These certainly are strange times.
As an introvert, staying home is not super daunting for me. However as a mom of three kids 5 and under, with a husband who still has to work, and as someone who (despite being a homebody) values community and friendships, not being able to regularly connect with my people is very daunting. Motherhood (especially for us stay at home moms) can already be so isolating. How much more so now with social distancing?
Under hardship, humans have this amazing ability to unite. We rise above fear and care for one another. I’m sure you’ve already seen the viral videos of Italian’s singing together from their windows, a workout instructor doing a fitness class for people on their balconies in Spain, and the news of restaurants opening up soup kitchens.
Yes, we are all in this together and these amazing stories of humanity being kind and good are so inspiring. However, we are by nature, relational, and these will not be enough to sustain us for the potentially long road ahead. We need to get creative and continue to connect with our loved ones, and maybe even perhaps make new friends. Let this be a time where we are able to connect more deeply with each other given this slower pace of life.
Introverts, I’m talking to you. Don’t shut people out. Don’t use this as an excuse to not interact with anyone. I know you think you don’t need them, but those people in your life are important and they probably won’t be the same when all this is over. Stay connected to them…regularly…intentionally.
Okay extroverts, your turn. I know it may not seem like it, but this is your time to shine. The world needs your energy, your need for connection. Don’t let your introverts disappear. Find ways to connect with people and don’t be afraid to INITIATE!!
All this in mind, we obviously want to keep connecting with each other SAFE and follow all of the recommended guidelines.
Some ideas for physically connecting…at a distance:
- Front porch, balcony or window conversations with your neighbors
- Go on walks together (6 feet apart of course)
- Picnics – have your neighbors or friends bring their own lunch and blanket and place them at a safe distance in your yard (if it’s big enough) or a local park to enjoy a picnic with each other.
- Front yard happy hour. We have a picnic table in our front yard that is 6 ft long and will most likely be the place for some future very small gatherings of friends.
Some ideas for connecting (virtually and otherwise):
- Schedule phone calls, FaceTime calls, Skype dates, or Google Hangouts with your loved ones, especially anyone who is at risk and is less likely to have social interaction.
- Stay connected using these other apps: Marco Polo (video messaging), Voxer (voice messaging), Houseparty (group video call), Zoom (group video calls).
- Walkie Talkies with the neighbors, so this one is more for the kids, but we tried this with our next-door neighbors, they have a child similar ages and they had so much fun chatting away the other afternoon.
- Sidewalk chalk messages – I’ve seen people leaving messages on their neighbor’s driveways or in the paths in the parks. Brighten someone’s day and maybe keep the messages going back and forth.
- If you are religious, so many churches, etc. are live-streaming their services, small groups, and Bible studies. This is a great way to connect with a local body of Fatih.
- Come up with a scavenger hunt in your neighborhood. Have the kids in your neighborhood draw something new every day (like a heart or a star) and tape it to your window or front door. Then go on walks and see how many you can find!
And come hang out with our DC Area Moms Blog community TONIGHT at 8:30 pm for a virtual MNO (pajamas and wine are optional). We are in this together!