One of the most popular apps right now, Zoom, offers a near-perfect video calling experience with powerful screen sharing options. With a bit of creativity and patience, it’s possible to engage in a bunch of activities even when you’re not physically hanging out.
Today, we’ll give you a list of activities — covering multiple categories — to help keep the lockdown blues at bay. Let’s take a look.
What will you need?
It goes without saying that you and your friends would need to have a Zoom account to get started. The basic, free account lets you connect to up to 100 friends and talk up to 40 minutes. After the timer runs out, you’ll need to repeat the process all over again, although, here’s a trick to extend it over 40 minutes.
You’ll also need to have a very good internet connection. The team probably wouldn’t love a pixelated avatar of yours on their screen.
Now that you’re aware of the basic requirements, let’s take a look at some of the fun activities you could try with your friends, family, and colleagues.
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Staying active isn’t a choice, it’s a necessity, especially during such tumultuous times. With all gymnasiums closed, it’s upon us to find a way out of this slumber. And what’s better than a group yoga session?
Not only does yoga help in keeping your body in great shape, but it also helps with anxiety. Mix it up with a bit of meditation and give your mind and body the refresher course they need.
If you’re not sure which exercises to do, go to YouTube and search for tutorials. After you land on a favorite, simply share the browser tab through Zoom’s screen sharing — ‘Share screen’ > Pick tab > Share.
Singing is one of the most effective, natural antidepressants. As per researchers, singing your favorites could release endorphins, which is directly linked with pleasure. Additionally, it also aids the release of oxytocin, which helps in stress management. So, taking your pipes for a spin may very well be the need of the hour.
Karaoke is all about going off book, so, don’t be afraid to experiment with the pitch and tone of the original song. However, make sure you don’t invent your own lyrics.
Again, YouTube would be your best friend for this activity. The Google-owned platform has gazillions of Karaoke tracks for you and your friends to explore.
After you get your favorite track share the screen with your class to commence the session. To share: start a meeting ‘Share screen’ > Pick tab > Share.
If yoga is a little too vanilla for you, try engaging in a more rhythmic exercise. For those unaware, aerobics pretty much improves all the important aspects of fitness, enhancing cardiovascular health, flexibility, and even muscular growth. It, of course, also helps in weight loss. So, if you’re looking to shed those extra lbs, aerobics may be a good option.
Just as the previous two steps, first you’ll need to go to YouTube and pick a good aerobics tutorial. Then, host a Zoom meeting and share the tab with all the attendees by clicking ‘Share Screen,’ picking the browser tab, and hitting ‘Share.’
4. Drawing competition
Pictionary is an excellent game to play with your friends, online. However, the super casual nature of the game may not be that satisfying to the purists. If you’re one of the very few people who’d rather have a fierce competition than a light-hearted Pictionary session, this one’s for you.
You and your friends could mutually pick out a subject, which would then be broadcast to all participants. Additionally, you could also set a time limit to make the challenge more competitive.
One who produces the most convincing depiction wins the round. To share, first, host a Zoom meeting, inviting all the participants. Then, clicking ‘Share Screen’ and ‘Share’ the browser tab with the picture.
5. Book/Movie Club
Members of a book or movie club pick a book or movie, read or watch the said book or movie, and discuss the plot, underlying messages, and other ideas with one another after a pre-defined period of time.
With the lockdown protocols in place, all of us have plenty of time to watch or read some of the finest works of the respective segments and a book/movie club makes this process even more rewarding.
If it’s a movie, you could pick a title from one of the streaming services — Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, HBO, etc. — and set a date for the meeting. All participants must watch the movie and form an opinion about the movie before they’re asked to speak. As Zoom allows up to 100 members, you get the headroom to expand your club as you see fit.
6. Talent Show
If implemented properly, talent shows can give a company’s morale a tangible boost. In these trying times, asking employees to show their craft can give them a good dose of positivity, maybe even encourage them to pick up an art form of their choice. If you’re hosting the talent show, be sure to keep an open mind, as your employees’ craft can range anywhere between cooking and drawing.
Simply set up a date for the talent show and ask everyone to present what they’ve been up to during this quarantine period. Finally, remember to be cheery about the submissions and encourage them to hone their skills.
7. Host a dinner
Last but not the least, try to host a virtual dinner with your friends or even colleagues. This exercise can prove to be beneficial for people who have been isolated and don’t have anyone to share their meals with.
A well-planned dinner, with light-hearted conversations, can feel like a breath of fresh air. So, make sure to plan ahead, prepare some savories, and spread as much positivity as you can.
8. Play Games
You also have some cool math games to play on Zoom, but if quizzes are what your team at work will like more, then you can play some trivia games on Zoom too. Finally, you can substitute alcohol with any other drink and organize a bunch of Zoom drinking games to have some great time with colleagues over Zoom.
Have fun over Zoom
Our definition of “normal” has changed drastically over the last couple of months. Courtesy of COVID-19, we value our friends, family, and colleagues more than we used to. Most of us would do anything to have one of those “boring” night outs, to go down to the same old bar and have the bartender serve us our regular. No wild experiments, just a sense of familiarity.
Unfortunately, that “perfect” world is still a few months — if not years — away. Doctors and scientists are hard at work developing a vaccine, but it’s easier said than done. Governments across the world have started to retract the lockdown restrictions put in place. However, the horror of catching the virus would keep many of us from roaming fearlessly, leading to a subdued resumption of services.
For the time being, we must accept that holding virtual meetings with our friends and colleagues is the new definition of normal. And we must also find ways to make the sessions as flawless as possible.
Let us know which idea of the above was your favorite?