7 ways to stay connected with friends through Lockdown

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7 ways to stay connected with friends through Lockdown

Words by Jessica Magtalas

Feel in touch from your household.

With round 100000 of lockdown in Victoria, social connection this time around seems to be more important than the previous.

After unexpected cancelled plans and the lack of physical gatherings with mates, isolation has been a test of friendship. Many of us are stuck at home, unable to visit one another, it’s become quite clear that a shift in routine has been put upon us.

No more usual weekend drinks and frequent visits to favourite brunch spots in Victoria – and yes, we’re also feeling the withdrawals.

Though, finding a middle ground to catch up with friends is easier that it seems. Other than weekly video calls, you can still have fun in the comfort and safety of your own home.

In an effort to stay in touch with one another, here’s what you can do.

Netflix Party
Are you and your friend group frequent visitors at the movie cinema? Are you feeling the empty or unsatisfied feeling of post-cinema discussions? If your answer is yes, you’re not the only one. That’s why Netflix Party will be your saviour at times of movie night cravings.

The software gives a new way to watch films or shows with your friends in the comfort of your own home. The chrome extension easily synchronises video playback and adds the function of real-time group chats along your favourite flicks. So, need to worry, you’ll be able to leave comments and figure out if the main character is really a villain.

To download the extension, visit www.netflixparty.com

Remote Games Night
Team betrayals and thirty-minute debates on what the capital city of Nigeria is, the antics of trivia nights will forever remain iconic. Hard to replace online, taking the traditional games nights through video call is a great way to get your dose of winner’s pride.

Hosting a remote games night may sound a bit intimidating, mostly if you’re a tech newbie. Though, it’s much more simplistic than you think. All you need to do is let your friends know of the event, choose your hosting site – whether that be Houseparty, Zoom, Facetime of Google Hangout, and choose your favourite online games.

Fan favourites include QuizUp, an online trivia game similar to your local pub crawl trivia night and Cards Against Humanity, a party game for ‘horrible people’ and a quick way to get everyone laughing.

A PDF version is available here.

Another online version is All Bad Cards, and it is hilarious.

Online ‘Happy Hour’
While having drinks with friends at your go-to spot seems impossible at the moment, the atmosphere can be recreated at home. Gather a few friends through Facetime, grab your favourite drinks and you’ve got an isolation party. Endless nights or days, no need to find a way home, we’re sure you’ll be ending the session with a group philosophy conference.

Group Fitness Challenges
Like everywhere else, gyms are temporarily closed. However, getting that gym bod is still a goal worth reaching for. If you’re finding it hard to stay motivated and disciplined, start a fitness challenge with your friends. Set up frequent video calls and work out while on the line with each other. It will keep you accountable and encouraged to get the six pack you’ve always wanted.

Not only that, it’ll make sure you stay connected with your mates and now gym buddies.

Updates with the Friends
Frequent phone calls or video calls is more than enough to feel as though you’re with one another. A casual chat can comfort a friend and let them know that you’re still here for them.

Zoom Birthday Party
If you were born before March, than consider yourself lucky. You mostly likely had the chance to celebrate your birthday with friends or outdoors. Who would’ve thought that isolation birthdays would be a thing? Certainly not us.

Set up a Zoom Birthday Party, blow you cakes out and turn some music on to set the mood. You can even make use of online games that were mentioned prior or even have a few drinks to toast to another year!

Learn a New Skill Together
Whether it be cooking, embroidery or taking up painting, with plenty of time in the day, now is the perfect moment to take up a new skill.

Group activities can be fun too. Paint together while you’re on call and create challenges for each other or even get invested in the world of knitting. You’ll all be in the same boat as each other, so don’t feel embarrassed if your knitted sweater turns out to be more of a…um blanket?

Social distancing doesn’t have to be hard. Find a solution to stay connected with one another, as times like this are worth the human connection.

Looking for something else to get you through lockdown. Check out our piece on Eight Silver Linings of Face Masks.