How to Be Alone Together

Now more than ever, we want to help you take the best possible care of yourself. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing nourishing recipes, wellness tips for working from home and new ways to connect—join us on social and tell us how you #keepglowing so we can navigate this together. 

Humans are hard-wired for real-life connection. Studies have shown touch can lower our blood pressure, slow our heart rate, decrease our risk of chronic disease and make our immune system stronger. However, right now social distancing is the healthiest thing we can all do to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect lives. Luckily, our tech-enabled times are making it easier than ever to be #alonetogether. Proving just how adaptable and creative humans can be, social media is bubbling with new ways to inject connection and creativity into captivity.

Here are some of the many ways to enjoy virtual fun and daily connection with your friends and family from afar. Remember, social distancing does not have to mean disconnection; perhaps it may even bring us closer together.

Technology is proving to be a mighty social enabler right now. From video chats, Zoom sessions, Google Hangouts, Whatsapp chats and four-way Skype calls to Netflix parties that allow friends to watch movies together in separate homes, digital connection is proving to be a lifeline.

Then there’s Houseparty, an app that allows you to hang with friends via group video calls, quizzes and play games.

For teens and tweens, it’s all about sharing Tik Tok dance sequences. Dating platforms are enabling singles to do first dates via video calls. And grandparents are helping with homework via Facetime. The explosion of virtual bookclubs, dinner parties, coffee dates, happy hours, group workouts, yoga, pilates and dance classes all show just how much we need to have fun together. Check out the Sydney Dance Company’s virtual studio and Flow After Dark’s live stream disco yoga.

Sharing uplifting, calming and Coronavirus-themed playlists (#quarantunes) are also trending as we rally to stave off loneliness and keep each our collective spirits afloat with music.

And while the world’s best museums and art galleries may be closed in real life, they are still open for virtual visits so invite a culture-savvy friend to join you on a trip to the Louvre.

If you’re missing your work wife or husband or the distraction of office life, make a little more time than usual for some light-heart banter at the start of work-related video calls. Some workplaces are encouraging employees to share pictures of their kids or pets to foster closer connections during isolation. Others are making time for virtual team tai chi and meditation. At The Beauty Chef, we’ve booked in twice-weekly zoom stretch sessions with Crosstrain Double Bay and have scheduled a No Lights, No Lycra virtual dance party to have fun together while working from home. 

Keeping your friends on a live video connection while you work without even speaking to each other is another innovative way people are creating “virtual offices” to be together alone. Or you could schedule a time to stop and eat lunch together before getting back to work. Make a date, tidy up, set the table and have something nice to eat. Pretend your friend really is coming over IRL.

While some of us will revel in the JOMO (and working in our pyjamas), others will need more connection. Even if you are secretly enjoying the solitude—or are lucky enough to share a home with loved ones and have hugs on tap—don’t forget to reach out daily to others who are feeling the isolation. Even if you are feeling okay, reaching out to offer support to someone else has been proven to have mutual benefits. 

A quick call or text to let someone know you are thinking of them can help lower their stress levels. Don’t just call your close friends, reach out to those you haven’t spoken to in a long time or people you usually talk to in your neighbourhood but are no longer seeing out on the street. Plant seeds of positivity, send compliments and commit to making a meaningful connection every day. Remember, kindness has a ripple effect and every little ping you send matters to someone. Ping often and good pings will come back to you.

If you are feeling lonely, remember it’s completely normal and adjust your self-care to match what you are feeling. Write a list of the things you are grateful for, pen an old school letter on paper to someone you are missing, cook something delicious or put your work aside (if you can) to do something creative. Or just lie down, put your legs up the wall and little by little learn to get comfortable with the solitude. A little self-love can also go a long way.

How are you connecting in new ways? We’d love to hear!



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