Last month, the CDC began recommending that all non-essential employees begin practicing social distancing and self quarantine, and it’s been quite the adjustment. Since, Lift Our Planet has gone fully remote, and our staff has had to find creative ways to stay connected to our friends, family, and each other. Fostering a sense of community can be a real challenge when we’re locked inside our homes, but it’s not impossible! In fact, there are several creative ways to stay connected while still practicing safe social distancing habits! Here are just a few of our favorites:
1. Take Advantage of Technology
Twenty years ago, we’d be writing postcards and waving at each other through windows. Now, in the age of technology, there are limitless possibilities, and staying connected easier than ever! From video sharing platforms and online games to group streaming services, there’s no reason a quarantine has to put a dent in your sense of community. Recently, our team has been syncing up on Zoom, Trello, and Instagram, and we’ve stumbled upon a few different ways to reach out:
- Join live streams on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch to participate in group conversations about shared interests.
Every Facebook page, from Star Wars fan groups to makeup addicts is running some sort of contest, content challenge, or trivia game right now. Joining in the fun is as easy as signing in and signing up!
- Sign up for free video conference platforms like Zoom, Facebook Messenger, and Google Duo that make it easy to chat, share meals, and play games together. Don’t limit yourself to couch-surfing during your conversation, either! Bust out that Monopoly board, swap recipes on Pinterest, and participate in shared activities.
- Try out Chrome extensions like NetflixParty and Scener to create group chats and watch movies with friends and family from miles away! Using them is simple, too! Sign up, pick a movie, and send out a link so that you can all stream at the same speed. There’s even a chatroom to add your conspiracy theories, predictions, and expert critic commentary to the mix.
2. Participate in Quarantine Challenges
As the world quarantines, millions of social media users have been participating in #stayhomechallenges to keep themselves occupied and engaged. Social distancing can be isolating, but influencers and Instagram users have started to get creative about how to engage with one another! Since, quarantine challenges from the Getty Museum, musicians like Tim McGraw, and more have been popping up across social media.
Looking to join in the fun? Here’s a few ideas to get you started!
Recreate famous art pieces from the Getty Gallery!
Perform the dance to Wiz Khalifa’s song “Something New”
Hop on to TikTok for a fun dance challenge!
Perform a song that never made it on to the radio.
Learn the Savage dance and show off to your friends!
Get silly and find your groove!
It’s a mad dash for an outfit swap in front of your mirror.
Find out how well you know your spouse with this fun challenge!
3. Become a Virtual Volunteer!
Giving back is one of the best ways to develop a sense of connection to your community! Services like Meals on Wheels are still up and running with physical volunteer support, but if that isn’t an option, there’s still plenty of service work you can do from the safety of your home! We love VolunteerMatch because they’re a great resource for volunteer opportunities that suits you, but the LOP team has chosen a few of our favorite virtual volunteer opportunities:
- Become a Crisis Counselor for the Crisis Text Line
Crisis Counselors answer texts from users in crisis and help them through a series of listening, problem solving, and safety planning exercises. Volunteers make a 200 hour commitment (minimum 4 hours a week) after completing their free training. Sign up for your first training session today.
- Use Your Multi-Lingual Skills to Join Translators Without Borders
Translators without Borders is an international non-profit that offers translation support for humanitarian agencies around the globe. Lend your translation skills to TWB by signing up as a volunteer translator. There is no dedicated time commitment, and there are a variety of ways you can help. Find out if you have the know h0w to help out on their website!
- Write for the Lift Our Planet Blog
Just last month, we launched a blog with our very first post! Now, we’re accepting guest submissions on subjects from volunteering and teaching abroad to travel tips and international exploring! If you’re interested in joining the team of LOP writers, check out our guidelines and send us your draft!
How are you and the members of your community staying connected while practicing safe social distancing?
Head over to our Instagram and let us know!