Humans are social beings. You’re wired to crave interaction with your friends after months of quarantine. At this point in the pandemic, it’s advisable to start considering alternatives to socializing, as it will greatly benefit your mental health. Not only will it give you a break from your routine; it will refresh your mind and alleviate feelings of isolation and claustrophobia due to remote work and school.
While you shouldn’t expect a carefree get-together like the ones you used to enjoy, you can still have as much fun socializing while following CDC’s health guidelines. If you’re not sure where to start, here are four of the safest and most meaningful ways to stay connected with your friends amidst a pandemic:
Attend feel-good events together
It should go without saying that these events must be virtual. The CDC reported that social interaction is still the most common cause of infection. Keeping yourself and your friends safe will necessitate physical distancing until a vaccine is made available, so until then, all your event options should be virtual ones.
The great thing about attending these events together is that there are countless ways to make them more engaging. Agree to a theme so all your outfits are coordinated. Order meals from your go-to restaurant in Colorado and have them delivered to your houses. Prioritize feel-good webinars and live shows, preferably by your favorite funny emcee or speaker. Set aside all serious talk for another time and seek to laugh your hearts out together. There’s nothing like a good laugh, a savory meal, and a glamorous outfit to chase away the gloom of the previous months in quarantine.
Do a book exchange
You’re most likely spending more time in front of your computer now than you did before the pandemic. After all, if you’re going to stay virus-free, you’ll need to convert your shopping, work, school, and social interaction online.
This is one of the primary reasons a book exchange is a good idea. You’ll be forced to take time off from your computer and rest your eyes. Even the simple act of flipping through the pages has its benefits. Scientists revealed that this act alone can enhance your comprehension. Reading will improve stress management, sleep readiness, and brain connectivity, among other things.
Choose genres that you all like and leave hand-written notes inside the books. As with everything, make sure to sanitize them as soon as they’re delivered to your door.
The risk of contracting the virus is lower if you meet outdoors. This can be a monthly activity to break the monotony of your virtual interaction. Choose a park that’s close to home and not crowded to stay on the safe side of things.
By all means, avoid sharing anything. You can order from the same restaurant or bring your home-cooked meals, but sharing is a big no-no. This means that if you’re going to have games, you have to settle for contactless ones. Otherwise, take extra precaution by sanitizing all the objects you and your friends touch. ;
Support a cause
Donating goods and volunteering are more fulfilling when you do them with friends. Search for non-profit organizations that advocate causes you feel strongly about and look for ways to support them. Most of these organizations will have options to donate goods and money. If you’re donating goods, you can work together to amass these from your other acquaintances. If you’re donating money instead, why not work on a passion project and sell your products or services? A certain percentage of your profit can go to your cause of choice. At the end of the day, you would’ve socialized and helped those in need during the pandemic as well.
Socializing in the new normal doesn’t need to be as risky or frightening if you just take the time to plan everything. It may take a while for things to go back to the way they were, so for now, settle for a hearty laugh in virtual events, a breath of fresh air in the great outdoors, and the challenge of reading more books than you might be used to. If you’re doing it with your friends, after all, almost everything can be crazy fun.