Connection in Isolation

I don’t know about you, but when the rona goes away I’m going to be touching, kissing, hugging, loving and high-fiving everyone that I come into contact with! I desperately miss human contact, and although I’m shacked up with the kids and Chico (the schnauzer) and can get some daily lovin’, I do miss life before the pandemic. I miss hugging my friends, drinking cups of tea with my parents in their kitchen and sitting closely on the round table with my work colleagues workshopping ideas.

The overwhelming feedback I’ve heard from friends and colleagues recently is “I feel lost” and “I feel lonely”.

And it’s no surprise really, we are such social creatures and like to be in one another’s company. And with this Easter weekend upon us, now more than ever these feelings of separation, distance and loneliness will be amplified.

If there is any advice that I can pass on to you right now, it will be to be connected….yes, in isolation.

It is essential for your own mental/emotional/spiritual health that you engage – with your local community, network of friends, family, colleagues, in any way possible. And with telecommunication companies like Optus offering a 20GB top-up of data for the month of April, you really don’t have an excuse, do you?

So for those of you feeling a little lost or lonely, here are some ways to stay connected:

  • Houseparty: Yep at the top of the list is the uber-popular Houseparty app and coming from someone who broke her House Party virginity on the weekend, I can attest that it’s a load of fun. Houseparty is the free face to face social network that lets you know when people are in the house ready for a video chat. My favourite feature of this is that it has games (squeal!!) like Heads Up (their version of Celebrity Head), Trivia (self-explanatory) and Draw (think Pictionary) allowing you to have tonnes of fun with your friends. It’s the iso-friendly Games Night!
  • Video calls: Whether it’s via Messenger, Facetime or WhatsApp, I’ve had Friday AND Saturday Night drinks with a few groups of friends through these avenues – some that have gone for hours.
  • Zoom: It’s not just for work! I’ve been using this tool to catch up and have a coffee with some of my friends, secretly hitting the record button at times for me to stash away some video footage for ‘future reference’ (insert evil laugh!).
  • Group Messaging: I use WhatsApp or Messenger for this – and have several groups on the go. My closest girlfriends, my extended family, work colleagues. It’s such a great tool to stay connected and share little random moments that happened in your day and vice versa.
  • Meme tagging: Oh, a favourite of mine that I do all the time – I wish this was a sport! I love a good scroll and tag…and if it’s especially good I’ll take a screenshot and message direct. Humour at this time is a must and if you have a special someone that shares your own sense of humour, even better.
  • Nextdoor: Nextdoor is a free, private social network for your neighbourhood and it is honestly the best way for you and your neighbours to connect. Need to borrow someone’s green bin? Post a message. Have you got an excess of toilet paper (I wish!) and are happy to give some away to those that need it? Post a message. Wanting to wish the local community a Happy Easter? You get the picture.
  • Letterbox Drop: Nope, this isn’t an App, but just a old fashioned method of communicating to the local community. Write a letter to your neighbours introducing yourself and highlighting how you are able to help them in these times. Get the kids to come up with a colouring-in competition for the local kids and ask for entries to be inserted into your letterbox for judging (winner to receive an Easter Egg). Be creative with your communication and think outside the square!
  • Bear Hunt: Such a beautiful initiative that is fast becoming global and this one is all about bringing joy to children within the community. All that is needed is some clever placement of teddy bears in, on or around your house, ensuring that children passing by can spot the bear! Think front windows, front doors, on the roof…this isn’t so much about personal connection, but it will definitely evoke happiness and joy to the kids around you.
  • Phone calls: Last but not least, the good old-fashioned phone call is one of the most basic forms of connection and an extremely important one for those that may not be tech-savvy. So go ahead, pick up the phone and call Mum, Dad, Nan, Aunt… you will make their day.

I could honestly keep on going on other ways to remain connected, but the above is just a sample.

Please, I am dying to know, what is your go-to to ensure you stay connected?

I hope some of these suggestions help!

Love, Taryn x

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