If you’re anything like half of our team (I’ll let you guess who), being an extravert during a self-quarantine and mandated social distancing is what we like to call “dark times.” Extraverts receive their energy through social interaction, while introverts recharge by spending time alone. But one thing’s for certain, no matter how you identify, you are likely struggling with how to connect with your loved ones, colleagues, friends and frankly - your dating life*. If this sounds like you, here are five ways we’re connecting with our peeps and maintaining our sanity.
* Editor’s note: I am self quarantined with my husband, so take my dating advice with a grain of salt. I am rusty.
1. Zoom meetings, Zoom happy hours, Zoom dinner dates: This free video conferencing tool is our team’s saving grace. Transitioning from a very collaborative open floor office to working from home has been tough. We need to see each other every day, and this morning meeting is the highlight of mine. Beyond work though, I’ve been having weekly happy hours with my college friends who live all over the country. While a video chat with ten gals can get LOUD, it made us wonder why we hadn’t done this sooner - it’s the best. And finally - for anyone who started dating someone within a few months of this self-quarantine, why not invite him or her and their roommates to a virtual dinner party with your roommates? Is that lame? Maybe it is. IDK -- but now’s the time to be a little brave.
2. Family group chats: Okay - I know group texts are NOT new, but if you don’t have an active family chat, get your parents, siblings and in-laws on the line! Speaking from my own experience, I’ve turned to my parents daily throughout my 30 years of life to make me feel better about whatever is happening in the world. Sometimes though, they need a little reassuring - especially during a global pandemic. Send them funny videos, share old pics reminiscing on great memories, and remind them of fun times ahead once this is all behind us. Or, you can do what my in-laws and I did and play Jeopardy via group chat, which was so fun even though my mother-in-law Joyce always wins!!
3. Download a new dating app: There are so many dating apps out there, and in all likelihood, you do not have them all! Take a risk and download a new one. Maybe you aren’t comfortable having a virtual date with a stranger via FaceTime, but now’s a great time to really get to know people via text. Don’t be afraid to initiate the convo - you literally have nothing to lose. Ask silly questions, learn about their favorite pets, job aspirations, favorite item in their pantry, or if all else fails - just make fun of this bizarro situation. According to a ManRepeller survey, 75% of respondents are still using apps, and 63% of people say they’re in it for the long-haul! You know what they always say… good things come out of bad situations.
4. Find a workout buddy (or a few!): Being stuck at home means there’s plenty of opportunities to get in a sweat, go for a long walk (at a socially safe distance) or connect with your favorite instructor via Instagram. So many studios and instructors are offering classes on Instagram Live that require little to no equipment but yourself, your living room and a positive attitude. My friends and I have been scheduling classes together and keeping each other accountable - bonus points that a 30-minute lunch workout is now totally do-able! If you’re looking for some inspo, check out my fave Anna Kate from Tandem Cycle who’s offering Beat Burn classes multiple times per week on her Insta that will leave you sore for days!
5. Join a Facebook Group...no, seriously: Have you seen the kazoo commercial promoting Facebook groups? It’s a bit wonky, but everytime I see it I get the little tune stuck in my head! Is that just a me problem? Anyways - the point is, if there’s a Facebook Group for kazoo players, there’s definitely a Facebook Group for you. I know “chat rooms” with strangers might feel so 2000, but it’s turned into such a fun pastime for me lately. Do you love following a certain blogger or influencer? In all likelihood, they have a private Facebook group that enables you to connect with and have a two-way conversation with their other followers. For me, I love Lindsay Silberman, and her #SilbSquad Facebook group is an incredible community of people who are passionate about travel, fashion and beauty. I won’t book a vacation now without consulting that group to see if anyone has a hotel recommendation. And shameless plug, if you purchased our Quarantine Kit, you received access to our private Facebook Group of over 600 knitters who are sharing their knitting projects, plus bits of positivity and pictures of their pups. Get involved!!
So everyone - take a deep breath. Thank the doctors, nurses, first responders, grocery and pharmacy workers who are working extra hard to keep us safe and healthy right now - they are the real heroes. For the rest of us - we’re in this together (from our couches), and there will be a time in our future where we can hug and meet for lunch. For now, stay home and embrace the virtual world, relish in the extra time you have to sip a cup of coffee from bed, and try to put in the extra effort to connect with your loved ones. For all you know, it will be the highlight of their day.