Whether “happy hour” was a weekly ritual for your group of friends or just a once-in-a-while treat, virtual happy hours are quickly becoming the chic way to socialize while social distancing.
Practicing social distancing is the most responsible thing we can do right now. Even essential workers who aren’t able to commit completely to social distancing are making every effort to head straight home after work. While this movement is necessary, now we’re experiencing something we didn’t anticipate–loneliness.
We’re social creatures. Even the most independent of us needs to interact with other people once in a while. So, how do we get our social fix when we’re required to be so distant? By starting a Virtual Happy Hour!
In Italy, an “aperitivo” is the act of socializing with friends over an alcoholic drink before dinner. In light of current events, they’ve since adopted the more quarantine-friendly “aperichat.” Essentially, they’ve just moved their happy hours online! And there’s absolutely no reason you can’t do that too.
In fact, here are 7 reasons why you should start a virtual happy hour today.
Socializing is Good For Mental Health
Like we said earlier, we’re social creatures. Our relationships with other people dictate a lot of our identity. It does more than that though. Interacting with others boosts feelings of well being and decreases feelings of depression. According to numerous studies, people who lead an active social life even tend to live longer.
Plus, how many of you have had friends encourage you to get out of your comfort zone? Whether it was just by trying a new fitness class with a friend, eating at a new restaurant, or even a friend encouraging you to ask someone on a date, socializing helps you discover new things about the world and about yourself. Even while social distancing this can be true! Encourage your friends to try a new recipe or home workout. You’ll both feel more positive and motivated.
Virtual Happy Hours Remind You to Get Dressed
Honestly, if you’ve been wearing the same pair of sweats for the last few days…we get it. Plus, if you’ve recently begun working from home, it’s probably nice to not put on a suit and tie every day.
However, you might consider sprucing up your appearance for several reasons. Not only is wearing the same clothes everyday kind of unhygienic, it can also lead to feelings of stagnation and depression. Plus, research from California State University, Northridge, and Columbia University has found that our clothing choices can actually influence how we think.
So, the next time you hop into a video chat, take a look in the mirror first. If you want to be comfortable while at home, that’s fine! But consider putting a little more thought into your appearance and you’ll be astounded by the boost in your confidence.
Virtual Happy Hours Can Become Part of Your New Routine
At one point or another, you’ve probably found yourself thinking, “If I was in charge of my own time, I’d get so much done!” However, the sudden surplus of time at home has left many people feeling anxious. That’s because there are a lot of psychological benefits to having a routine.
Routines help us cope with change, create healthy habits, and reduce stress. When our time is organized, we know what to expect and are generally less anxious. If, however, you suddenly find yourself lost without the structure of social and work events, you’re not alone.
The best way to start is to take inventory of the tasks you need to accomplish every day. Try to anticipate how long it SHOULD take you to accomplish them. Then, have at least one event that has to happen at a specific time (say a Virtual Happy Hour) and schedule the rest of your tasks around that. Suddenly, you’ll start to see some structure and organization to your day and it’s all because you have one event planned.
Virtual Happy Hours Help You Reach Out to Friends in Need
This one should be pretty self-explanatory. Some of us are doing pretty well at the whole social distancing thing. But some of us aren’t. If you’re a particularly extroverted person who thrives when surrounded by people, having to cut out socializing might feel pretty scary. Add to that the anxiety that can multiply by losing a routine, and anyone’s mental health could decline.
Some of your friends may be reaching out, but if they’re too embarrassed to say anything they might be suffering in silence. Maybe the one that’s too embarrassed to reach out is you.
Whatever the case may be, a virtual happy hour is one of the best ways to establish a new social ritual that keeps you connected to friends and family.
Virtual Happy Hours Help You Relax
You probably noticed that “mental health” is a big theme today. That’s because we’re all dealing with a larger than normal amount of stress. It could be stress from being an essential worker, stress from homeschooling children, stress from trying to work from home, or even just stress from watching the news.
Basically, we’re all insanely stressed right now and, for a lot of us, our favorite relaxing activities (gym, spa, sports, salon, etc.) are off-limits right now.
So whether you and your friends simply chat or play games, connecting to other people is one of the best ways to relax and de-stress. So schedule that virtual happy hour and try to get in some therapeutic laughs with your pals. Everyone will thank you!
Connect With Family
Some of us are practicing social distancing with our family members, but not all of us. Many of us are cut off from family. Maybe you have an older child who was attending university across the country. Maybe your grandparents are isolated in a nursing home. Or maybe your Mom just lives across town. Even when someone is only a block away, not getting to interact with them can be heartbreaking.
Luckily, you don’t just have to chat with friends over a Virtual Happy Hour. You can connect with family too!
In the past, trying to teach your elder family members the ins-and-outs of FaceTime may have sounded daunting. But trust us–even if it’s not smooth sailing, it’ll be a hilarious memory your family will remember for years to come. Plus, being able to have a Virtual Happy Hour means that you can still celebrate birthdays, holidays, and traditions together as a family.
A Great Way to Get Your Daily Glass of Wine
Wine, especially red wine, can actually complement a healthy lifestyle. Keep in mind, that a “healthy lifestyle” might look different for everyone. But even if your healthy routines have been shaken up lately, drinking one glass of wine every day does have its own list of benefits.
Moderate alcohol consumption (a 5oz glass of wine for women and two 5oz glasses for men) has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and even a lower risk of diabetes. A glass of wine every day is also a great way to enhance the flavor of your meals and the polyphenols in wine are phenomenal for digestion.
Want to learn more about how wine can complement a healthy lifestyle? Click here!
Start a Virtual Happy Hour Today!
There are several different ways you can still see and interact with your loved ones. Just find whichever one works best for you! If you’re a family of iPhone users then Facetime is pretty seamless. Google Duo is Android friendly and Zoom is perfect if you have a big group of people who want to join.
It may take some trial and error, but getting to see the beautiful faces of your friends and family is so worth it. Plus, most of us could use a decent excuse to drink our daily glass of wine.
Once you master the art of Virtual Happy Hours, you’ll be amazed at how much your outlook on life improves. Don’t forget to Follow Us on social media for all the newest updates, and definitely stock up on all your favorite wine.