FUN activities to reconnect during lockdown
The Jo Cox Foundation is once again running the Great Winter Get Together over five weeks with different themes. The first week looked at saying thanks and we compiled a list of ways you can easily show thanks. The second theme of the Great Winter Get Together this year is ‘Reach Out’. The number of people who identify as being lonely has gone from one in ten to one in four since the UK lockdown. What better way to reconnect and tackle loneliness than by reaching out!
Try reaching out to someone you have not spoken to a while - an old friend, a colleague or more distant relation. This may be a little harder with the strict regulations on socialising but Together TV has helped think ahead to get you reconnecting in no time. Socialising is not only fun, but it is fundamental to your mental health.
We’ve trawled the internet for the most fun things you can do that does not include hosting your own zoom quiz night, even though we are still partial to a good old zoom quiz. If you are able to meet up with someone outside, remember tofollow the government guidelines.
FUN activities to reconnect during lockdown
1. Join an online cooking class
Learning how to make a new dish is always fun to do with others. You can organise a video class with a chef. If you’re on a budget, follow a YouTube tutorial or host the cooking class yourself and share your secret recipes with your pals. You can even organise with your pals to cook along with your favourite celebs with the Cookalong supporting Good Causes.
2. Join Together TV’s Christmas Together
Not everyone will be able to meet up this year, so why not come together virtually on Christmas Day and tune into Together TV’s Christmas Together live stream. Join us on Christmas Day at 1pm for an hour of festive cheer, entertainment and top tips for the festive period. Watch on TV or join our watch party online, where you can chat along with the show and say Merry Christmas to fellow Together TV viewers. Sign up here to save your seat and get a chance to win amazing prizes too!
3. Have a Charades night
Charades is a classic Christmas game that needs no explanation. And what an easy game to play through a video call! It needs almost no prep, just set a date, choose a time and send round the video link. Why not theme your game of Charades and ask people to mime their favourite Christmas films or songs?
4. Solve a murder mystery
Murder mysteries are fun for all and they have also been adapted for online play this year. Macmillian has created an online whodunnit that you can host. It can accommodate groups of six to eight. Of course, if you have more Sherlock enthusiasts they can be the detectives or just host two nights! It will be an entertaining evening with little prep required, but all the fun!
5. Do a virtual bingo
There are loads of online bingo events you can sign up for, but if you want to host your own through a video call it’s dead simple and you save some pennies. Get people to prep their own bingo cards using a random number generator and decide who will be the bingo master; Bingo lingo optional.
6. Coordinate a book club
Consider yourself a bit of a bookworm? Why not start your own book club! Once you’ve gathered your book club members, draw your names out of a hat so you can determine an order of who chooses the book. It’s a great way to combine a hobby and some socialising. In addition, consider becoming a reading helper with the Beanstalk Charity. Building connections with children by helping them read can be very rewarding.
7. Craft together
Speaking of combining hobbies and socialising, why not extend that to other hobbies such as crafting. You can either agree to craft the same project, something festive like bauble painting or reef making, or you can just bustle away on your existing projects whilst having a video call running in the background. Mind Charity has resources and tips on how to host your own charitable Crafternoon. If you enjoyed the Great British Sewing Bee, join the unofficial fan page on Facebook where you can meet other fans and sewing enthusiasts. Yarnspirations run weekly Lunch & Learn events where you can virtually learn from an expert with the community. Previous sessions have included crochet, embroidery and scrunchie making.
8. Go for a walk together
By keeping a safe distance between yourselves and adhering to government regulations, a walk in nature or just around the block can do wonders to your mood and fitness. It’s a great way to get a neighbour who lives alone out of the house.
9. Have a picnic/thermos date
Granted, walking in winter is not as appealing because of the cold. That can be solved by bringing a flask of tea, coffee or even mulled wine to keep yourself warm. You could even have a wintery picnic and pack some hot water bottles for insulation.
10. Check in on your neighbours
If you’re not sure who to reconnect with this winter, what about checking in on your neighbours? When was the last time you knocked on their door and had a doorstep chat? Checking in on a neighbour can help bring a closer sense of community to you both, and it can be more accessible than a walk. If you’re not sure how to start the conversation, try sending a card. You can find some great downloadable cards on the Great Winter Get Together’s website.
11. Work out together!
Exercise is a real endorphin booster and has such a positive impact on your wellbeing that we ought to be doing it daily. Try extending your daily work out to include a catch up with someone too. There are many online classes you can both subscribe to or you can just start a video call and motivate each other to do some living room lunges and calf raises. Physiotherapist Andy Lowden from ellenor hospice recorded a seated exercise class and will provide some tips on exercising at home during the Christmas Together Show on Christmas Day at 1 pm.
12. Write letters/become pen pals
Sometimes things can be better said in a letter and having a pen pal gives you something to look forward to in the future. Who doesn’t love snail mail? Whether you want to write letters to distant relations or sign up for a new pen pal through an organisation such as Carer’s Pen Pal scheme by Crossroads Together there is always someone to connect with.
If you have any other ideas about how to reach out this winter, let us and the Great Winter Get Together team know by posting about it on Twitter or Instagram and tagging us @togetheruktv and @greattogether.