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4 things everyone should do in quarantine

Photo: Akshar Dave/Unsplash

Dear Forge reader,

A couple weeks in, we’re starting to get the hang of this new, isolated life. We’re fully stocked on beans and toilet paper. We’re finding our self-soothing hobbies. (How’s your sourdough starter doing?) We’re learning to adapt to the chaos of working from home.

And we’re finding creative ways to be there for each other. This is a strange time, but it doesn’t have to be a lonely one. In some ways, we’re more social than ever: We’re having happy hours on video chat and texting old friends to check in. We’re even calling each other again.

Right now, we’re all assembling our quarantine support systems. On Forge, we have some advice for how to create yours.

Get on the phone. There’s something emotionally nourishing about a phone call that a text can’t replicate, as Tim Harper explains. “Besides information, a voice can express feelings,” he writes. “We can sense others’ joy or fear or uncertainty.” If you’re rusty, now is a good time to get reacquainted with the art of the phone call.

Use video with intention. There are times when you just want to see a face. For those times, AJ Jacobs recommends the Zoom lunch. As he explains, “There’s something about the actual act of consuming food or beverages that makes the ritual more meaningful and structured.” It’s like you’re meeting at a restaurant, except the restaurant is both of your living rooms and no one has to wear pants.

Talk about things other than the pandemic. Your life is bigger than this. Give yourself and your loved ones permission to be whole people right now. If you’re feeling stuck, use Leah Fessler’s list of conversation-starters to talk about all the things in your life that have nothing to do with coronavirus.

Let people know what you need. In tense times, a personal “user manual” can be a gift to those around you, Melody Warnick writes. What sets you off? What calms you? Share those answers, and ask others to write their own.

There’s plenty more on Forge about how to find connection through social distance. We’re going to get each other through this.

Cari Nazeer, Deputy Editor

Former lead editor, Forge @ Medium