Published on March 24, 2020
The Best Ways to Virtually Stay in Touch During the COVID-19 Pandemic
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In the darker times of our lives we often seek out the comfort of loved ones who are reassuringly familiar and within reach, but what can we do when we’re discouraged from social interaction?
Losing a job and financial hardship are considered some of the most stressful life events.
In this period of uncertainty and heightened stress it is crucial to stay connected to your social circle.
Enforced isolation, voluntary social distancing and community lockdowns, though proven to reduce the spread of coronavirus, can impact your mental health, causing feelings of loneliness and depression.
Thankfully, in the world of modern technology there are still ways to virtually stay connected to family, friends and loved ones during this period.
Social media, phone calls, Skype, Google Hangouts and FaceTime are tried and true methods of staying connected but there are a few new and innovative ways to catch up and have fun together.
A Modern Movie Night
If you’re a film fanatic or just a fan of quality time with your mates, the Chrome plugin Netflix Party is the modern solution to movie night during COVID-19. It’s completely free: just download Netflix Party and install it. Log in, open up your chosen feel-good flick, click the ‘NP’ and share your party URL. There’s also a group chat feature where you can upload screenshots, emojis and even GIFs so you can still have that sarcastic and hilarious running commentary. So even in the darkest of times, you can still enjoy some of your favourite shows with some of the best people.
A Socially Distant Disco
As the age-old proverb goes, necessity is the mother of invention. Following the countrywide shutdown of some of the best things in life, it’s a good time to turn to modern inventions. If you’re a club kid, dancer or just like to kick back and listen to tunes, JQBX (Jukebox) has got you covered. JQBX links to your Spotify and is free to use. You can log into the web app or choose to download the app on the App Store or Google Play. You can join a party, be a DJ or just listen to anyone anywhere in the world! It even gives you the power to cheer for the tunes you liked and boo the ones that just weren’t your vibe. You can still chat with your friends and share your thoughts on their music with your favourite emojis through the chatroom on the app. Head to JQBX and create a playlist of bangers to dance the isolation away with your loved ones.
An Isolated Game Night
Although you might not be going to parties anytime soon, Houseparty has brought social gathering to your fingertips. Houseparty is a video chat app with loads of features to enhance your experience. You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play and create your account. Add your best friends, use the chat feature and start your own party. You can choose to ‘lock the room’ and have a private conversation or leave your party open for friends. The facemail feature lets your record a highlight of your party to send to friends who missed out. If you love a game night trivia, Pictionary and Heads Up are available to play as a group. Houseparty is free with the option to upgrade games in-app. It’s an innovative way to spend time with your loved ones from a distance.
A Virtual Mindful Meet Up
Exercise and meditation are great methods of reducing stress, encouraging mindfulness and adding routine back into your lifestyle. The Government may have shut down local gyms and are encouraging individuals to stay inside meaning a lot of people have lost their outlet for stress and anxiety management. Luckily, a large number of fitness entrepreneurs are live-streaming their workouts or making them available online. If you have a favourite Pilates class, yoga studio or HIIT trainer, take a look on their socials to see if it’s something they’re offering. Chris Hemsworth’s fitness app Centr is offering six weeks of workouts for free. There are fitness podcasts, experts live-streaming and even companies using Zoom to connect with their clients. It may feel like a bit of a flashback to Jane Fonda’s Fitness Walkout but it’s a great option for maintaining a peaceful mind. You can sign up with your friends, keep each other accountable and connect with people across Australia all while working out.
The COVID-19 situation is emotionally taxing so it’s important to take the time to stay virtually connected to friends and family.
Schedule some chill-out time to let your mind take a break and enjoy a group Netflix session without stress.
Play some of your favourite music and discover new artists with friends or even people from across the world.
Video chat, play games, manage your stress with meditation or exercise and check in regularly with loved ones.
The world will go back to normal, but for the time being try to look for joy and respite where you can.
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