Zoom fatigue, cancelled trips, scaled down weddings and 10pm curfews. With all of the current restrictions still firmly in place – and work and family life still trundling on – it’s no surprise that many people are feeling like friends and social connections are steadily drifting away.
Now, here at Pistachio we know that to make a happy, healthy and productive team, our social life and friendships need as much TLC and nurturing as our designs and creative campaigns do. Plus, let us not forget how a vibrant social circle keeps your networks strong, aiding both your personal and professional endeavours. So, to make sure that we’re all getting the support and connections that we need to see this year through, we’ve put together some top tips to help you navigate those all-important relationships through this rather strange and taxing 2020…
Being at home has inevitably reduced our potential to make new connections that many of us would have made in and around the workplace. As humans, we have a tendency to like people that we’re more familiar with, so putting yourself out there when we’re trapped in a never-ending virtual-time-continuum can be a bit daunting. Especially if you don’t know someone that well, or haven’t had chance to see or speak to them much during the last few months. However, continuous interaction is the only thing that primes us to really be friends with one another. So, if you’re feeling distant from someone, or want to enhance a connection that’s fallen a bit flat, simply bite the bullet and reach out. Whether for a virtual coffee or a socially distanced one, you never know how much of a boost making the effort to talk to and interact with someone outside of your immediate covid-bubble can have on you, and them.
Have a friend audit
This pesky little pandemic may have restricted our movements, but its potency has also allowed some people to rekindle old friendships that were previously sitting on the backburner. Lockdown has given us all time to think and revaluate the connections we have in our lives, so relationships that may have fizzled due to the busy-ness of life have now found new energy in the midst of all the chaos and uncertainty. The beauty of re-igniting old connections is that you already know that you like and trust each other, meaning that it’s also a good way to seek new networking opportunities through revived friendships, especially during a time when people’s work-lives are having to evolve, adapt and change.
Keep your anxiety in check
As if we didn’t already live in an angst-ridden world, the ever-changing rules and guidelines of Covid-19 have only served to increase new areas of anxiety to keep us awake at night. You might be wondering whether you were the only person not invited to that Zoom quiz? Or why you didn’t make the rule of six cut on that group meet up the other day? We’re living through a period of great uncertainty and these new, at best ambiguous, rules often encourage people to build up a lot of reasons as to why they’re being left out – most of which are completely invalid. It is very, very rare that being left out of these things is down to people not wanting us there. It is far more likely that a) quizzes are pointless time-vacuums and you’re friends are actually trapped in a zoom-quiz-cult of never-ending quiz invitations and they’re just selflessly trying to save you from the same fate b) children, dogs and headlice also count as people in the rule of six – so it’s really nothing personal if you’ve failed to make the list for a few of them.
Take hobbies online
If you have a friendship group that’s based around a hobby or sport, that’s not a gym class or shooting real animals for lolz, then the new rules can seem like a crushing blow to your much-needed creative outlet. For craft based hobbies, book clubs or movie nights etc, you can make this a virtual endeavour without running the risk of entering the zoom-fatigue vortex. Making a meet-up activity virtual takes the edge off dull or forced conversation and also gives you a purpose in preparing and actually showing up to it. That way, you can keep up with friends, develop new connections and keep your mind busy and creative in the meantime. Even if it’s just chatting on a WhatsApp group whilst watching the same film together, it’s still a connection that’s stimulating your mind in a different way to work or family life.
All in all, it can be tough to maintain friendships, and seek out new ones, during this pandemic, but we must still remember the importance of developing shared connections outside of our immediate work and household circles – if not for our own sanity but also for the good of a cohesive and blended society on the whole.
Having the time to plan and enjoy these activities might be difficult at the moment, but thanks to our ever connected and digitally evolving world, there are ways to make strong connections, even in the face of adversity. In a pre-covid world we’d develop relationships with different levels of activity, i.e. dinner, drinks, cinema, sports etc. The more varied the different forms of connection were, the deeper the friendships were likely to be. Therefore, we can look to recreate this across technology by using texts, emails, video chat – or even handwritten letters to cement our success in maintaining our meaningful connections with each other. Socialising predominately online isn’t perfect, but chin up, stay strong and look forward to the day when we don’t have to carry a shotgun and wear tweed to have a party in the park.
If you’d like some help in communicating with your network, clients and customers online, simply get in touch today, we’d love to hear from you.