Be social while distancing? It’s possible. It’s also a great approach to relieving loneliness in a time of isolation by staying connected.
22 quarantine-approved ways to reach out and reinforce your community
Use a few fun ideas to help you feel close while keeping your distance:
1. Chalk it out.
Take a cue from the many Americans who are using sidewalk chalk to create art and share hopeful messages — and get your neighbors in on it.
2. Do a virtual storytime.
Rotate with friends, neighbors, or a playgroup and take turns reading a story to the kids via video chat: Facebook Messenger, Zoom, or Skype.
3. Drop off lunch or dinner.
Leave a home-cooked meal on a neighbor’s doorstep, and the favor might be returned. (Or, best yourself by baking this deliciously healthy dessert.)
4. Go to the bar.
Set up a coffee bar or nightclub in your house. Assign someone in the family as the server and the other family members as patrons. Tips are appreciated.
5. Host a flash mob.
Invite the neighbors to come out and dance with their families as you drive through the neighborhood, playing a preselected tune.
6. Howl at the moon.
That’s what some cities are doing at a designated time each night in solidarity: Howling out their windows together.
7. Hunt for teddy bears.
If neighbors have already begun putting teddy bears in their front window, it’s for a purpose: to give restless kiddos something fun to scout for and to provide comfort.
8. Make stained glass windows.
Enlist the kids (or other bored family members) to create a special symbol or message, displayed as “stained glass” in the front window, using painter’s tape and expo markers.
9. Paint rocks.
Decorate rocks with paint and uplifting images, words, or sayings, then place them randomly around the neighborhood. Neighbors are welcome to add more and keep their favorites.
10. Pen a chain story.
Start with a classic opener like “Once upon a time,” or “It was a dark and stormy night,” and write the opening paragraph of a short story. Pass along to neighbors in mailboxes or on doorsteps and make photocopies of the masterpiece when it’s finished.
11. Pick up the phone.
Rare as a phone call is in this age of texting and email, it’s a heartfelt gesture friends and neighbors will appreciate. Aim to call and talk to someone new for a few minutes each day or set aside time on the weekend.
We’re in this together. Whether it’s video, email, phone, or app, you can connect to a local loan officer right now and find answers.
12. Plan a rolling scavenger hunt.
Put a list on a lucky neighbor’s door. Once they locate an item on the list, they can take the item and the list to another neighbor, also adding a positive note. Then the next neighbor continues the hunt with a copy of the list. Make sure to keep it going: The last person delivers the goodies back to the person who started it.
13. Plant a neighborhood garden.
What to do with extra time on your hands in the spring? Check out one of these gardening concepts and begin planting flowers or vegetables to beautify or nourish your community.
14. Prep for a post-pandemic bash.
Making plans for a real, tangible event on the horizon can keep morale up during quarantine. Send out an email to neighbors and form party planning committees.
15. Review local businesses.
An easy but effective way to support small businesses in a shutdown: Go to their Facebook page or Google listing and leave a stellar review to entice future customers.
16. Set activity challenges.
Cooped-up neighbors may be up to the challenge. Start a Facebook group or email thread and post daily or weekly activity goals, like walking for 30 minutes, doing 20 push-ups, or trying family-friendly yoga on YouTube.
17. Schedule Zoom playdates.
For kids who are missing friends (and grown-ups too), set up a weekly virtual playdate with toys, games, and fun trivia questions.
18. Start an online book club.
Another easy but exciting way to connect: Add friends to a virtual book club Facebook group, pick a book for the month, and plan a time to pour some coffee or wine and chat online about it.
19. String (back) up Christmas lights.
You might have just taken them down. But putting Christmas lights up again is a simple and sweet way to brighten your street and show your spirit.
20. Throw a block party.
Put invitations on your neighbors’ doors inviting them to the end of their driveway with their fave foods and drinks. Blast some music and enjoy some distanced company.
21. TP your neighbors.
Drop a roll or two of TP on your neighbors’ porches with a cute poem, quote, or saying.
22. Write anonymous letters.
Snail mail thoughtful or funny letters to your friends and family, but don’t sign them. Keep the mystery going and see if they figure it out.
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Making our borrowers happy makes us happy, too. If you have questions about refinancing your mortgage to make monthly expenses more manageable, we have answers waiting. Or, if you have strong job security, we can also help you determine if now is a smart time to buy a house. Connect virtually with a friendly, local loan officer to get started.
For educational purposes only. Please contact your qualified professional for specific guidance.
Sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed.