Linking up under lockdown

During these strange and uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to talk to loved ones and keep our spirits up – we’re all in this together, and we can help each other through the lockdown. And thanks to the internet and a multitude of video chat apps, it’s easier than ever to communicate and keep relationships going digitally, keeping a semblance of normality in your life by continuing to do the things you love. You don’t need to forget your old routines – you just find new ways of doing them!

Birthday parties, Skype-style

There are going to be many birthdays happening during the lockdown, but there’s no need to let them go by without a celebration. Michaela from our Marketing Team recently celebrated her friend’s birthday over Skype:

“We planned a time we could all do and decided that we’d all bake our favourite cake. It was so nice to have something to look forward to. The birthday girl’s husband created a quiz for us all to do with a prize for when this is all over, and then she blew out the candles on the cakes we had baked (with a little help from us!). We’ve all moved to different places since school, with some living on the other side of the world, but we’re all going through the same difficult situation right now. It was really nice to have something to celebrate and bring us together.”

Drinks with friends

Missing Friday night drinks at the pub with your mates? Us too! Our colleague Rachel has been using the app House Party to interact with her friends, and had a big call on Friday to have drinks ‘together’.  And if you want it to feel more normal, you could even dress up a bit, because as tempting as it is to live in our pyjamas when we’re in the house all day, it’s surprising how much getting ready to go out (even if you’re not actually leaving the house) can lift your spirits. 

Exercise classes

With the gyms closed and exercise classes cancelled, it’s probably going to be a bit more difficult than usual to stick to your exercise regime… but thankfully, most instructors are now conducting live online classes or posting their workouts on social media and YouTube, so you don’t have to miss out. Lots of exercise apps are also making their content free or extending their free trial period, so it’s a great time to join. You can still enjoy the sense of community you get in group exercise too, like our colleague Rachel:

“Me and my two sisters have been doing the same YouTube workouts. We film a time lapse of ourselves doing it then send it to each other on WhatsApp, purely to laugh at the stupid faces we pull and how gross we look – sisterly love.” 

Family get-togethers

If you live close to family and usually pop round for a cuppa, it’s really hard that you can’t – but there are still ways you can see each other. You can use web chat services like FaceTime and Skype to keep in touch, and if you’ve got kids who are used to doing certain activities with their grandparents, like baking, you could bake a cake or biscuits at the same time, so you still feel like you’re doing it together. And for anyone who isn’t comfortable using the internet, or struggles with broadband coverage, then a good old-fashioned phone call will do the trick too.

Play dates

It’s not just important for us to keep our friendships going, it’s important for our kids too – it can help to keep a sense of routine and, more importantly, it allows them to have fun. If you usually have a regular play date, conduct it over web chat instead – they can play games, show each other their favourite toys and have a chat. Claire from our Marketing Team has been using FaceTime to make sure her little boy stays in touch with his friends:

“We’ve been using FaceTime to keep in touch with family (normal for us), but Tommy has been using it to interact with his school friends, too. We’re just calling one of his little pals each day so they don’t all lose touch or lose the friendships they’ve built up.”

School’s out

Even though the kids are no longer at school, it’s still possible for them to have a structured learning schedule thanks to a wealth of online resources. They can even have celebrity teachers, with Carol Vorderman streaming Maths lessons, Joe Wicks streaming PE classes (great exercise for grown-ups too!), Myleene Klass teaching Music and English lessons from David Walliams – we wish they’d been our teachers when we were younger! Claire from our Marketing Team has been joining in the Joe Wicks PE classes with her son every morning, and we suspect she’s enjoying it even more than he