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How to Stay Connected While Social Distancing

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to force nationwide stay-at-home and other social distancing orders, people everywhere are searching for and finding ways to stay connected with others.

Humans need connection. It’s natural, even instinctual, to want to be with and around others – especially in times of crisis. This makes social distancing measures even harder than normal. Thankfully in today’s world, it is easier than ever to stay connected. From video chats to virtual watch parties, people have found ways to “get together” even while being apart.

Below we cover a few ways to stay connected while social distancing. From video conferences to happy hours, technology and other apps are making sure we can still see each other and stay connected, even though we may be physically apart.

WHAT IS SOCIAL DISTANCING?

Social distancing – sometimes referred to as “physical distancing” – is the deliberate act of increasing the physical distance between yourself and others, especially those outside of your home.

We’ve all heard about the 6 feet rule by now; staying 6 feet away from people while in public is an important part of the social distancing measures enacted across the United States. As we are all experiencing, though, social distancing is more than just staying 6 feet away from someone at the grocery store.

It’s the act of staying home and avoiding unnecessary travel and movement outside of your home and in public places. It’s the act of skipping get-togethers with friends or family because you do not live together. It’s the act of cutting back on the number of trips you take to the grocery store each week.

Social distancing is an important part of the international effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. While it can be difficult at times, thanks to technology it has never been easier to connect with people without ever leaving the house.

HOW TO STAY CONNECTED

Video Conferencing

Video conferencing has exploded as people find ways to connect with others without having to leave the house.

And for good reason: your friends, family, and coworkers are a simple video call away at any given moment. Facetime, Zoom, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, and more all offer simple video conferencing features that let you see everyone that you are talking to.

Since we can’t see each other in person, virtual video meetups are the next best thing. This way we can see and enjoy each other’s faces, expressions, and reactions. While it won’t replicate the feeling of a backyard bbq, it’s better than just a phone call.

Video conferencing is useful for more than just Facetime calls with your parents and friends – it’s also a great way to connect with your coworkers.

From virtual happy hours with your team to video meetings instead of phone calls, being able to see your coworkers brings you closer and helps you feel more connected to your work team.

Virtual Watch Party & Happy Hours

There is perhaps no hotter trend right now than virtual happy hours and watch parties with friends and family. They have become the go-to virtual events and are a fun way to connect with others from the comforts of your own home.

And get this: a virtual happy hour will be cheaper than the real thing. A drink may cost you $10-$15 at a bar while a drink at home is going to be significantly less. You get to see your friends and save money. Win-win!

Watch parties are another fun way to connect with others. A watch party is where people get together to watch a show or movie together in real-time. There are even new apps like Netflix Party that let people connect accounts and simultaneously stream tv shows and movies together.

Use an App

There are a plethora of apps out there to help you stay connected. Some of the most popular include Houseparty, Facebook Messenger, Facetime, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Slack, and Discord.

These are apps that work on any device and include both messaging and video capabilities. From work calls to catching up with your family, the sheer volume of apps on the market today make it easy to stay connected.

Not sure which one to use? Take a look at what you already have on your phone or computer. Chances are, you’re already using some sort of app to talk to your loved ones. Using an app that you’re already familiar with will make it easier to stay connected.

For the Introvert in You: Find Your “Me” Time

Social distancing and stay at home measures also provide a unique opportunity to find your inner introvert. Taking time for yourself is important for your mental health, and having more “me” time isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Despite the desire to remain as connected as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s also the perfect time to pick up a hobby or get back into one that you’ve been ignoring. Likewise, there has never been a better excuse to spend all weekend reading a book, learning a new instrument, or improving your home than right now. Whether you’re spring cleaning, spending more time in your living room, or looking for a great DIY home project to do, it’s the perfect time to do so.

While many parks and hiking trails are closed or operating with more restrictions, there are still plenty of opportunities to get out and connect with nature more than you have in the past. And, finally, don’t forget to take some time to decompress.

Our lives will eventually pick back up and we’ll all be busy again, so use this opportunity to spend some time on yourself.

HOW ARE YOU STAYING CONNECTED?

We’d love to hear about the ways you are staying connected with others and even about the hobbies and activities you are doing with the extra time!

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we all go about our daily lives, but it doesn’t have to prevent us from maintaining relationships, getting out in nature, or enjoying some well-deserved “me” time.