Though community guidelines are different pretty much everywhere, many of us are continuing to social distance this fall. Staying connected to our friends, neighbors and communities when our regular routines have been turned upside down can be a real challenge. But with a little creativity, it’s possible to strengthen the social ties that are so important to our health and happiness.
At this point, no one needs to be reminded that Zoom calls exist, right? So we’ll skip that one and move on to a few more creative ideas for staying connected even while we’re apart.
Call instead of text
Next time you’re thinking of someone or have a quick question, pick up the phone…and speak into it. Millennials’ dislike of phone calls is well-documented but in these “unprecedented times” (ugh) actually speaking to someone in real time can increase your sense of connection. Communication feels more real and less abstract when you hear the warmth of a human voice.
Send snail mail
When was the last time you got a piece of personal mail? And yes, birthday cards count. There’s nothing quite like finding a brightly colored envelope or postcard that’s just for you, just to say hi. Spread some sunshine: Buy a sheet of stamps, some cute eco-friendly notecards and make someone’s day!
Create a neighborhood-wide scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts have officially become “A Thing” during the pandemic. Not being able to interact with friends can be especially hard on kids and this is a fun and creative way to strengthen community bonds. Need inspiration? Check out the cute story of how one Murfreesboro neighborhood went viral with their make-believe bear hunt.
Picnic in the park
If you’re comfortable with it, meeting friends at a local park for picnicking and catching up – at a safe distance — is always an option.
Centennial Park is a beloved Nashville staple that attracts visitors as well as locals all year round. You can spread out a blanket near the flower garden for lunch or an early dinner in the shade.
Another great spot, especially as the weather cools off, is family-oriented Cumberland Park. With its 6.5 acres of green space, there’s plenty of room to spread out while you enjoy a lovely afternoon lunch.
Kingston City Park on the banks of the Clinch River is another perfect spot for a socially-distanced catchup. There’s a free boat launch and a dock or you can just pack some PB&Js and spread out a blanket while you watch the boats go by.
And hey, if you decide you’d rather stay inside awhile, that’s ok, too. Let the Italians inspire you — organize a singalong in the streets!