Currently, with social distancing becoming the new rage, we can’t all spend time physically together. So, how can you still enjoy weekends having fun with friends and family if you’re all in separate locations? Craig spent his Saturday night finding out how!
This weekend, like the rest of the country/world I spent my time partly indoors, partly outside in the garden (building a trampoline) and figuring out how to have a fun Saturday night with friends.
Keeping a sense of normality during these quickly changing times is important. Social interaction is vital. We all know the importance of chatting to family and friends, especially those who may feel isolated and lonely right now; it helps us all feel connected to each other and is important for our overall wellbeing and our mental stimulation.
Where possible we need to keep our social interactions taking place, so, how can we keep interacting if we can’t spend time with each other physically?
Recently I experienced my first Saturday staying in (for a long time), but with some friends, we made it feel like a night out! With the use of online conferencing apps, we all logged on from different locations, chatted, laughed and supported each other.
The initial worry was that it would feel odd and we’d struggle to talk. But after a few minutes and once we’d worked out how to listen properly to each other the chat flowed, and it was tons of fun.
So, I thought I’d share a few of my ‘online night in’ learnings for you all.
- is there anybody there? – can you all hear/see each other? Is someone out of camera shot? It’s the equivalent of being out with all your friends and not involving someone in the conversation!
- ask how everyone is – maybe you’re all too cool to do this when physically together, but right now we all need a little bit more care, attention and smiles. So, ask how they are as it really helps everyone remember they’re not alone and we’re in this together
- look into my eyes – obvious, but look at the camera. It’s easy to forget to do this, get distracted and look away. Eye contact is even more important when online, it’s another sign to everyone else that we are in fact listening!
- listen, listen and listen some more – listening is the most beautiful gift you can give another person; just think about how you feel when you know someone is listening intently to you. It feels good right? The same listening rules apply online as they do face-to-face. Look at the person you’re listening to, nod, smile, ask questions and allow them space to talk
- take breaks from the screen – to save goggle-box eyes and sore muscles from not moving and staring at the screen, make time to stand up and move around, go grab refreshments and feel OK about doing this. Tell your friends what you’re doing, so no-one thinks you’ve just logged off and gone to bed!
- play games – virtual charades and karaoke all work well! In fact, this weekend we are looking into what board games we could play online… although we’ll probably end up with a pub-style quiz
- plan your next get together – we found this online get together lifted our spirits. We’ve even planned this week’s meet!
So, while we may all be inside and finding new ways to interact with our friends and loved ones, maybe we can make some changes to have the best night in ever.
What have you been doing to have virtual nights out? What ideas can you share that we might want to try?