Staying social can seem impossible when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend you don’t see your friends, but there are still ways to stay connected while keeping a responsible distance.
If you have the Nintendo Switch, you probably know about the newest Animal Crossing game, but there are other multiplayer games that won’t break your bank. Frankly is a free game in the app store that might spill your secrets to other players. Make it interesting and play for a prize!
If you have internet access and a device with a camera, there is no reason you can’t video chat for free! iOS has FaceTime for Apple users, Skype is free to download on any device, Google Hangouts is available for Google users, Snapchat has a video chat feature and, of course, Zoom. All of these platforms allow for multiperson chats to take place. You can host a virtual dinner party, help classmates with coursework or have a long distance spa night. All of these can take place in your own home and will be a little more fun with a friend there.
Spend time with the company you have
If you have roommates or family that lives with you, take advantage of your company! Starting a new series on TV or planning meals together is a great way to alleviate loneliness without breaking any social distancing restrictions. Try to coordinate your routines so that you have some free time together everyday, that way if you always have the option to engage face to face.
Living in the age of technology is great, but receiving a handwritten letter via postage is a hard feeling to beat. Take the time to practice your penmanship or try out that new stationary you got for Christmas. You might not be in the same place, but you can still make your friends feel appreciated and cared for by sending a personal letter, and it will only cost you 50 cents in postage. Props for making your own card or using cute stickers!
Making new friends
If your friends are essential workers, overwhelmed or just unavailable to talk, take this as an opportunity to make a new friend. Try calling your local retirement home and asking if you could talk with a resident on the phone or send a card or email. You might learn a lot of history about the town you grew up in or maybe a new bread pudding recipe. This time can be extremely lonely for seniors or anyone who is at high risk. Although you shouldn’t visit hospitals or assisted living facilities during this time, you can still make those who are there feel important.
Helping those in need
During times like these, community is more important than ever. If you are running to the grocery store, ask your neighbors if you can pick them up anything while you are out. If you know how to sew, try making some masks in your free time for your local hospital or clinic. There are safe and responsible ways to help take care of others in your community, and these small acts of kindness will make all the difference in the world to someone else.