First of all, let's have fun together... online, on video, on social media.... let's keep it light...With the number of positive COVID-19 cases reaching almost 400,000, and multiplying at a geometric rate, social distancing and isolation have become paramount!
In an effort to flatten the curve, many have taken the step to self-quarantine; however, we are a social species, and cabin fever is a very real phenomenon. This applies even more so to expats, who are often far from home, are worried about family and friends they’ve left behind, and who may not have a large support network in their adopted hometown yet. So, in this time of physical distancing, how do we maintain our social life?
Thankfully, we have technology on our side, and an abundance of social media platforms and apps, means you can still participate in events virtually, and even set up your own! From binging shows with your mates, to working out together, or even gaming – here are some great ways to connect with other expats, friends, and family without leaving your house!
Host A Watch Party
Binge-watching has always been a great way to pass the time, even before a global pandemic came onto the scene, but why binge alone? Put the popcorn in the microwave, pour yourself a glass of wine, and invite your friends to watch your favorite show together on Netflix Party! It syncs up playback, and has a group chat feature, so you can keep the commentary going!
Sports fans, if you’ve been disheartened with all the tournaments that have been cancelled, you can relive the glory days of football on FIFA’s official YouTube channel, with the whole gang! Keep an eye on your favorite team as well, as most are broadcasting some of their favorite matches, so you don’t miss the action too much!
Or, you can attend a digital concert together! In the last week, John Legend and Coldplay both held live concerts from their homes – and yes, they took requests! If your tastes lean more to classical music, enjoy watching the Berliner Philharmoniker Orchestra, and listen to more than 600 performances from the last 10 years!
Take Tips From Introverts
The tables have turned, it’s now an introvert’s world, and we’re all just living in it! So, take tips from your introvert friends, on how they pass the time. Whether it’s video-calling, instead of a face-to-face meet-up, or joining an online book club – they know how to maintain their social life, while keeping a bit of physical distance. Missing out on travelling and sightseeing? You can even take virtual tours of museums, like the Van Gogh Museum, or the MET – just head over to Google Arts and Culture for the complete list!
Keep Your Dinner Dates
Most of us head out for dinner, or a few drinks when we want to catch-up on our friends’ lives! Some even have longstanding brunch plans, or a mid-week coffee, just to keep up with the grind of things – that doesn’t have to stop! You can still have a virtual dinner with your friends (take inspiration from Paige in Aytypical). It’s a great way to try out some new recipes, and show everyone what a gourmand you’ve become!
Alternatively, you could join an online cooking class with a friend, and go up against them, head to head, on any new recipes you’re learning – a video call will ensure there’s no cheating going on! This Guide On Learning How To Cook will also be a great inspiration.
Even if you currently aren’t much of a gamer, with the number of games out there, we’re sure there’s something you’ll enjoy! Gamers around the globe build a community of friends from across continents – whether they’re playing FIFA or Fortnite, using Discord – a free voice app that’s like Skype for gamers. Or, you could pick a game you already own, launch it on Twitch, and share the stream with your friends, so they can play along from their phones. Download basic games, like Scrabble, or Chess, on your phone and challenge your friends to a game – you can play whenever you have a bit of free-time throughout the day without having to worry about schematics!
Learn the Ropes
If you’d rather spend your free time doing something productive, then amp up your knowledge with online classes. Got a fear of procrastination? Sign up with a buddy, and push each other to complete your assignments on-time! Whether you’re keeping up with Social Media Marketing, learning about abstract art, or even attempting a new language there are plenty of options if you want to sharpen your skills!
Keep your immunity up by sticking with an exercise regime! While hitting the gym might be out of the question, you can still work out with your buddies! Gyms, and instructors are hosting live-streams of their workouts, from HIIT to Yoga to dance cardio; so you can still push your friends toward their fitness goals! Put the workout on your laptop, keep your friend on video-chat on your phone, and sweat it out simultaneously!