Staying at home to social distance or isolate during the pandemic has meant finding new ways to do fun things indoors, socialise and stay connected. If movies and books are already starting to wear a little thin, we've gathered up just some of the ways technology (and a hefty dose of imagination) is allowing us all to remain together, apart. Got more ideas? Head over to our social media channels to join the discussion and share your inspiration for distant socialising.
DRESS UP FOR THE OPERA, BALLET OR THEATRE
The Royal Opera House in London have announced their schedule of performances being streamed online for free, as have the New York Met, the Globe and multiple other incredible cultural institutions. For the full experience, ensure you dress for the occasion, either in your favourite cocktail or evening gown to swoop over to the sofa in, or take advantage of the unique opportunity to go to the opera wearing your pyjamas. Pour yourself a glass of champagne, put on your fanciest feather robe, silk pjs and glitzy earrings, and lose yourself in the beauty of the performance.
An added bonus of seeing the screened versions instead of live (depending on the filming method of each institution) is all of the detail that can get missed from being further away in the audience is captured in glorious detail by the cameras. Facial expressions, costume details and more that gets lost in conventional viewing can now be enjoyed to the full. Plus, you can share an intermission drink with friends on the other side of the country and compare outfits if you set up a video call to be able to enjoy it all together.
VISIT A MUSEUM
Avoid the crowds and join a virtual tour of some of the world’s finest museums. Not only are you able to get up close with some incredible artwork, you can also hop all around the world doing it, from the British Museum to the Guggenheim.
Make a real outing of it with a homemade coffee and cake that you would have undoubtedly had in the museum café if you’d been there in person. Time Out has rounded up a great list of virtual museum tours to choose from.
HOLD A VIRTUAL PUB QUIZ
Here in the UK several local pubs are still running their weekly pub quizzes virtually (complete with beer delivery) so if you’re over here (or willing to sync your timezone!) see if your local is doing the same. Alternatively, My Quiz allows you to create multi-player quizzes that can be played in real time, no matter where you are. If you can order in bar snacks and drinks from a local business to get the full atmosphere, even better.
HAVE AN INDOOR SPRINGTIME PICNIC IN ANOTHER ROOM
Just because you’re indoors doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of the change in season. If you have a garden or outside space, even better, as then you actually do get to have a picnic, but even if you’re in a city apartment you can still create your own version, with perhaps a little more imagination admittedly.
Put on a lovely sundress (our friends at Revival Retro Boutique have a fabulous new collection of organic cotton sundresses and pretty cardigans, as it might get chilly in the other room!) and pack up your hamper with your favourite picnic treats. Take a leisurely stroll to another room you haven’t eaten in before – the bedroom really does look lovely this time of year doesn’t it! Spread out your blanket, pop the ginger beer, and kick back in that sunshine through the window.
JOIN A CHOIR
This one might depend on whether you have neighbours close by or not, but when you just need to sing for pure joy and forget the world for a little while, The Sofa Singers hosts sessions on Zoom for everyone to enjoy singing together. The other participants’ voices are muted due to the potential lag, but that just means you get to let loose without really worrying about what you sound like – whilst seeing everyone’s faces on screen, all singing together and feeling the moment. Everyone joins together for a cup of tea afterwards, with an open slot for someone to sing a song, read a poem or story, or just say hello, for a beautiful moment of connection with strangers.
GO TO THE PARK
If you’re in a city and missing green spaces, the Volunteer Park Conservatory in Seattle were previously offering daily live streams on Instagram of their beautiful glasshouse and the botanical treats within. At time of writing, the streams have now been postponed to comply with guidance - but you can still follow along their Instagram for past images of their collection. Even just looking at a still photo of the rain trickling down panes of glass, fronted by cacti and succulents, is such a calming, quiet way to feel connected to nature. They also suggest taking a screenshot if you’re artistically inclined and would like to follow up with some sketching, which is such a lovely idea for some new inspiration.
Aside from the endorphin boost from leaping around dancing like nobody’s watching (because, they won’t be) the new style clubbing has the added benefit that you don’t even need to be awake past 10pm for it if you don’t want to be. Pick it up in a different timezone, find a DJ’s Instagram live feed, do it in the middle of the day if you feel like it. Or, of course, actually do it on a Saturday night at a proper clubbing time, with your own drinks at home, your finest outfits, dimmed lights, and no need to get a cab back after – with Zoom options having the added social benefit of being able to see everyone else as well, all dancing together, for the added feel of being “out”.
GO TO THE BEACH
Small swimwear brands are likely to be struggling right now as vacations are cancelled, and consumers understandably decide against picking up that new bikini. If you would have been thinking about buying a new swimsuit anyway, and will be planning a trip in the future, ordering one now will be a great way to support a brand you love whilst investing in your future self’s beach style. Check out this post from Sweet Nothings on great full-bust swimwear, or Deakin & Blue and Miss Mandalay for independent brands creating swimwear for larger cup sizes.
Otherwise, pull out the regular suit you have in your wardrobe, and get ready to hit the Beach Bedroom. Curate yourself a Spotify playlist of your absolute favourite summer tunes – whether that song you heard all the time one year on vacation and it just takes you back to that moment, or anything that makes you feel like you’re having a long, lazy day on a sun lounger. Depending on how invested you are in the details of the process, you could light a scented candle to evoke that salty ocean spray, or if you have some sunblock still in your bathroom cabinet, it’s honestly surprising how just the scent of it can transport you to sunnier times if you put a little on your wrists like a perfume.
Mix yourself up a makeshift pina colada with tinned coconut cream, longlife pineapple juice, and some rum (if you put enough rum in, hopefully the other ingredients won’t matter too much – though if you can get fresh versions of either of the others, it will surely count as some vitamins!) hit play on the summertime tunes, and lounge out with your favourite trashy magazine. Bonus is you won’t need to be sifting sand out of all your things afterwards.