10 Ways to Socialize During Quarantine That’ll Keep Your Spirits Up
Finding ways to socialize when you’re stuck in quarantine can be more challenging than you think. But the human mind is a remarkable interest, and it’s geared toward problem-solving in ways that other species just don’t often emulate.
In the following article, we hope to get the ball rolling by sharing our 10 best tips on ways to socialize when most of the “traditional” methods are cut off. See if any of these work for you!
1. Remote Check-Ins
The first thing you should make time to do in a quarantine is check in with your friends. Obviously, that might not be best achieved in-person considering the unpredictable nature of the coronavirus. However, you should do it even if it requires the use of a specialty app.
By now, GoToMeeting or Zoom are second nature to all of us. They’ve become about as necessary for work and school as the Internet itself. Make sure you have each other’s IDs on each platform. If you’re not into the real-time interaction of those platforms, consider something like Marco Polo, which allows you to shoot short video voicemails for one another. You also can stick with the native video apps on your smartphone.
2. Drive-In Movies
While remote check-ins are more personal ways of communicating than text or standard phone call, they’re not as good as proximity. The coronavirus, however, has made get-togethers a bit more impractical than they used to be. One activity, though, has made something of a comeback in the wake of it all. The drive-in movie theater.
Drive-in movie theaters are still relatively low in number, but they’re well worth seeking out if you have any still operational in your area. It could even be worth a long drive to get to one. By going to a drive-in, you can enjoy the experience of being outside and seeing a movie on the big screen at the same time. Many have great deals (comparatively) on concessions as well. Do a search to see where the nearest one is in your area, and plan a caravan around something you all really want to see.
3. Outdoor Dining
Many restaurants are still limited to drive-thru only, but you can find a smattering of restaurants throughout your town or city that offer dine-in via outdoor dining or indoors with modifications. Expect longer waits than you would normally have to endure, but you still might be able to get a table in a reasonable amount of time depending on how the people of your community are handling the coronavirus. That is, cautious public sentiment might mean you won’t have to contend with as large of a crowd when vying for a table.
4. Backyard Gatherings
You still might not feel that great about going to a restaurant or a place of business. That’s understandable. But there’s no reason you can’t make the most of your socialization time with proper precautions. For this, consider turning your apartment or home into a meeting place.
If going this route, preserve mask-wearing and invite only closest friends. Even doing that, make sure no one has exhibited any recent symptoms or traveled to higher-risk locations. And if you have, show consideration for your friends and community by not attending any gathering where you pose a risk to others. And yes, keep it outdoors or at least have rules for how many can be indoors at a time.
5. Picnics or Bonfires
Picnics or bonfires deserve their own place on this list even though we’ve already mentioned backyard gatherings. That’s because they tend to occur in more wide open spaces than what the typical backyard offers. Having a hard time deciding where to meet for a picnic or bonfire?
Tap each others’ networks of contacts. Use a state or national park if one is open and close to where you are. Maybe a friend has a family member with some land on the outskirts of town. Wherever you decide to have it, make sure you have plenty of room to move where you don’t have to be in constant close contact with one another. (And mask up!)
6. Running or Cycling Clubs
Running or cycling clubs are great for a number of reasons. For starters, you all get to exercise which helps protect your immune system. That way, if you do get the coronavirus or another form of illness, you’ll be better prepared to fight it off. Secondly, you get to do an activity with others. This can help everyone stay motivated and encourage each other.
Finally, it’s an outdoor activity that allows constant movement. This movement reduces the likelihood that you’ll breathe in air contaminated with the virus. The extra access to vitamin D through the form of sunlight doesn’t hurt anything either.
7. Hiking or Nature Walks
Hiking or nature walks are worth considering for the same reasons as running and cycling clubs. They get you in a nice, wide open space. They encourage constant movement. You can create healthy distances from one another. Furthermore, they’re not regulated. You can plan to go to them without having those plans disrupted by a surprise closure of some kind.
Almost every area keeps close proximity to a walking trail or path through the woods. If you don’t know where those areas are, then get with one of the locals and ask for a virtual tour. They’ll be more than happy to share their knowledge. Along the way, you will pick up some favorite spots of your own as you get more used to the area. Last but not least, you’ll get to commune with nature and see some pretty cool plant and wildlife along the way.
8. Dating Apps
Dating apps don’t serve as much purpose if we’re just talking about socializing with your established crew of friends. However, they can offer great ways of getting to know and trust new people. They also offer ways to connect through voice as well as video. Do be careful, though, particularly if you’re female.
For some reason, some of the gentlemen aren’t so gentlemanly. It seems the Internet has enabled many people to be a lot braver (?) and more outgoing than they otherwise would be in real life, and some of the people active on these platforms are the last ones you’d ever want to take home to Mom and Dad. Many of these ne’er-do-wells happen to be male, though we’re sure the creep factor isn’t entirely exclusive. Bottom line: take care of yourself when meeting new people, and if you get the feeling you’re being catfished, gaslighted, or in some way taken advantage of, abandon ship. You owe these strangers nothing.
9. Grocery Gambits
Grocery store runs have taken on a very important role in our quarantined society. It’s the one place we can all go, that makes sense to go, where safety instructions are installed and halfway respected. We all have to shop for food, so why not do it together? Just make sure you follow the rules of social distancing and mask wearing along with directional arrows that tell you where you can enter an aisle and where you can’t. And don’t be a jerk about having to do it!
10. Spiritual or Mindfulness Activities
Going to church, meditating as a group, working out as a group, or going to yoga classes, are all great ways of staying connected with your friends and family. It also gives you an opportunity to meet new people with similar interests or get to know your existing acquaintances better. And you stay in better shape physically, mentally, and spiritually. What’s not to love?
These Ways to Socialize Will Keep You Sane
The new ways to socialize are not the old ways to socialize. However, the human spirit is strong, and we’ll always be able to find ways to sustain ourselves as a species. We really believe that.
Of course, one of the best ways to do that is to limit your social media time and do as many things as we’ve presented here that encourage eye contact and togetherness, even if it’s at a safe distance. As you tackle this pandemic, we hope you’re able to think of even more. If you do, please do us a favor and share some of your tips in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by Pixabay]