MORE THAN VIRTUAL REALITY
Updated: Oct 27, 2020
Coronavirus has impacted our social lives immensely this year, and with the colder and wetter months approaching, hibernating season feels more real than ever. The ability to meet our friends and family is more restricted and with little going on, conversation may be feeling a bit stagnant.
Although they may not be totally original, below I have compiled a few ideas that will hopefully bring some light to the foreseeable future.
1. I’m sure many of you have either seen or participated in a trivia night when the first lockdown came about. One of my favourite methods for a game’s night is through an app called Kahoot which can be used for educational purposes as well as for entertainment. The basic concept is as follows: One person hosts the game; players join by entering a unique pin and the fun begins! So simple, right?! What I love most about Kahoot is that you can choose from a wide selection of the many pre-designed games on offer and even create your own!
Fun thought: If you have a celebration coming up, test your knowledge of one another with a range of questions based on your friendship/relationship over time.
2. When we were working in the outside world, the majority of us made it a point to step away from our desks and take a well-deserved lunch break. Now that many people are working from home, it might seem harder to tear away from the computer and have that lunch break/much needed time out. Have a picnic in the comfort of your own home! Make a yummy dish (this can be prepared beforehand to save time), clear some space on your living room or bedroom floor and get comfortable. If you know someone else who takes lunch at the same time as you, see if they want would like to join you, it could be someone you live with or via video chat. If not, indulge in half an hour or so of your favourite tv show or perhaps allow your mind to switch off as much as possible in silence.
Many physical and mental health benefits can be reaped from simply sitting on the floor; It is said that sitting on the floor produces a reassuring sensation of being grounded and can calm any anxious feelings one may be having. It is our connection to become rooted to the earth - a major factor why meditation is best practiced whilst you are in contact with the ground (sitting or lying down). It is usually harder to sit still when we are sat on the floor with little/no back support, therefore the tendency to keep our spine upright and find that comfortable position promotes dynamic posture which (when done right) can improve our overall physical mobility.
3. Self-care is an essential part of keeping mentally healthy, so why not have a pamper session over a videocall?! Call up your bestie(s) stick on a face mask, do your nails and chat the next hour or so away with your favourite snacks at hand. Within no time, you’ll feel like a teenager on a sleepover all over again - just within the comfort of your own home and without having to walk (run) to the car in your pyjama’s the next morning – yes, we’ve all been there. Don’t try and deny it!
4. Get active! For my fellow UK readers, we all remember the hype around Joe Wickes, aka The Body Coach during our first lockdown – while I haven’t personally watched/joined any of his sessions, his story did inspire me to find creative ways to keep those closest to me active and healthy and now I am sharing them with you! The most obvious starting point - find a tutorial to follow. Better yet, why not invent your own?! It doesn’t have to be high impact, unless you want it to be! It can be something as fun as creating a dance routine to your favourite song! Create your own obstacle course/sports day: include star jumps, high knees, whatever you like! Test yourselves against time: challenge each other to see who can hold a plank or bounce a basketball for the longest time. The possibilities are endless.
Remember, it only takes 30 minutes of physical activity in your day towards a fitter you! It’s not the beat of the clock, but the beat of your heart that’s important.
5. Feeling creative? Have a virtual sip and paint session! With so many adult colouring books available, why not invest in one or simply print a template off the internet. Grab some colouring pencils or paint if you prefer/have some handy. Make sure a glass or more of your favourite beverage is within reach and let your imagination run wild. Share the completed picture with your friend(s) to see your different perspectives on the same design.
6. Need to clear out your wardrobe but having trouble deciding what to keep and what to throw? * Turn it into a fashion show! Sort through your clothes with the opinion of someone who knows your sense of fashion and that you can trust. Blast out some music, and strut your stuff! It’s also a great way to get some wear out of the clothes that may have been sitting in your closet for the bast part of 2020 and you’ll feel all the better for doing it.
*Please don’t literally throw away clothes that are still in good condition! Instead, think about donating them to charity shops, selling them online, at a car boot sale or even sending them abroad to people living in poverty who would probably appreciate them a little more!
Photo Credit: picturequotes.com
7. Whilst quite a lot of people have begun to travel abroad again, the majority of us have opted for staycations or to take day trips exploring our own countries. As a lover of travel, it probably goes without saying that I have had itchy feet, tempted to book a flight, but understand that it is safer to stay put and let this virus ride its course. Travel documentaries have kept my spirit alive and many websites have been giving us access to see the world from the comfort of our own homes through virtual tours offering insights into Museums, around the Wonders of the World and much more. Now, of course it doesn't provoke the same feeling as if you were experiencing the destination right in front of you, but it’s still a sweet escape from reality. Google Maps is just one of many platforms providing this service. Additionally, street view is a great way to relive the route of a journey you may have taken or see how the area in which you used to live has changed.
8. Take a trip down memory lane. Hands up if you’ve gone through your photo albums already! If you’re like me and love capturing moments, many from the past decade or so will most likely be stored digitally somewhere and you may not have even looked at them since you lived that event! With the ability to screen share over zoom and other video conferencing sites, share photo slides of a past event or holiday. Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to create a POA for your next adventure when the world fully opens back up again.
9. Form your own virtual book club! Do I really need to explain how this works? Pick a book, read it within a certain amount of time and discuss it over a video call. Easy peasy! What’s more, you can make up your own rules as you go along! Just a couple of ideas: you could go around the group, each person decides a different author or genre to read per month. The amount of times you congregate can be as little or as often as you like! Maybe you do a nightly read, where a member of the group reads a chapter out loud. Again, the possibilities are endless. Make it yours and make it fun!
Whether you choose a tablet or physical copy of the book doesn’t matter. The act of reading provides a mental distraction from the stresses of life. It can even inspire us and teach us something new, as well as improve our memory, focus and concentration.
10. Finally, what now feels like a time old classic ‘Netflix and Chill’* watch a movie, or schedule in a time each week to watch your favourite tv series together. There are just some things you’d prefer to watch in the company of others rather than by yourself, plus it can help to get a conversation going. It just goes to show that sometimes the simplest acts can really give us a much-needed boost.
*It doesn’t have to be through Netflix!
NB: All the above ideas can of course be substituted and adapted for your personal preferences and are activities you can take part in with those you live with as well as over a video call.