2020 was a tough year. Learning how to stay social, and active, and safe during a pandemic was an unforeseen challenge many people worked hard to overcome. Though we’re not quite out of the woods yet, with the blessing of a new year upon us, we’re keeping our hopes up. We can get through this together.
Before we dive in, remember not to fault yourself for feeling down, lonely, or purposeless. It’s completely natural – so give yourself permission to practice patience, and self-compassion.
That said, using the skills and lessons we learned in 2020, let’s kick off 2021 with heads held high and spirits even higher. Even when it seems impossible to feel hopeful, being socially active can change even your day to day mood, productivity, and overall wellness.
We are meant to connect. To share thoughts, feelings, and ideas. There are creative ways to be socially active while remaining safe in 2021. Let’s talk about it!
Going for Walks
This might go without saying, but walking outside everyday can benefit both your mental, and physical health. If you’re tired of walking alone, ask a friend or a neighbor to join. With a mask and proper distancing, a walk outside is a great way to be social AND active at the same time! In any situation in which you do find yourself walking alone, put on a podcast to listen to. Sometimes getting lost in a good story is a great way to feel connected to others.
Speaking of good stories… if you enjoy reading, or would like to do more of it, a book club can be a great place to meet new people, and have interesting discussions. Whether it’s virtual or within your community, joining a book club might be the perfect fix (given the circumstances) for the mental and social stimulation you need.
If you haven’t already, make sure to download Zoom! Whether you’d like to do a Zoom cocktail hour with family, catch up with friends or old colleagues, Zoom is a simple, user friendly platform for keeping socially active.
Outdoor Dining / Picnics
Depending on your location, eating outside might still be an option! Pick a day when it looks like the weather will be nice, and meet a friend or family member for a bit of outdoor dining, or even a picnic! If you go the picnic route, you can even bring along a deck of cards, some music, and have yourself a nice day.
Many of us had to leave the communities that we were a part of once the pandemic hit. If you were a part of something pre-pandemic; such as a class, or a team, and had to stop participating in 2020 due to the pandemic, get back into it. At this point, most people have discovered ways to safely and creatively provide virtual, or socially distanced options for previously in-person activities, and groups. It’s never too late to get back in touch with those people, and to get back to what you enjoy doing!
Perhaps in 2020 you discovered a new love, or were reunited with an old love. With more time on our hands than ever, now can be your chance to try something new. Take an online course or class. Practice the things that you always wanted to get better at. And keep in mind, there does not have to be an end goal. (Hence, it doesn’t actually need to be a commitment!) If it makes you happy today, that’s all that matters.