How to Stay Connected While Socially Distancing

How to Stay Connected While Socially Distancing

As concerning as the fear and the uncertainty of these surreal times is the social isolation we feel.  I’ve been working from home for years now, but I, too, feel this sense of isolation.

For instance, typically, on Friday mornings my father, sisters, and nieces and their seven children meet at the local coffee shop, Tim Hortons.  We can’t do that now because the dining rooms there are closed and we are all social distancing.  But as Friday approached, I realized we could still get together.

So I sent a Zoom invitation to my family members who usually come on Fridays – to transfer our Tim Hortons coffee date to an online one.  And since this meeting would happen online, I also sent the invitation to family members who live out of town.  (See the crew on our Zoom call in the photo above).

It is important to recognize that socially distancing does not have to mean disconnecting from family and friends.  We may need to be creative to maintain these connections but we can do this.  

Here are eight fun ways to stay connected during these challenging times:

  1. Messenger coffee breaks – schedule regular coffee breaks to meet with colleagues you would normally see in the lunchroom.
  2. Skype dinner dates – plan to enjoy a meal with friends and family near and far.
  3. Zoom block party – check in on and keep in touch with your neighbours.
  4. Houseparty Gatherings – use this cool app to stay connected.
  5. Facetime TV night – choose some shows, make popcorn, and talk with friends while you watch together.
  6. Messenger book club – start a book club or move your current one online.
  7. Skype chess – find a chess partner, set up a board and use Skype to announce moves.
  8. Build community online using your favourite video platform. This is a perfect time to hone your community-building skills.  Sounding the Drum: Community Building in the Digital Age is available in Kindle format as well as paper format.  Pick up your copy today and prepare for an exciting adventure.

Some of the new habits and routines we develop today will outlive the COVID-19 crisis.

Going outside to get fresh air, maintaining your exercise routine, and availing yourself of online courses helps us to fill the hours but activity does not always mean connection.

Connection is what we need.

How are you maintaining healthy connections with the people you care about during these challenging times?  Have you been doing any of the activities mentioned here?  What would you add?

Photo: My family during our Coffee Date! 

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About The Author

I have always loved writing and community building. I’ve written a book about healing and happiness, The Happy Place, as well as a Community Building book, Sounding the Drum: Community Building in the Digital Age,both available at any Amazon store. I’ve been through life changes that I thought were the end of my world, but I’m still here. You never know what will happen next. Isn’t that what makes life interesting?