I am struggling to find a social life outside of work, especially with the social distancing going on. Where do I start? – Allysen in Chapel Hill, SC
Now more than ever, we need to come together and re-frame how we interact. Social distancing is here to stay for a while, so staying social and connected requires creative thinking, trying new avenues, and leveraging innovative tools.
The best place to start when extending your social life beyond work is to grab a snapshot of your interests, local businesses, and the community. Whatever your interests are, there are people excited about the same things. Local and national businesses are hosting virtual events to learn a new craft or participate in an activity. Your community will have a wide array of resources, too.
Try some of the ideas listed below.
Board and Party Games
- Tabletopia: go to Find & Play and click any game that is open to join
- Pogo has a Facebook group to find games to join
- Jackbox Games has a special celebrity game you can watch and chat about every Friday at 9 PM ET/8 PM CT/6 PM PT
D&D or other RPGs are social and immersive – this could be a great time to start!
- Dungeons & Dragons starter kit
- How to Play D&D Online for Free with Discord & Roll20
- Roll20, which hosts a variety of different RPGs
- Find Games to join: https://app.roll20.net/lfg/search/
- The Gauntlet is a gaming community dedicated to indie RPGs
Chatrooms like Slack and Discord have communities you can join:
- Slofile is a public Slack community database
- DISBOARD is the place where you can find Discord servers
- And find more Discord servers you’ll love at https://discord.me and https://top.gg/servers
Facebook Groups – Facebook claims they have a group for everyone. Look up groups for any of your interests – from entertainment (like music or TV series or books) to hobbies (cooking, painting, and more), from lifestyle (parenting, dating, etc.) to harder-hitting subjects (for example, politics or religion).
Host your own virtual event – invite your friends and/or co-workers to a virtual gathering, happy hour, board game tournament, watch party, or tour:
- Watch videos, listen to music, or go shopping with pals on Watch2Gether
- Gaze lets you watch videos with people who are a few miles or far away
- Watch videos with friends anywhere in the world via Twoseven
- Good Housekeeping compiled a massive list of Museums, Zoos, and Theme Parks Offering Virtual Tours
- The Guardian provides 10 virtual tours of the world’s natural wonders
Meet-Ups – almost every kind of interest can be found online. Just like with the Facebook groups above, there’s something for everyone. Many of these are also likely to return to in-person meet-ups once the pandemic is over and it’s safe to do so.
Online Clubs, such as book clubs, fan clubs, forums. Google is your friend to find online clubs in every area of interest.
- Worldwide Snail Mail Pen Pals was created to help everyone find pen pals
- PenPal World is a place where you can meet over 2,300,000 pen pals from every country on the planet
YouTube – we all know it’s an incredible search engine where you can find local and national business channels and lessons of every kind.
- Home Depot renovations and repairs
- Michaels DIY crafts and projects
Pick one or two things to you love or want to learn more about. Join an online group, activity, or class. If the first few pursuits are not what you had in mind, try something new. Along the way, you will pick up familiarity with a variety of pastimes. You will meet new people and make friends, and you’ll find your favorite activities that inspire you and feed your soul. And, you will be poised to transition to in-person events as we move through self-distancing necessities.
Lynn Whitbeck is the co-founder and President of Petite2Queen. She is focused on identifying and evaluating opportunities for women at work, helping them define their personal roadmap. She dedicates herself to delivering tools and insights, embracing visualization of the big picture, and identifying and implementing the minutiae of detail. Lynn aims to share lessons learned along her journey and enable positive uplift for women.