Feeling disconnected because of COVID-19? Are you sure you are being 100% completely and totally honest with yourself? Maybe you just need a few friendly suggestions
The first step is to make a list of 31 people you have not spoken to in over a week. Feel free to go back all the way back to high school if you want. Then pick up your phone and start making calls to talk. Be warned -you may not make it through all 31 so you might want to do a little triage sorting before you get started.
Do not just to Facebook or text these people unless it is to get their personal contact information. Make it a point to call one person per evening for a month. You might be surprised at how many people would love to re-connect with you in these days of physical isolation. Schedule what you will do next with them before finishing your call.
There are so many ways to see your family and friends these days using Skype, Zoom, Teams, Facetime, WhatsApp, etc. Put yourself out there and let them know that you miss them.
Go on a date with someone special (spouse / boyfriend / girlfriend), watch a movie (each push play at the same time). Cook together -- each in your respective kitchens of course. Suggest having a meal or just a glass of wine, eggnog or hot chocolate together. Some people may prefer to draw or paint -- do it while on speaker phone or webcam. You do not need to be physically together to enjoy each others company and do things together. Don't be afraid of extended periods of silence. If you were painting together in the same studio, you wouldn't be speaking continuously, would you? It is ok to just be sharing time together.
Play an online game together or Charades, Pictionary, Chess, Checkers or even Cards. Many board games can be played with a web camera pointing at the board. There are now so many great game ideas.
Start a project together -- like a YouTube channel or a new online main or side business. Learn individually (lots of free courses, even on YouTube) and then teach each other what you learned. Get involved in virtual meetups, mastermind group or become a mentor. Learn a new language, sing or pray together. Write a short e-book together on all the things people can do with people, ideas for topics of conversation for discussion, recommended movies, places to visit virtually, games you can play, etc. Then learn how to publish it together.
Still can't think of anything you can do with people? Ask a friend for help. Start an online discussion and invite people to share their ideas of how they connect with others. Then steal 3 of their ideas and just do them… with others.
Move away from emails and texting -- make it live, personal and interactive in real-time. The key of course is to start making plans and taking action to make them happen -- NOW would be an excellent time.
COVID is not a reason to be apart. It is a reason to celebrate that we are all still alive, an opportunity to learn, grow and contribute together… even if we cannot be in the same room together.
Hope you found something useful in all of this -- even if it is just a seed for your own extraordinary idea. And remember, this is not a permanent situation. There is nothing keeping you from making plans for 2, 3 or even 5 years from now. If nothing else, it will give you something to look forward to and something to talk about.
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