7 Ways To Keep Your Social Life Alive During Lockdown
Being on lockdown sounds scary, but it’s necessary to come out on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic as unscathed as a nation as possible. No one could have ever imagined that there would be a time when hugging, kissing, touching and sharing food and drinks with the people you love would be a deadly threat. But lo and behold, here we are today.
As South Africans grapple with the idea of being on lockdown — meaning that no one is allowed to leave their house for 21 days except for essential needs — one of the biggest concerns is the lack of physical, face-to-face contact with the outside community. Generally, humans are social creatures, so it’s no surprise that the thought of not seeing anyone for three weeks is a bit frightening; and research has also shown that isolation can have devastating effects on one’s mental health.
But we’re fortunate enough to live in a time where we don’t have to physically see each other to connect with each other. Just because you’re on lockdown, doesn’t mean your social life has to be too. The answer to everything? Virtual, virtual, virtual.
Here are a couple of ideas that’ll make the next 21 days a lot easier to bear:
1/ Video chatting and talking on the phone
The most obvious thing to do is to keep in touch through phone calls and video calls. This is something you’ve probably heard a million times, but it can’t be said enough! Fortunately, service providers such as MTN and Vodacom have slashed their data prices for this period, so you can spend a lot more time catching up and a much lower cost.
2/ Binge Netflix shows together
“Quarantine and chill” has become one of the new slogans of this time — it’s a Netflix and chill vibe, but with a self-isolation twist. Instead of watching movies and binge-worthy shows by yourself, you can go on to Netflix Party to watch Netflix in sync with your friends. Netflix Party synchronises video playback and adds group chat to the Netflix shows you’re watching. You don’t have to binge alone!
3/ Keep video chat screens on even if you’re not talking
Sometimes you want human interaction, and you want to feel like someone is around, even though you don’t necessarily feel like talking. If you have friends who feel the same way, you guys can come together and just go about your day while keeping the video call going. Whether you’re working, cooking, sewing — having someone there is comforting. Think of it like this: whenever you have a random thought, sudden idea, or receive an infuriating email — there’ll be someone there to share that with.
4/ Invite friends for online wine sessions, or a cocktail evening
If a normal Friday afternoon included you meeting your friends for sundowners at Tiger’s Milk, then try to keep the same traditions but adapt them in the virtual world. Instead of Tiger’s Milk, you guys can get together on HouseParty/FaceTime/Zoom/WhatsApp video call with your respective drinks in hand and have a great early evening.
And you don’t only have to do this with your friends. It’s important that we try our best to stay connected with our families too. So suggest a wine-hour session, or a virtual games night with family members — this can be fun… and could even be the most time you’ve ever spent with your family in a three-week period.
5/ Have virtual karaoke nights
If you’re a lover of karaoke and you never miss a night, this might be an even harder time for you (karaoke love runs deep!). Who’s to say you can’t host your own virtual karaoke night with your friends? Just start with getting your friends’ song requests, get onto YouTube, put all the songs into one playlist and share the link with everyone just before the evening starts.
Tip: You could also do a solo karaoke session on your Instagram Live. It might just become your new thing post-lockdown.
6/ Exercise together
Just because you’re exercising at home, doesn’t mean you must do it alone. A lot of people have taken the 21-day lockdown and turned it into an opportunity to take on a 21-day fitness challenge with their friends.
It’s a great way to always make sure you stay connected daily, and who knows — you might just be walking out of this feeling and looking your best. There are a bunch of apps that have awesome home-workout options.
7/ Look out for cool concerts and events happening online
Musician’s like John Legend, James Blake, Tori Kelly and JoJo have all hosted virtual concerts. Singer James Blake even exclaimed that that was the largest audience he’s ever performed to. If you’ve caught any of these, then you’ll know the intimacy of it all makes for a beautiful experience. So, keep scouring the internet for these. This is also the time to follow all your favourite musicians on Twitter/Instagram so you don’t miss any of their InstaLive announcements.