If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s on the different challenges of this past year. Somehow a full year has zoomed by (pun intended) since the COVID-19 pandemic hit our city full-force.
Take a pause and reflect on your year: 365 days of protecting each other, routines turned upside-down, online meetings, isolation, struggle, and [insert personal experience here].
What, ultimately, was most important to you during that time?
As a hydro-electric utility company, “connection” is important to us. After all, our central purpose revolves around that word - in keeping you, our customers, connected to a safe and reliable power source. However, on a human level, “connection” is evocative of so much more - particularly within the extended periods of isolation that we’ve endured.
With winter wrapping up soon, we are hopeful that more good news will come with a new season. Still, it’s hard to say how much longer we will need to remain creative with how we stay connected. To help you pursue deep and meaningful connections with your loved ones amidst the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, we have a number of energy and soul-boosting ideas, that we have tried and enjoyed, to share.
- Connect your competitive spirit
For all the playful personalities out there who love a game to center friends and family around, we have three online (and free) favourites for you to try:
- Psych! Outwit your friends app: Best paired with a video call, this party game is guaranteed to connect even the most estranged group. Players can choose from a variety of categories, including our favourite “The truth comes out” that is sure to generate plenty of laughs.
- Backyard.co: This browser-based game is an online hub for groups to connect over voice, video and chat, and choose from a library of games. Our favourite game is “Codewords” - an online version of Codenames.
- Among Us: Especially popular among the kids, this mobile app is a multi-player game featuring teamwork and betrayal. Teammates work together to prepare a spaceship for departure. The catch? Some players amongst the group are impostors seeking to sabotage.
- Connect over a favourite flick
A modern take on a movie night, Netflix Party / Teleparty, is a platform that allows groups to synchronize video playback along with a chat function. As the name suggests, it works with a Netflix account; however, it also works with a variety of other streaming services.
- Connect over a card
Since COVID-19, assembling a group-signed card has become complicated, if not, impossible. Thankfully, there is a fun and easy way to assemble one virtually. Kudoboard is an online platform that’s free (for up to 10 messages). Users can select from a variety of themes (birthday, get well, miss you, etc.) and can post messages along with a photo or GIF. The organizer can easily share a link to invite others to contribute. Once complete, the card can be scheduled for email delivery. This tool is sure to innovate the way you celebrate, affirm or comfort your friends, family, and colleagues.
- Connect your schedule
Sometimes knowing what your closest friends and family members are up to can help make you feel a little more connected. If you all use a Google calendar, consider sharing parts of it with each other. Better yet, be intentional about scheduling time for each other to connect regularly, be it one a week or once a month. As the days can easily string together during this pandemic, having a time slot dedicated to connecting with loved ones can give you all something to look forward to.
- Call to connect
Not to be confused with collect calls! Don’t underestimate the power of a phone call. It is often one of the most accessible forms of communication - for all age groups and all levels of tech-savviness. More than that, with more video calls happening for work and school, it can sometimes be a welcome alternative. Best of all, its casual nature means you can call on a whim to check in, no planning required, while still being more personal than a text message.
- Connect through physical fitness
While going to a public gym may not be in the cards for a while, there are still lots of ways to stay connected with others while working out. Fitness apps, like FitOn, allow you to add friends, sign up for scheduled workouts, create workout parties, and cheer each other on. Motivation is often the biggest barrier for fitness, so having a friend to commit to it with you can be a gamechanger. As the weather improves, also consider opening up your schedule for a nice long walk outside - having quality time with a friend or two (and nature) can be food for the soul.
Connecting with others is a powerful thing. We hope these ideas give your social life the recharge it needs to enter a new season.
Have more ideas for us? We’d love to hear them. Email us at [email protected].