Updated: Mar 31, 2020
I would suspect most of us had never heard of "social distancing" prior to the recent onset of Covid-19. By now, we are all too familiar with the terminology and many of us, unhappily so. Some people may not be phased by taking a human contact break yet others who thrive on people to people contact find this particularly challenging. One way that I stay connected is through a couple different text chains with girlfriend groups. It's amusing to hear about our quarantine home habits from hygiene to eating, home projects to sleeping, and a whole lot more. What I have discovered is that for the most part, we are not wearing bras, we wonder out loud at what time of the day is it appropriate to start drinking, and we think about how our marriages have survived 25 plus years of kids, mortgages, in-laws and careers but with all of this quarantining, (is that a word?) but can they survive the coronavirus? In one of our text chains, our more motivated girlfriend, Dawn, pops back in every couple hours after marathon organizational sessions and is amazed at how many text messages have been exchanged while she is busy cleaning. She jokingly texts, "What are you people doing?" then rattles off a laundry list of accomplishments. No judging allowed during the coronavirus. One thing is certain--these text chains sharing funny quotes, family updates and humorous videos offer much needed levity in an otherwise stressful situation. If you are looking to stay connected, here are some ways to keep your weekend plans exciting while you are social distancing.
1) Throw a dinner party: Send out the menu and recipes to your friends or family (keep it simple). Use either Skype, group FaceTime or Zoom to enjoy the cooking experience together and when it is time to eat, keep the wine and conversation flowing using one of these many video conferencing tools. Whether you are in the same neighborhood or miles away, it will feel like you are sitting next to one another dining together.
2) Make it a movie night: This is the Covid-19 version of Netflix and chill. Decide on a movie with your friends, pop some popcorn and hit start at the same time. Make sure you open a message thread in case anyone is a "movie talker" and must comment on the film in real time. When the movie is over, share your thoughts through your text thread. Another option is to download Netflix Party and invite your friends to watch the same show or movie at the same time. You can text right in the margins of the screen if you're watching on your laptop!
3) Work out together: We don't all have a Peloton but we can easily get on the same work out regimen by using one of the many work out apps. Whether you use the Nike Training Club, Yoga Studio or Silver Sneakers Go, you and your work out buddy can keep your bodies simultaneously moving in the same direction.
4) Romantic dinner for 2: This has less to do with utilizing technology and more to do with keeping you and your partner or spouse connected while coping with the stress in the household. My friend Carolyn's boyfriend, Rick, told her to get dressed up and meet him in the backyard. He had prepared a candlelit dinner for two. Carolyn said "It was a nice surprise for Rick to think about this and it was nice just to get dressed up. It was also good to decompress from all of this craziness."
Use technology to stay connected with your friends and family to find some "normalcy" in your day. While we need to stay informed, we also benefit from breaking up the day by sharing our thoughts and laughter with people we love.