Posted 17/03/2020 7:48:33 PM by Vanessa Smit

Connecting Without Contact

Not sure about you, but we’re feeling pretty lucky to be living in the digital world of 2020, especially when it comes to social distancing. At the Y, we understand the importance and necessity of physical distancing in response to COVID-19.
While we take physical social distancing seriously, we also consider loneliness and community connection as our top priorities. With that in mind, the Y team has pulled together ten ideas on how you can connect without contact to continue fostering relationships:
  1. Phone a Friend: Now is a perfect time to call a friend and chat. Simply connecting and hearing a familiar friendly voice can soothe anxiety. Challenge yourself to keep chatter around COVID-19 to two minutes or less. Spend the rest of the time getting to know an old or new friend.
  2. Digital FaceTime: Even though it’s not the best time to see our friends and family in person, we can still take time to see their beautiful faces and blow them a kiss through technology and apps like FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype, and Zoom. So, plan ahead and schedule a fun digital play-date. You could read to each other, have a digital dance party or just catch-up on life. Most apps even let you video call a few people at the same time.
  3. Kindness Minute: Everyone deals with uncertainty differently. Try taking a minute to send a kind message. Let someone know you care and are thinking about them. It can make all the difference. 
  4. Digital Pizza Party: Wondering what to do on Friday night? Use video apps to plan a digital dinner party. It might sound dorky, but try it! Get the treats out and the great conversations flowing — next thing you know it might turn into a digital dance party! Check out the HouseParty app to play games with your friend from afar!
  5. Snail Mail: Consider picking up a pen, some paper, and write a note to someone. Not sure what to write? Think about what sparks joy in you, maybe you can write about something you both love or share your day with them. Write what feels good to you and mail it off. 
  6. Get Outside: While many centres of communities are closed, one thing that will always be open is the great outdoors. With longer days ahead of us—thanks to daylight savings—there are lots of opportunities to get outside. You can go for a walk, take time for a hike, or you can walk to the park. Just remember to stay 6 feet apart, wash your hands and keep your hands from touching your face.
  7. Online communities: There’s no shortage of online communities these days through social media platforms like Facebook and Reddit. These groups give you the chance to find like-minded people to share your thoughts and have interesting discussions with—you might even learn something new!
  8. Group Chats: Many of us are lucky to have a cellphone or device that allows us to instantly message people we care about. Maybe now’s the time to start a group text with family and friends—try keeping the conversation engaging, light and fun!
  9. Send a Package: Send a friend something thoughtful. Especially if you know they are in isolation. Head to online shops like Amazon, Doordash, UberEats, Indigo, and find something small to send to a friend. Who doesn’t like a thoughtful surprise?
  10. Online classes: Look for online fitness classes, a language tutor or something that interests you. Better yet, do you have a favorite instructor? Consider asking them if they would be willing to run an online group class. They might be able to set something up through IGTV, Zoom, Skype, or Facebook live.

Final Thoughts

Whatever you choose to do, remember to keep your spirits high and the mood light. Remember to look out for each other, check-in regularly, and remember we’re in this together. If you have ideas on how to stay connected while keeping physical distance, send us a note. We would love to hear your ideas!
Want to stay in the know about the latest updates on COVID-19 and your YMCA? Visit our COVID-19 webpage.
With lots of love, the YMCA is here for you.

About Vanessa Smit

Vanessa is a Marketing and Communications Manager based out of Vancouver. Don't be surprised if you find her researching cause related initiatives, French Bulldog puppies, playing in the sun or watching Raptors games. She's inspired by seeing and learning about engaging marketing campaigns, especially ones that help increase awareness of mission-driven initiatives—ask for examples, she would be happy to share!

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