As we shelter in place, there are some of us doing so alone. While we’re physically apart, there are still ways to be together. Watching movies at home can brighten our day and you can still do it with your friends. Netflix Party lets you watch a film with other people at the same time. You need Google Chrome but it’s a pretty simple process to set-up and invite others to watch with you. Agreeing on the film…well, that’s the hard part!
You can also simply call a friend and have them stay on the line. Have you tried WhatsApp — which I fondly call “What’s Up?” — it’s great for chatting with overseas friends. There’s Zoom and Skype. My sisters and I like to use Facebook Messenger to get some face time…but you can also use Facetime for iPhone/iPad users. Choose a favorite film from your childhood. You know, the one with lines you can all quote verbatim. Laughter is an immune system booster and sharing a favorite film is a great way to spend time together.
Another fun way to share alone time is to read the same book. This may take a little coordination but many people have stacks of unread books at home. I just finished reading Little Fires Everywhere so that I can watch the new series on Hulu featuring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. You could start or join a virtual book club, take an online class together, or watch a cooking tutorial. Better yet, make a meal and set your open laptop at the other end of the dining table and share a meal! If you have someone with a birthday, why not start a group chat and call them to sing happy birthday? We’ve all had a lot of practice with that song during hand washing lately…
Do you have a library card? Did you know that you can download movies from Hoopla for free? This is helpful for those without streaming services or places like here in the mountains with spotty WiFi. You’ll have to venture out to catch a signal, perhaps in a parking lot of your favorite business? Then download the Hoopla app and find a movie, series or audiobook to download. Head home to your comfy couch and enjoy. Libraries may be closed but they have all kinds of online resources to share. Check it out.
This is a stressful time but it can also be a good time to relax, refresh and take stock of your life. Learn something new, tackle that project you’ve been putting off or start a huge puzzle with your family…let’s come out of this strong, healthy and ready to tackle the challenges ahead.