“Social distancing” is a term that’s being thrown around a lot these days.
We know that staying home and keeping our distance is the best thing for helping keep our communities safe and healthy right now. But we also know that family, friends and a good social life is an important part of staying healthy.
So how can we be social while social distancing? We’ve got a few ideas.
5 Ways to Be Social While Social Distancing
1. Video Chat
Video chatting is a real game-changer. While a phone call certainly has its benefits, being able to actually see your loved one makes the experience feel much more social and personal. Even if both parties to have the same types of devices, there are plenty of apps that make it easy! Here are a few that work for both Android and iOS users:
Bonus: All of these apps allow for group video calls. Set a time with your friends, pour yourself a drink and enjoy a group virtual happy hour from the comfort of your couch.
2. Watch a Movie Together (Apart)
The newest Netflix show just became that much more fun to binge. There are now multiple apps that allow users to share screens and watch the same things together, no matter how far apart they are. Here are a couple options for you to try:
- Netflix Party: “Netflix Party is a Chrome extension for watching Netflix remotely with friends, e.g., for movie nights with that long-distance special someone. It synchronizes video playback and adds group chat.”
- Kast: “Watch parties made easy. Share movies, TV shows, games, and whatever you want with 100+ people.”
3. Get a Workout Buddy
A very important part of staying at home these days is making sure we’re still getting some physical activity. Even though your gym or yoga studio might be closed, you can still work out with a buddy virtually, especially with so many gyms streaming their workout classes for free online right now. Having that buddy (or two) will help keep you moving! Here are a few tools you can use:
- Couch to 5K: “C25K is the easiest program to get beginners from couch potatoes to 5K distance runners in 8 weeks.” Download this app with a buddy and see the program through together!
- Strava: Runners and cyclists can use this app to track their workouts and see what workouts their friends are doing also. Plus, there are ongoing run and bike challenges that you can join in on to keep yourself motivated!
- Peloton: Peloton has made its app free for all users for the next 90 days! Even if you don’t have one of their machines, Peloton has thousands of live and on-demand classes that are now at your disposal. Share this with your workout buddy and get some live classes on your calendar to do together (from your own homes of course).
- 305 Fitness: This cardio dance studio is doing live streams twice a day on YouTube, at 12:00 and 6:00pm Eastern. Tell your friends and get your dance on!
4. Join an Online Book Club
Book clubs, like anything else, are easy to start and hard to follow through on. But in times like these, when you’ve got a lot more time at home, there’s nothing better than curling up with a good book and talking about it with your friends. If you’re not big on reading, listening to books on Audible is very popular as well. Create a book club with your friends or join any of these online book clubs and get reading!
- Andrew Luck Book Club: “Every month, I’ll (Andrew Luck) recommend two books for our team of readers: one for the “Rookies” (younger folks) and the other for “Veterans” (more seasoned readers). Timelines and reminders will be posted to make sure we are on track to finish the books. I’ll also try to interview one author each month and share that podcast with you on the website.”
- Reese’s Book Club: “Every month, Reese (Witherspoon) picks one book she loves with a woman at the center of the story and shares it with her book club. A community propelled by meaningful connections with stories, authors and fellow members, Reese’s Book Club sparks thought, joy, and conversation–online and in real life. Join the conversation @ReesesBookClub across social media. It’s all about the love of story.”
- Belletrist: “Discover, read, and celebrate a new book every month! Curated by Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss.”
- Goodreads Choice Awards Book Club: Goodreads, an online community for readers, has many reading groups on their website. This is one of their biggest, with group members voting on what books to read and discussing the books on forums.
- Noname’s Book Club: Committed to uplifting authors of color, rapper Noname has created a strong and quickly-growing community of readers. You can read along for free or subscribe for a small monthly fee to support the group’s efforts of starting book clubs in select prisons around the country.
5. Take a Class
Many online platforms are heavily discounting or making their classes free right now, making now the perfect time to take that drawing or coding class you’ve always been eyeing. Send a link to a class that looks interesting to a friend and take the class together! Compare notes, share ideas and learn something new together. Here are a few places to check out:
- Brit + Co: Interested in cake decorating? Water color? Photography? All of Brit + Co’s classes are free now through March 31 with code SELFCARE at checkout.
- Class Central: This is your chance to take free Ivy League courses online! From business to Buddhism, you’ve got over 500 classes to choose from.
- Skillshare: New members can now create a premium account for free for two months! If after two months you decide you love it, it’s a $99 one-time annual fee or $19 per month. If you don’t feel like paying, just make a note on your calendar to cancel your account before the two months are up.