It’s important to find ways to stay in touch with your friends and family, even while maintaining social distance. Read on for unique activities you can do to stay connected with your loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In This Article:
7 Unique Ways to Stay in Touch Even When You're Stuck at Home
Host a Virtual Watch Party
Watching a movie with close friends is a great way to connect and blow off some steam at the end of a stressful day. It may be a while before you can invite your friends over to watch your favorite shows or movies together, but you don’t have to give up on your fun movie nights just because you’re social distancing.
Explore and experiment with the different watch party options on your favorite streaming services. Like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, most streaming services incorporate a live chat room next to the screen.
In watch parties like these, you can watch a show or movie with a group of friends and chat at the same time. You can also explore third-party services, like Scener and TwoSeven, that allows you to watch and video chat with your friends at the same time.
They also have the chat room option, but video chatting allows you to see your friends’ real-time reaction to the videos. The great thing about these third-party services is that you can connect them to some of the popular streaming services.
Maximize Video Chatting Apps
Most smartphones have built-in video conference capabilities that are intuitive and easy to use. It isn’t too different from answering a phone call, so even your grandparents can get on board.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that older adults are at a greater risk for severe illness from the coronavirus and recommend limiting their in-person social interactions. Video conferencing is a great way to stay in touch with the elderly during the pandemic.
There are also third-party apps that make video conferencing extra fun. Some of these apps even allow hundreds of people to go on the same call at the same time! So you don’t have to miss out on your annual reunions because of the pandemic.
Create Joint Playlists
Creating a joint playlist is a fun project you can try with your family and friends. Building a playlist and listening to the same songs is a great way to maintain a connection, even if you’re not interacting in real-time.
Think of it as a futuristic and collaborative mixed tape. So even if you can’t have coffee or wine together, you can still listen to the same songs while you have a nightcap separately (for now).
Tip: Try creating an uplifting playlist with friends who could use a pick-me-up. Listening to music is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety.
Enroll in Online Classes Together
Many professional instructors across different fields shifted to online teaching modalities to adapt to the demands of the new normal. Here are a few examples of online classes you can take:
Exercise classes – there are a variety of free videos you can access on YouTube. You can also enroll in a virtual class with an instructor for real-time interaction.
Post-secondary school courses – even before the pandemic websites like Coursera, edX, and iTunesU offers free courses on thousands of topics. There are even online courses offered by renowned universities like Harvard, Stanford, and Yale that also provide certificates upon completion.
Wellness classes – if you and your loved ones are stressed out by the pandemic, you may want to explore online wellness classes together. Meditation and mindfulness practices are great ways to manage stress.
Cooking classes – if you can’t have dinner at your favorite restaurant because of the pandemic, why not learn how to cook with your friends instead? From free cooking videos on YouTube to master classes with famous chefs, you won’t run out of recipes to try on the internet!
Enrolling in online classes with friends and family is a great way to stay connected and learn something new. Your personal growth and development don’t have to stop just because you’re social distancing.
Play Online Group Games
You can have a fun game night with your friends and family, even if you’re practicing social distancing. You can stick with classics like Pictionary and Scrabble, but they also have online versions of newer favorites like Cards Against Humanity and Quiplash.
There are even online trivia games you and your friends can try. If you want to make it extra fun and engaging, set up a video call so that you can see and talk to each other while you’re playing.
Take Instant Messaging to Another Level
Here are some things you can do to take instant messaging to another level:
Group chat – Group chats are a convenient way to stay in touch with a group of friends, siblings, or close co-workers.
GIFs and personal emojis – You can sometimes lose the richness of conversations in instant messaging, but using GIFs and personal emojis can make interactions more fun and engaging.
Photos and Videos – There are a variety of social media platforms that allow you to share photos and videos. Still, it’s always fun to receive a private photo and video that is only meant for you.
Instant messaging was already a way of life even before the pandemic began, but there are creative ways to make it more fun and engaging.
Go Old School
You don’t need to be reliant on your screen and the internet to connect with your friends and family. If you’re starting to feel screen fatigue, you may want to opt for old school ways of staying in touch.
Here are a few things you can try:
- Phone calls via landline – When you’re calling someone via landline, you don’t have to worry about your reception as much. So you can relax and enjoy longer chats.
- If you’re tired of typing, write letters and cards, whip out your favorite pens and stationery sets! Receiving a hand-written letter in the mail is always a treat!
- Sending care boxes – You can put together a care box (or even order one online) and send it to friends and family to remind them of your love. Just like mom and dad used to when you were away at camp!
The internet is an excellent tool for staying in touch during the pandemic, but it’s definitely not your only option.
As you try to stay safe from COVID-19, it’s also vital to take care of your mental health. So it’s important to learn how to keep in touch while social distancing. Maintaining your social connections is one way to promote your well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How do you make your friends and family feel loved while you’re social distancing? Share your tips with us in the comments section below.