Staying Connected

How to make lockdown feel a bit less lonely

Lockdown is difficult for everyone, but this third lockdown is especially hard. It’s cold and dark and comes after a cancelled Christmas. Loneliness and isolation are particularly difficult now and it’s more important than ever to find creative ways to stay in touch with friends and our wider community. Zoom-fatigue is real, but we can all make the virtual sphere work for us - here are some ideas that are easy and fun.

Have a Netflix party. It’s a great way to stay connected and so simple to do – just download the web extension, invite your friends and grab the popcorn. You will need Google Chrome so make sure you have everything set up for your movie night! Friends, Outer Banks and Bridgerton make great viewing with friends and if you’re studying Spanish, you’ll know how addictive Elite and Money Heist can be. There’s nothing like an hour spent giggling or gasping over a plot twist with your best friends to make and keep you happy.

Schedule a Houseparty break. If you miss chatting with your friends at break, schedule a Houseparty. You don’t just have to talk – Houseparty is a great way to play games from UNO to Heads Up together. Up to ten of you can join and while it isn’t the same as hanging out in your classroom, it’s a good second best. You can even study or revise with friends on Houseparty when you aren’t being taught live; an easy way to stay motivated in the face of cancelled exams.

Exercise with a friend. Don’t forget you can exercise outdoors with a friend. If you live near each other, a brisk walk at lunch time or after school is a brilliant way to connect.

Join an online activity you enjoy. Plenty of free online activities have sprung up during lockdown from live cooking and drawing classes to choirs, yoga and so much more. Remember to follow internet safety precautions but go find your tribe – there are plenty of people just like you out there.

Reach out and make the first move. Send a message to someone you think might be struggling- a “Hi, haven’t seen you for ages and was wondering how you are” is all you need to open a conversation. Text or call your elderly relatives. Make ten minutes a day for this and you’ll be amazed at how connected you feel.

Don’t ignore any feelings of sadness and isolation and make sure to reach out if you’re struggling. If none of these ideas work for you, the Pastoral Team will have others and are always happy to talk to you, and so are the Peer Supporters. This is undoubtedly a bad time, but it will pass – to quote Her Majesty the Queen, “we shall meet again.”

Amara VI