When there are restrictions placed, people tend to crave it more.
Think about it…
Growing up, I was told I couldn’t have something and guess what.
I wanted it…bad!
All of the precautions being taken around the world right now to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 has people on edge and freakin’ out.
When you were freakin’ out when you were younger (or maybe even just last week) about anything, what did you find comforting?
Calling mom? Calling a friend? Hugging someone?
We naturally want to feel connected to people, especially in times of distress.
It’s a way we calm our nervous systems. And, actually packs form and get closer together when there is danger presenting.
Think about it…(yeah, again)
Lion King is playing and when there is danger approaching, the three hyenas all come together in a circle formation with their faces facing outside the circle.
You may see this formation pop up among our military or police.
It’s a way to “have each other’s backs.”
So, while there may be “social distancing,” let’s create Social Closeness!
Before jumping into ideas to experience Social Closeness, let’s look at some of the tools you may need to do it. Here are a few of my faves and some that I may have heard of but hadn’t had the chance to experience them yet:
- Zoom! Looooove them! Simply register for an account and it’s super easy to set up your first video call. There’s an app available or can use from desktop. If you end up with a group of 3 or more, there is a 40 minute limit on the free plan. (Note: as of writing this, they have placed limits on the free plan where audio conferencing is only available for the paid versions. So you will have to use computer audio option)
- FaceTime – of course, the rest of your peeps would have to have Apple products to use it, but it’s pretty solid. And you can do group FaceTime.
- Skype – you can use Skype via app or desktop. They’ve gotten some pretty swanky upgrades over the years and the call stability seems to have gotten better.
- FreeConferenceCall – super easy to set up an account and they’re always free. Can accommodate up to 1,000 people per call and you have unlimited calls. They support video and screen share, but I haven’t tried that part out yet.
There are definitely more out there, but these are the ones I could think of that you could get going quickly and easily.
Now on to what you can be doing with those tools to create Social Closeness!
Here’s a few ideas to get ya started:
Book Club – have you been putting off reading that book or been on the same page for a while? Here’s your chance to pick it up, dust it off and finish it! Schedule a book club meeting (and, no, not the “Good Girls” kind, lol!) and meet online to talk about your interpretations, what you got from it, would you want to change the ending and more. If you have a public library card, many are linked to apps where you can download ebooks and audiobooks.
Meditation and Prayer – you may already have a practice on your own or maybe you’re used to going to your weekly meditation and/or prayer meeting. You can still keep the energy going! There’s still power when doing so together and having the same intention (I even go so far as to give the same blessings for others.) Check out Power of 8 by Lynne McTaggert.
Cook – what’s that one recipe you’ve been wanting to try and just couldn’t get it down? Get together with family and/or friends and do it together! Maybe there’s someone who’s known to cook and now that others are at home, they may need some guidance. Host a virtual cooking party! One of my favorite things to do is to just look and see what’s in the kitchen and make something out of it. Never really know what it’ll be and I may use Google or Pinterest for an assist where I’ll just type in whatever ingredients I have followed by “recipe” and bam! (What’s up, Emeril?!) There ya go.
Random Appreciation Messages – think about those people who are in your lives. Now that we’re asked to stay here, there may be people popping up that you’re bummed you won’t be able to see or hang out with as much. Or, there may be those “you’ve been meaning to catch up with.” This urge to reach out is you hearing that connection you have to them. Why don’t you send off random messages telling them what you love, appreciate and are grateful for about them? They can be texts, audios or videos. What’ll make this more special is when you do these privately. When you remove the potential of “likes” and comments, something else comes out. It could be more of the feeling you have and even things you may not even say “because others are seeing it.” Think of this as a moment just for you two.
Play “How Would You…” Game – come up with a list of random topics. Then randomly choose a topic and ask the group “How would you [insert topic here]?” For example, I could ask, “How would you make your tea?” or “How would you design this room?” or “How would you celebrate your 40th birthday?” or “How would you set up the play space for a dolphin?” This may be silly and mundane, but you’ll find it interesting to hear different perspectives. Overall, you get to see what people may value more or even how they think and put things together. You’ll may find things in common. Heck, you may even pick up some new ways to do things that you’ve come to do so passively.
These are just a few ways to develop Social Closeness, which is really about experiencing relationships with others more deeply and richly.
The play-tastical thing about these activities is that you can do these AT ANY TIME – yes! Use this time to help get you started in reframing the relationships you have with people you care about, like and love.
Then continue to do these and others to foster those richer relationships.
Do you have any ideas to experience #socialcloseness? Would love to hear about it! Comment below or tag me @deniceahilton #socialcloseness