We are a nation of social media loving, text-sending people, so why are we having such a hard time with this whole concept of social distancing? Maybe it takes something like this to make us realize that we actually miss the real life, face-to-face interactions that many of us were taking for granted. The good news is, just because we are isolating doesn’t mean that we have to feel isolated. We can still meet for happy hours, work out together, and share experiences—we just have to redefine what that looks like, and maybe make a little more of an effort.
Here are five ways to stay connected without ever leaving your home:
1. Organize a virtual happy hour. Not since the popular PBS show of the 1970s has the word ZOOM made so many people so happy. Friends are organizing online happy hours via this video conferencing tool that has now moved from the boardroom to the living room. You can see and chat with your peers while safely enjoying a cocktail from the comfort of your couch.
2. Start a book club. There’s never been a better time to catch up on your reading. Invite your fellow bibliophiles to join you and create an online book club. Meet up virtually via the above mentioned ZOOM or face time and share your thoughts.
3. Workout with a friend. Real life streaming as well as prerecorded options are available through several different platforms. Forte.fit, Peloton, and pretty much every major gym and studio in the country is jumping on board to help you stay active. Face time a friend, grab a mat, and workout “together.”
4. Pick up the phone. When is the last time you’ve really had a good chat with a friend or family member that didn’t involve the use of emojis? Pick up the phone (that thing you use to scroll through social media posts and send texts) and use it the old fashioned way—call someone! Hearing the voice of a friend or loved one and talking through your feelings during this time can go a long way in making you feel a little less alone.
5. Have a game night. Online versions of some of your favorite games allow you to play with friends—or total strangers. Check out pogo.com for everything from Mahjong to Monopoly and Scrabble, or download apps like Words with Friends and other multiplayer games to stay connected.
What are some of your favorite ways to stay social during social distancing? Share in the comments below!