41 Creative Ways to Feel More Connected During Social Distancing

Whether we consider ourselves extroverts, introverts or ambiverts, social distancing has come as a shock to our systems. We’ve all witnessed countless events, celebrations and plans cancelled or postponed. And this new (temporary) reality has come with a mix of isolation, anxiety and boredom.

As social creatures, feeling connected to others hugely contributes to our overall mental and physical wellbeing. So, nurturing our relationships during our COVID lifestyles is more essential than ever. From finding ways to give back to finally doing something with all those pictures on your phone, here are 41 ways to cultivate connection both on and offline.

  1. Host a virtual dinner party on Zoom so you can catch up with friends, swap recipes and toast to brighter days ahead.
  2. Belt out your favorite tunes with friends during an online karaoke party.
  3. Schedule regular FaceTime dates with family and friends.
  4. Set an intention for self care every day and share what you did with a loved one.
  5. Initiate group texts with family and friends to share stories, photos, articles, jokes and memes. (Laughter is always good medicine!)
  6. Plan a movie night. Netflix Party is a Google Chrome extension that allows you to watch the same flick at the same time with group chat, so you and your friends can react in real time. (YouTube and Facebook Groups also have similar options.)
  7. Coach Cassie suggests setting up virtual happy hours and dinner dates. Who says dating needs to be put on ice?
  8. Be old-school and call a friend or family member over the phone. Yes smartphones can still do that. 🙂
  9. Play board games like scrabble or cards online with a group of friends. (Words with Friends is always a favorite.)
  10. Play virtual games where players use phones. Coach Elena suggests Jackboot.
  11. Drop off a hot meal for someone in your neighborhood who needs it.
  12. Volunteer to sew face masks for local healthcare workers who are helping to save lives on the frontline of the pandemic.
  13. Fundraise for organizations that support COVID-19 efforts, such as Direct Relief.
  14. Look through your photos and share favorites online with friends and loved ones. 
  15. Schedule a dance date or sing-a-long with the extended family on Zoom. Coach Marcella suggests choosing a theme and making a playlist. Throw on a costume and show up to the video call ready for fun.
  16. Join the great “bear hunt.” Communities around the country are placing stuffed animals in windows for children to spot on walks. How many are in your neighborhood?
  17. Hang Christmas lights in your yard or on the outside of your home to create some extra cheer.
  18. Write letters or emails to those you love sharing what you appreciate about them, says coach Heather. This can leave everyone with a serious case of the warm-and-fuzzies.
  19. If you’re fond of furry, finned or feathered friends, consider fostering or even adopting a new pet.
  20. Donate blood if you’re in good health. Blood donations are urgently needed, and donating blood is exempt from shelter-in-place restrictions. For more information, check the American Association of Blood Banks locator, visit the Red Cross website or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. You can also find information through the America’s Blood Centers.
  21. Use photo-printing websites to have pictures of your loved ones delivered and hang them up around your house. If you have kids, ask them to help you pick out a few to send to grandma.
  22. Volunteer at a local food bank. “Many food banks are struggling to distribute food to those in need because they lack helpers,” says Coach Gayatri. Bonus points if you show up with your own protective mask and gloves or have some to donate.
  23. Become a virtual volunteer from home. Here are some ideas.
  24. Offer a free service online to your social community, such as reading a story, singing a song, doing a performance, offering a tutorial or perhaps another hidden talent?
  25. Host a virtual hula-hoop dance party, suggests Coach Heather. (Why not?)
  26. Share at least one thing you are grateful for every day with your kids, partner or friends.
  27. Join one of the new virtual meetups and connect with others online who enjoy the same hobbies as you, or dive into a new interest.
  28. Participate in streaming online yoga, barre and other exercise classes.
  29. Make signs and post them in your windows to show your support and gratitude for medical workers, first responders, mail carriers and other delivery people.
  30. Take a Masterclass online with a friend or family member and compare notes afterward. (Check out this current 2 for 1 special.)
  31. Consider hiding eggs for the upcoming Easter holiday in your windows for neighborhood children to discover during virtual egg hunts.
  32. Initiate or join a meditation group online so you can practice with others.
  33. Make a list with family members and friends of what you want to do together in the future when we’re allowed to hug and high five again.
  34. Write original poems, songs or short stories and share them on social media or in group texts.
  35. Create music together in your house with family members or get the band back together online.
  36. Join a local Facebook group or get on Nextdoor and find out what your neighbors are up to. Start a thread by asking a question or create a group activity everyone can contribute to (i.e. an apocalypse playlist, favorite dinner recipes, etc.) 
  37. Share your lifelong bucket list with loved ones and ask to see theirs.
  38. Find a friend or loved one to help hold you accountable to what you most need right now and ask them to check in daily.
  39. Find good news to share with friends and loved ones.
  40. Schedule a porch or window song, dance or game of bingo with your neighbors.
  41. Forward this list to your friends and family, tell them some of your favorites and challenge them to add their own social connection ideas. 

Hopefully, these suggestions will keep you busy and fulfilled (at least until next week’s blog post). In the meantime, stay safe, healthy and hope-filled, and know that you’re not alone.


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