As we continue to do our part and buckle down for another few weeks of social distancing and stay-at-home restrictions, it’s natural to be feeling the impacts of not being able to see (and hug!) our nearest and dearest.
Research shows that humans are naturally social creatures and strong social support systems are vital for our health, happiness and wellbeing. This is especially so for people who are already socially vulnerable, such as those with mobility issues and older people who live alone – who are some of the best candidates for some extra (socially-distanced) love and attention right now!
Necessity is the mother of all invention, so if you can’t do things your usual way, now’s the time to think creatively and come up with a different approach. Thanks to some old-school methods and new-school technology, it’s never been easier to feel close while staying apart.
Here, we explore some of the best – and easiest – ways to ward off the iso blues.
Keen to shake off all the corona small-talk and just have some fun? Old fashioned card and board games are always wholesome fun, and their multi-player online versions are an excellent way to play with friends while isolating. You don’t always need the latest technology to get involved (your laptop or mobile device will usually do). Online apps such as Houseparty have been huge since isolation started, and for good reason. If you’re a word nerd, try Words with Friends or Scrabble Go. Fast thinker? Download the Scattergories app. Wannabe empire builder? Check out the Monopoly app. If you’re a Pictionary fan, you’ll love Houseparty’s Quick Draw, a multi-player game where you have to draw the secret word. There’s even an UNO app now.
Can’t get the whole gang together? No drama! While it’s not quite the same as sitting around the same table, a virtual dinner date (with family or friends) is just another example of how you can stay connected while staying apart. Tired of cooking? Stock up on antipasti, fine cheeses and other delicious treats from Woodgrove Deli or let someone else to do the hard work – many of our food retailers offer takeaway and delivery options so that you can just focus on having a fun time with your virtual pals.
Hermits and introverts the world-over must be loving life right now. It really has never been a better time to access the world online. Depending on what you’re into, this could mean watching a virtual concert from your favourite international performer, attending a virtual film festival, browsing artworks in international galleries, getting fit and bendy with online yoga and fitness classes, finding your zen with a guided meditation or letting it all hang out (in the privacy of your lounge room) with a disco-themed dance party. The options are endless!
Although it’s highly tempting to want to binge every last episode of every Netflix series you’ve ever loved, isolation doesn’t have to mean doing it on your own. Got a mutual obsession with your besties or a nostalgic classic that you all just love? Host a Netflix watch party to watch a movie with your friends online. The group chat function means you can gasp, lol and natter about your favourite bits between scenes.
While it might be easy to feel down and a bit sorry for ourselves right now, one of the best ways to get out of any funk is to help others. Have a think about whether there might be someone in your life who is lonely, sick or struggling right now. The old-fashioned act of letter writing may not be common nowadays, but for the person receiving the letter it’s often received as a generous, thoughtful and touching gesture. Just knowing that you’ve gone out of your way to think of them, write the letter and post it off is a lovely boost for someone who’s not feeling 100 percent and might just make their day –or week.
Another way to connect with others and show them that you’re thinking of them is to send a gift. Know someone who just lost their job? Perhaps you could send them a voucher to help with their groceries, surprise them with flowers or shoot some delicious home-delivery their way. Love baking? Pick your favourite feel-good cake recipe and surprise a friend or loved one by dropping it off on their doorstep. Whether the gesture is big or small, it’s sure to be appreciated – and leave you both beaming with feel-good vibes.
For more tips designed to keep you feeling balanced during lockdown, check out our recent blog on Coping with the New Normal.
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*Please note that due to COVID-19, some stores may be closed at this time, but most are still available for online purchases. For an updated list of Woodgrove retailers still trading please click here.