Creating Community While Social Distancing

Virtual meeting on a laptop

With the “new normal” that COVID-19 has brought with it, it’s important to be able to adapt daily elements of our lives, whether it’s working or socializing, to reflect the necessary changes while still feeling uplifting and motivating.

Thankfully we have technology at our fingertips to help us maintain social connections while practicing social distancing. While phone calls, emails, and video chatting are great avenues of socialization, the team at Hanson College wanted to offer new ideas of how you can get creative while getting to know yourself better or interacting with others virtually during this time.

Things to Do With Others

Connecting with others during self-isolation should not feel sombre, but be simple and positive. We want to ensure that you are aware of the resources available to enjoy your personal time with friends and family.

Netflix Party

    Did anyone already know that Netflix Party existed? We didn’t, but we are glad we do now! After downloading the add-on for your browser, you can send an invite to others to stream together. The chat feature allows you to share all your reactions in real time. 

Watch2Gether

    Are you ever on Youtube, Vimeo, Daily Motion or even SoundcCoud and find that link you just have to share with someone right away? On Watch2Gether, you can view that content in real time. With a private group chat and webcam capabilities, you are able to recreate those nights of randomly surfing the internet, but this time, together.

Kosmi

    What makes Kosmi stand out is that they offer people the ability to play classic NES and SNES games online with friends. You do need to download the game before being able to play, but don’t let that stop you from experiencing some serious nostalgia!

Virtual Dinner Party

    It’s all the fun of having people over for dinner without any of the last minute clean-up, mass cooking or checking if your guests need a refill! We know this won’t be the same as the in-person meals that you’ve shared with loved ones, but this is still an excellent way to spend quality time virtually.

Start by video chatting while cooking — you could even try making the same thing! Once you are ready, settle in at the table with your laptop or phone and chat over a fresh, warm meal.

Zoom Karaoke

    While the basic plan on Zoom is free and a great way to screen share in any business capacity, we thought it would be twice as fun to use it for karaoke parties!

Once you sign up, you simply send a link to the friends that you want to join, and then the organizer of the “meeting” can take requests and queue up a playlist through Youtube or other online music portals. Be aware: you have a 40 minute time limit per meeting, so though it might be an express karaoke session, it’s still a great alternative to those nights out on the town.

Things to Do on Your Own

Humans are social creatures but it’s normal to want some time to yourself! The confines of your house may have you feeling unsure of how to spend your down time, and we are here to offer some fool-proof ideas that’ll inspire you to get innovative during your time alone.

Hobbies

Do you have some interests that you may have let fall to the wayside? Is there something you wanted to try? Take a hold of this free time and create!

Reading? See if you have books you could read and discuss with others. Or read for your own pleasure! It’s great to get off the screens and take your imagination for a spin.

Writing? There are always old story ideas, incomplete stories, new ideas, and more. Take the time to put in some work on your pieces.

Drawing? Set up your ideal atmosphere with music, lights and images, then become inspired!

Singing? It doesn’t have to be for other people, you can belt out your favourites just to hear your own voice and channel that inner star.

Playing an Instrument? Rusty? Practice. Experienced? Learn something new. Play for yourself or play for others; music can bring so much joy.

Sewing, Knitting, Quilting, Crafting? If you have those supplies lying around the house or stuffed in a closet, time to pull them out and warm up those hands! There are patterns, lessons and special projects to guide and inspire you.

The list could go on, and on, and on. We highly recommend participating in hobbies that allow you to safely practice social distancing and self-isolation.

Spotify

   You may have already been recommended a few podcasts to listen to by friends or family, however the team at Hanson College wanted to highlight a few of our favourite categories for how to add a bit more variety to your list.

Stories & True Crime: Everyone enjoys a good story! Sit back, relax and listen in to enjoy some off screen tech time.

Comedy: They say laughter is the best medicine, and we agree. Listen in to clips from a number of comedian’s shows and get your giggles on!

Education: It’s never a bad time to continue learning! From history to science and conspiracy theories to freakonomics there is something for everyone.

Kids: For all those why’s that your kids seem to ask, stories for quiet time and some bedtime channels are available. For anyone taking care of children that are cooped up at home, we highly recommend checking this out!

Exercise

The gyms and studios may be closed but that does not mean we have to stop moving! Social distancing still allows for a nice walk around your neighborhood. Morning, noon or night, it’s always good to get outside to change the scenery and breathe in some fresh air.

You should also try to stretch your whole body every now and then. This does not have to be a taxing activity, just take ten minutes out of your day to get everything moving and warmed up.

If you are missing out on your regular Yoga class, check online.There are sites for lists of poses with tips to help you improve them, specific sequences, to perfect your flow, or even videos on YouTube that you can follow at home for beginners and experts.Check out our College pages on Facebook and Instagram @hansoncollegeont for specific, up-to-date resources!

For those who are looking for something more high impact:

Pilates is amazing for your flexibility and core/back strength. It will help with your balance, posture and patience. By focusing on slow controlled movements, purposeful breathing, opening up the joints, and increasingly more complex sequences; there is nothing you won’t feel working from Pilates!

Additionally, P90X is known for its intense workout tapes, but in this digital age, you just need access to YouTube to really enjoy the burn at home You don’t need to start a full 5 day a week regime with this; any time spent really moving and challenging your abilities is extremely rewarding, both mentally and physically!

Check-In 

Maintaining your emotional and mental health is probably one of the main takeaways from this article. We want to support you through this challenging time and make sure that you feel understood, heard, and strong.

Info Diet

While it is important to be informed on what is happening, immersion in the news can increase your stress. Dedicate a short amount of time to update yourself on the news each day then return to your activities with less exposure.Try to not let COVID-19 be the center of your conversations or thoughts every moment of every day.

Sleep

It is incredibly beneficial for your mental health to have a regular sleep schedule. Getting a proper rest each night allows you to be refreshed for the morning, which can be a tough time for many of us. When it comes to sleep, its quality over quantity. Disconnect from your electronics for at least 30 minutes before bed. Taking your phone to bed can bring numerous stressful thoughts into a place that should be all about relaxing.

Share

If you are struggling with the current situation (or any other issues), make it a priority to reach out to someone. This could be a friend, family member, or professional – more often than not, talking through things helps to put them into perspective. Holding your feelings and worries in for too long will only encourage your negative thoughts to grow and multiply. Take a moment to let it out, however often you personally need to, and then allow yourself to move past it. For additional ways that our team at Hanson College can support you, please visit Wellness Resources.

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