Tips for Staying Connected Virtually

We have promoted the saying #DisconnectToConnect before and believe in the power of getting away from devices for a bit and connecting with our friends, families, and loved ones. But right now, connecting with people in close proximity is out of the question while we all try to do our part in slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

How, then, are we all to stay connected and to feel the positive affects of friendship? We have some tips for you to connect with others during this time and hope that they help bring a little light to any loneliness you may be experiencing. Together, we are stronger!

Embrace virtual hangouts

The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to virtual hangouts. It may not be the same as getting a big hug from your best friend, but it is really important to see peoples' faces. If you haven't scheduled a hangout yet, then reach out to the people you miss. Google Hangouts, FaceTime, Instagram Live, Facebook Live, and Zoom are all free and easy to use. Plus there are other apps like House Party, Netflix Party and more--there's something for everyone!

Plan a happy hour -- set a date with friends and grab a cocktail or mocktail. Treat it as though you're at a bar or restaurant and supply special snacks to make it feel like a real treat.

Virtual playdate -- virtual hangouts are just for the grownups! Schedule play dates for your children, too, especially with their best friends. They can talk, watch a show together, or make art. And it'll give you a little bit of a break, too.

Play a game -- not all games can be played virtually, but there are a few that work. And two of those are How Do You See the World? or Why Can't We All Just Get Along? Even if the other people you're hanging out with virtually, don't have the game you can still play! Just roll the die, pick a card and you're on your way! We recommend pairing over a shared virtual meal or drink, too. Plus, the games are a great way to distract from the constant news roll and to change the way we think. It's a win-win!

Schedule social activities

While everyone is dealing with the upheaval in their lives, it can be easy to just go through each day without reaching out. Especially for parents or people tending to loved ones who aren't well. The best plan of action is to schedule standing virtual dates or phone calls with friends and family. Add them to your work calendar so you don't forget. Even though you may not have your weekly dinner with your parents, you can still connect with them--and should! That regular connection is important for stress levels.

Start a virtual club

If you need something new to help break up the days, start a club with friends and/or family. You can set a regular time to meet online and you'll have something to work on during the week, too.

Book club -- finally get through those books you've been wanting to read! Most local bookstores are offering free shipping or delivery, too.

Wine club -- order the same bottles and then enjoy sampling together virtually with snacks.

Art club -- share tips with each other and enjoy chatting with friends while you paint, draw, or work in clay.

Do you have some other ideas to stay connected with friends and family? Share them in the comments below or find us on Facebook! We'd love to hear from you and always want to grow our community.

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