. Plan a creative distant social event to remain social the right way

In a recent article, Stanford expresses the importance of our social relationships and how it is important for us to shift our perspective from “social distancing” to “distant socialising”. As human beings, we have a fundamental need for connection meaning that the impact of lockdown will have far more than just a physical health impact but will continue to affect people from a psychological perspective for years to come if we don’t deal with this correctly. 

Fostering our relationships in a healthy way is incredibly important and there are some creative ways we can stay social in the right way during this time. 

Host a Google Meets dinner party

You may choose to connect with friends and family over a virtual Google Meets call. There are some great ways you can eat the same food around a different table. Consider ordering a meal through Mr Delivery or Uber Eats while your friends do the same and set up your homes for a distant dinner party!

Rooftop concerts

There are some incredible examples of how South African musicians have come together during this time to bring some entertainment to those in their neighbourhood. We’ve seen some pretty great rooftop concerts combined with audience members poking their heads out of their apartment windows to have a look and join in the song. 

Set up your own in-house movie night to stay social

Netflix created an incredible way to connect with friends and family and watch a movie together even if you’re far apart. Netflix party enables you to host your own in-house movie night without having to do the old count down so that you and your friend are watching at the same time. Instead, one person takes control of the play button and it automatically syncs with your friend’s device so whip out the popcorn and fizzy drinks and get ready for some classic entertainment!

Grab a coffee from your local coffee shop

Even if you can’t go out with a friend, it can be really helpful to connect with someone other than your household members every once in a while. So why not head on down to your nearest local coffee shop and grab a coffee from there? Support a local store that has been closed for awhile and connect with the barista or waiter while you wait. Ensure that you’re maintaining a safe distance, using hand sanitizer and wearing your mask, of course. 

4. Eat healthily and stay active

Oh, the dreaded “healthy lifestyle” conversation! I know you’ve heard it a thousand times but it’s 100% true. During lockdown we’ve seen the two extremes, some people have become more healthy during this time while others have completely dwindled into an unhealthy lifestyle. The truth is that staying healthy and keeping active is a great way to ensure that you’re coping with change the right way. Connect with a friend by starting a healthy eating plan together and motivating each other along the way through messages and video calls. This is a great way to keep your mind happy and maintain your social connections throughout lockdown. 

5. Stay socially connected to your friends and family the right way

Remember that you’re not the only one going through this tough time there are so many others around you who are feeling lonely! You can use this time to support each other through a difficult patch and help others in need. 

Aside from your friends, you’ve got your family there with you going through the same thing in a confined space. During this time of virtual meetings, social media and technology, take the time to build stronger bonds with those you’re in lockdown with. Reconnect without your cell phone in your hand and continue to build and grow these relationships with your loved ones. 

At the end of the day, maintaining relationships is almost as important as staying socially distant. So let’s take Stanford’s advice and practice distant socialising remembering why social distancing is important while still staying connected to our loved ones. Do you have some tips on socialising safely? Let us know by messaging us or commenting on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube, we’d love to learn more about how we’re staying connected in your own creative way. 

This article was originally published on 04 Aug 2020

About the author
Mekayla Preiss

I am a Copywriter and Content Creator for AdvantageLearn.com. I enjoy getting creative and have a passion for people and crafting compelling content, I hope to inspire the next generation of learners and changemakers.

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