We can’t lose hope now. We are nine months into this extremely stressful pandemic and the holidays are approaching. We need to try harder than ever to stay strong and social. Being connected is how we can keep our spirits up as well as ensure we have allies at work when we need them.
Given the unprecedented circumstances, remember to always ways give yourself and others grace. This has been such a challenging year. It’s totally reasonable to need some alone time to relax and regain your mojo. However, don’t let yourself or others spend too much time alone. Yale’s absolutely brilliant free course, The Science of Wellbeing, includes scientific research proving that social connection is critical to our happiness in life. And, everyone knows that having strong relationships is a major driver in our career success too.
If you are feeling lonely, bored or Zoom meeting fatigued, it’s time to try some new methods for boosting both your personal and professional relationships.
Here are 10 ideas to try that will help you stay safely connected during Covid:
Pick Up the Phone
Simply pick up the phone and dial. Phone calls have become a special occasion novelty. So many of us switched to video that we have forgotten the joy of an old-fashioned chat on the phone. I have enjoyed really long talks with friends while we each prepped dinner. And, found extreme comfort and reassurance in short chats from work colleagues just touching base to ensure I was doing ok.
Who can you surprise with a phone call today?
Mail Something Meaningful
What’s even more novel than a phone call? Sending something in the mail. Imagine getting a package that’s not bills and solicitations. A friend recently sent me a card she made, and it truly touched my heart. She had colored in this beautiful ocean scene with a dolphin and handwrote a note explaining why she thought this creature was my spirit animal. I was so touched.
It’s the thoughtful gifts not that lavish ones that make impact and lasting connection.
What can you mail to someone to make their day?
Walk and Work
What a fun way to get some fresh air, exercise and create connection. Invite a friend or business associate to meet you for a walk and talk about whatever topics need attention. Enjoy getting into nature while getting important teamwork accomplished.
Mask up, stay safe but get outside and multi-task.
Find the Heat
With winter coming, outdoor dining is getting a bit tricker. I recently went to a restaurant that had perfected the patio heat lamp. You will be the hero of your group if you scope out the places with the best outdoor fire pits and heating systems.
Scout your neighborhood and invite a couple friends to join you for some cozy outdoor social distancing drinks and dinner under the glow of the perfect heat lamp.
Bend with Back Yard Yoga
I was delighted to get invited to a backyard yoga event with a Zen-minded instructor that concluded with an organic wine tasting. Social distancing guidelines were respected yet we all felt so together.
Yoga is the perfect exercise these days as it builds strength in our bodies while calming our minds. If you are not seeing events like this within your community, organize one. Public park yoga could work too.
Gather in the Garage
Strange as it sounds, I have had a lot of fun in garages lately. One friend turned his into a fancy rec room with large screen TV and pull-down bar. But any garage will do. You can just park the cars outside, leave the door open and pull in some chairs.
As it’s getting colder, garages, patios or balconies are just another way to safely gather with a few friends while adhering to the safety guidelines.
Host a Netflix Party
Ok this one is still on my try list. Have you done it yet? Apparently, it’s super easy on the Netflix app to click party and invite people to watch something with you. I personally LOVED Schitt’s Creek, Dead To Me, Cobra Kai and am now I’m watching Outlander which gets pretty steamy. It would be interesting to chat with friends during some of those scenes for sure.
If you’ve watched shows with friends, please let us know about your experience.
Get Social Gaming
This is not my personal go-to, but online gaming has kept my son sane for sure. Video games are not just sports and shooting. There are all kinds of online games for people of all ages and interests.
I have friends who love Wealth Words and Words with Friends. What do you play?
Make Zoom Happy Hour Productive
Zoom burnout is real. So, if you are going to host a social one, make it memorable and productive.
After several happy hours, a group of us decided to turn the drinking and complaining into a mastermind session. Each week someone brought forward something they wanted to achieve, and we all brought our A-game strategies and ideas. Topics ranged from starting a food blog to dating after divorce. Boom. Zoom made fun and productive!!!
Bond Via Zoom Games
Have you heard of the game Two Truths and a Lie? I had not but recently played it on a social Zoom and it was so fun. People are so interesting and full of surprises. This is a structured way to bring out some secrets and get to know people on a deeper level.
The game is simple. Everyone shares three stories: two are true and one is false with all of them being a bit unexpected. Whether you are friends, work associates or strangers, you are guaranteed to leave feeling more connected.
Staying Safe and Social
I hope you found some new ideas and are motivated to make plans for connecting with both personal and professional friends.
These are optional opportunities. Don’t feel bad if you aren’t up for it or others decline. Encourage yourself and others to stay connected but it’s ok not to take advantage of every single opportunity.
Please share any other safe social situations you have found fun and inspiring. This is such an important time to share ideas and cheer each other on.
Join the discussion!