Friday Funday – Ways to stay social in Isolation

 

Starting to struggle with the isolation blues? We sometimes forget how blessed we are to have so many ways to keep in touch with friends and family. Virtual hangouts are available through a variety of platforms and with these different types of technology - Zoom, Facetime, Skype - come different opportunities to have fun with friends. Here are just a few ways to stay social and entertained in isolation, so you can keep saving the world by staying indoors.  

Let’s get quizzical

Missing your weekly pub quiz with the colleagues? Create your own! 
All you need is someone to play quizmaster and access to software that allows for group video calls. Sort out the teams, grab your tipple of choice, and dial everyone in for the fun to begin. Bonus points for the best team name. But be warned – this is way more fun if you can see each and every team, so choose a group video call facility that offers you the option to see everyone’s face. Our favourite app for this is Zoom which works across all devices. 
If it’s the big leagues you’re interested in, a couple of local pubs in Stratford are hosting online quizzes, either live-streamed or hosted remotely. So hunt down your favourite local on social and check out if there’s one for you to win!

Get to know your neighbours

Whether you know your neighbours or not, it’s a great time to check in on the people who live nearest to you. And we don’t mean by paying them a visit. 
If you’ve never been introduced, why not write a short introductory letter, pass them your phone number and start a conversation? Or start a Whatsapp group to get to know everyone in your building. From that point on, you could leave each other daily treats on the doormat: plant clippings, a hard-to-find grocery item you may have stumbled across, a recommendation of uplifting things to watch this week. You never know – that little bit of contact and thought might really brighten someone’s day. Just make sure everything you pass between each other is well sanitised before you gift it! 

Host a viewing party

So this isn’t a new thing. Long-distance couples are likely to already know the joy of a Netflix viewing party, but this little-known feature is now having a renaissance for obvious reasons. Arrange a time with your friends, visit Netflixparty.com, and watch your favourite show or film together. 
There are also new apps like TwoSeven popping up that allow you to host virtual hangouts while you watch through other channels like Amazon Prime. Hit Google and find one which works for you. Movie night can still go ahead! All you need to do now is buy the popcorn.

 

One-on-one cookery classes

Have a colleague whose baking is the envy of the office? Or that friend who always impresses with their cooking skills? Up your game and ask them for a one-on-one cookery class. 
There’s no doubt that this one takes a bit of advance planning. Choose a recipe and get ingredients sorted in advance - once you’re all set, it’s easy. Find something to balance your device against, put the apron on, and begin. If this is something you’re interested in doing frequently, investing in Facebook portal is something to consider. The camera follows you as you move, so when you move around the kitchen – your friend will be able to keep a beady eye on what you’re doing! 
A virtual hangout with a fruitful result. This type of activity can be applied to lots of things too – learning an instrument, a language, or a craft. The opportunities are endless!

A good old-fashioned phone call

Perhaps this one doesn’t need to be said but picking up the phone for a chat is good for the soul. This one could be saved for elderly relatives, grandparents, or neighbours who maybe don’t have a grasp of technologies for virtual socialising. Tell them to get the tea on before the call starts and let the conversation flow with your favourite people. If it passes an hour, we’re sure your grandma will be grateful!