According to the World Economic Forum, 2.6 billion people, or one third of all people on planet earth are currently living in some form of a lockdown. So, if you’re craving a little social connection, you’re not alone!

The good news is, in times of crisis, humans are great innovators: we get creative and find new ways to get the things we need. According to the CBC, dance parties, book clubs, and group dinners have been moved into the digital world in great numbers. Even choirs that normally harmonize in a shared physical space have taken to brushing up on their musical talents virtually.

Transitioning to an online social life can come quite easily to the younger generation, but it might not be as second-nature to older adults. Aside from learning a new set of tech tools, it can also take time and effort getting used to this new way of “meeting.” But the effort is well worth it! People are wired for social connection and our mind and body benefit greatly from it. Social connection can decrease anxiety and depression, help regulate our emotions, boost our self-esteem and empathy, and even improve our immune system.

Here at the YMCA of Greater Toronto, we want to help you find community and a sense of belonging, even while we all keep our physical distance. Our centres might be temporarily closed, but we’ve created this website as a “place” where you can feel right at home.

If you haven’t already, we’d love to encourage you to try:

  • A variety of fitness classes specifically designed with you in mind
  • Online “meet ups” where you can get together with others, join in on some lively conversation, and make some new friends
  • Resources from other organizations we thought you might find helpful

Are you interested in trying it out, but not sure where to begin?

Start with our Activities page. All you need to join is a computer, an internet connection, and the application called Zoom. If you don’t have Zoom yet, we’ve created an easy-to-follow video guide to help you get started. We’ve also got a friendly team of staff available to give you a call and take you on a guided tour of the site if you want a little extra support.

As you begin to explore your digital socializing options, try to remember that everyone is at a different comfort level when it comes to technology. Wherever you might be in your tech journey, start with what you know and build on it. The important thing is that you’re staying in touch with other people and sharing your unique human experience. We are all in this together and we’ll all feel much better if we stay tethered to one another!

We look forward to seeing you for our next social event.