At first I was hunkering down for two weeks. Then with schools shutting down it looked like it would be about six. And now, I hear rumors of summertime. That’s months away.
I haven’t done an official calendar count. I’m not trying to give myself a heart attack. But what I do know is that I’m an extrovert committed to social distancing. And it is hard. Very very hard. Worth it to protect the vulnerable and flatten the curve. But oh so hard.
I crave human interaction. I can’t be home nonstop. I need to keep living my life. But how?!?
Before I panic, I’m making a plan. A plan to survive, connect, and reduce cabin fever. Here’s how:
Meet With Friends Online
Remember how we used to schedule happy hour with friends? We still can! Virtually! Plan a FaceTime chat or a Zoom meeting with a handful of folks. It might not truly be face to face, but it will be enough. And you can totally sip a drink while you visit a la happy hour. Hello, homemade lemon drop!
Send Three Texts Every Day
Commit to checking in with three people every day. Three texts that say, “How are you? What do you need? I can help in this way.” Stop reading this article and send your first text. Yes, now. Just do it. Reaching out will help you AND your people.
Kick Off a Casual E-Class
You are an expert on something. Gift what you know to the world through a casual e-class. A simple Facebook Live or Instagram Story is probably the easiest way. Sharing is caring and by imparting your wisdom you can connect with others and find purpose amidst this slower pace of life. Right now I have friends reading bedtime stories, talking through how to plant seeds for spring, sharing PE classes for kids, and giving cupcake frosting tips. What can you share with your circle?
Write a Letter
It’s old fashioned, yet heartwarming. Order stamps online at usps.com to avoid an unnecessary trip out and pen a note to a friend or family member. Close with an emphatic “Write back!” and cross your fingers that you get a reply ASAP.
Go On a Drive
Head up to the daffodil and tulip fields. Grab coffee from the a local drive thru. Drop off the letter you wrote at the post office drop box. Every few days, commit to getting out for a drive and quick hello. And smile. Things could be worse.
Start an Online Book Club
What have you been wanting to read? Kick off an online book club through Zoom (those meetings are free up to 40 minutes) or facilitate a Facebook group and virtually gather with friends to talk about something other than the virus. Need a first book recommendation, try "Lovely War" by Julie Berry. My favorite novel in 2020 thus far.
Join Marco Polo
You have this video messaging app, right? It’s honestly my favorite way to keep in touch with my two dearest friends. Short, daily video messages keep us me off the brink.
Get Outside Everyday
Even if you only wave to a neighbor or the neighbor's dog, breathing fresh air will do wonders for your mental clarity. Or, mix going on a drive with getting outside and venture far. The sea is always a good place to refresh for the day.
Talk to Your Plants
No, no, you’re not going crazy if you name your plants and talk to them. In fact, many say that plants can “hear” and respond by growing bigger and better.
Take a Social Media Break
Focusing on how things used to be and what you’re missing out on would raise anxiety in anyone. It might be worth it to just check out and check in. Check out of social media and check into yourself. Journal. Meditate. Sleep. Read. You are pretty awesome. Be ok being with you.
Are you an extrovert committed to social distancing? What are your survival tips during this uncertain time? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org