Being single while isolating can lead to self-reflection, self-love, and possibly even romance.
Whether you’re working from home, living alone and social distancing or staying in with a partner following the latest coronavirus advice, we have the perfect pastimes to make it as enjoyable as possible given the circumstances.
The coronavirus-required quarantines and social distancing aren’t easy when you live alone. Whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, all humans require some connection with others. Mandatory solitude may keep us safer but make us more anxious.
Many people are going to be in the same boat as you, looking for positive ways to connect to people while limiting physical contact; you can look into newly virtual classes, online movie- or television-watching parties or, like the Italians, try to organize or participate in a “Sound Flashmob” of music lovers.
While musicians are playing to others from their balconies, singers are forming stay-at-home choirs together, and performers around the world are offering live-streamed concerts. We hope to add some further light and support with our suggestions below…
Face-to-face from afar: The next best thing to in-person interaction is video chat, because facial cues, body language and other nonverbal forms of communication are important for bonding. When possible, opt for video over messaging or calling and play around with doing what you would normally do with others. For example, try having a digital dinner with someone you met on a gay dating app or a virtual happy hour with friends.
Deepen or broaden: Fundamentally, there are two ways to overcome loneliness: nurture your existing relationships or form new ones. Reflect on your current state of social health and then take one digital action to deepen it—such as getting in touch with a friend or family member you haven’t spoken with in a while—or to broaden it—such as reaching out to someone you’d like to get to know.
Learn a new musical instrument: Always dreamed of playing the piano like Alicia Keys or Lady Gaga but never quite had the time? Learn the classical guitar, or another musical instrument of your choice, through self-teaching, listening and repeating, and online tutorials.
Set up a home movie theater: Movie theaters around the country are closed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get your cinematic fix. At-home movie projectors have gotten a lot smaller and less expensive in recent years, allowing you to project a new release or family-friendly classic on any blank wall. Pop up some popcorn, set up the pillows, and enjoy the show!
One-minute kindness: Getting lots of likes on a social media post may give you a fleeting hit of dopamine, but receiving a direct message or e-mail with a genuine compliment or expression of gratitude is more personal and longer lasting—without taking much more time. When you find yourself scrolling through people’s posts, stop and send one of them a few kind words. After all, we need a little extra kindness to counter the stress and uncertainty of the coronavirus.
Perfect your pancake technique, or pick up some new kitchen skills: Quarantine also affords the perfect opportunity to get into cooking by putting pantry staples to good use and testing out more ambitious recipes.
Join a virtual workout class (for free): Whether you’re missing your gym and pre-quarantine fitness routine or you’re just discovering an interest in working out, you can pass the time with free workout classes that many national chains are offering online.
Meditate: Try lying down with your eyes closed, palms up and while focusing on your breath. Or spend 20 minutes sitting crosslegged and repeat a soothing word to yourself in your head.
Use a tool: Increasingly, apps and social platforms are being designed to help us optimize our online interactions with loved ones and meeting new ones. If you do well with structure, these resources may be a useful option for you. Or you can consider using dating apps like Gay Dating Solutions to meet people online and spark new connections.
Your dating life doesn’t have to end even though you’re in quarantine alone. Many dating apps have reported a surge in usage in quarantined communities, and some are even offering free online tools explicitly for those looking for love while staying home alone.
Read a book: If you prefer to disconnect from technology, take some time to dig into your backlog of books. Once you’ve perused every meme, memorized every TikTok dance, and watched the entirety of Netflix’s documentary section, you may want to look for offline entertainment.
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