By Katherine Tinsley
The year 2020 has felt overwhelming and difficult to navigate. One thing that might be getting neglected in the process of coping is our social lives. Humans are a social species and having a healthy social life is actually an important part of keeping a happy, healthy life. It is important to focus on yourself and self-growth, but abandoning socialization in the process can become isolating and can lead to loneliness. Here are five tips for increasing socialization and fostering healthy relationships, even if at a distance.
1. Netflix Parties
One of the nicest parts of 2020 was when Netflix launched the Netflix Party feature. This allows users to enjoy a film or television series together in the comfort of their own homes, making movie nights with your friends easy and stress free. You can binge-watch popular series such as “Riverdale” or “All American” and discuss the show and plot twist while it’s playing.
2. Zoom Parties
Zoom has allowed us to attend class, conferences and have virtual kickbacks from our bed. Planning a Zoom party can make it easy to catch up, have great conversations and even play card games. You can even pick out a theme for the virtual event and get dressed up. It feels like getting ready for a night out without the stress of social distancing, wearing a mask or just being able to get everyone to the event on time.
3. Joining Clubs
There are actually clubs and organizations that gather online that open the door for meeting new people. They can range from language groups, religious organizations, groups for professionals and even Facebook groups. It is easy to pick up a new hobby, language or skill while also being able to meet new people with similar interests.
4. Reconnect with an old friend
Life happens and comes with its own set of trials and tribulations. Sometimes during that process you lose contact with friends. Use this time to reconnect with people you enjoy and like spending time with; you might have friends that you follow on social media but don’t talk to as frequently as you’d like. Take the time to contact them personally and reconnect with an old friend.
5. Take Breaks
It can be overwhelming to jump into building a social life that is not defined by geographic location. It is crucial to keep a balance and still make time for yourself in the process of building and strengthening social connections. In order to have a healthy social life, you also have to make sure you are taking care of yourself.
Strengthening and building social connections can be intimidating but due to social media, cell phones and WiFi, it is the easiest time to make and build friendships. When attempting to make friends online, it is important to practice internet safety protocols. Watching “Catfish” can make the internet seem like a scary place, but choosing vetted social groups and clubs helps make the process safer and easier.
Katherine Tinsley is an editorial intern who specializes in building the bridge between the industry and culture, self care, and fostering difficult conversations.