Feeling lonely? 12 Ways to stay social while practicing “social distancing”
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Stay inside. Don’t touch anyone. Keep your distance. These are just some of the many things we’re told to do during the novel coronavirus pandemic

We know physical distancing — also known as “social distancing” — is essential to avoid spreading the virus. But it can be a real challenge to stay apart from our loved ones when all we want to do is give them a hug. Luckily, there are lots of ways to get the feelings of togetherness, while staying in solo. It just takes a little creativity!

Wherever you are, we hope this gives you inspiration to reach out and find ways to make this time a little less lonely, and a little more loving.

12 ways to stay social while practicing “social distancing”

1. Call your loved ones

Ok, this is an obvious one… but skip texting and give someone a call instead! We’re believers that hearing the sound of someone else’s voice (even for 10 minutes) can bring a sense of comfort, especially in these unsettling times. 

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And hey, it’s a great way to catch up with grandparents or friends living in faraway places. Or even better, finally teach your tech-resistant great aunt to FaceTime! 

2. Take an online workout class

You may not be able to go to your favorite yoga studio, but that doesn’t mean you have to halt your workouts.

Be on the lookout for teachers live-streaming donation-based classes from home or break a sweat with these online workout videos:

And if nothing else, FaceTime a few friends and do some free-style yoga stretches or ab-exercises — anything that gets your body moving and mind interacting. 

3. Lean on social media

From updating Instagram “stories” to messaging on Facebook, there are lots of ways to stay in touch — without any actual touching. Just be sure to give yourself a mental break and set limits, so a 30-minute social media sesh doesn’t turn into a three-hour spiral — we know how easy that can happen! And if nothing else, you’ll get ideas of ways to stay entertained (takes notes from this hilarious human).

4. Schedule FaceTime dates

Whether you’re six miles apart from your best friend or you live in a different country from your significant other — FaceTime is an amazing tool for staying connected at a distance. Cook a plant-based meal, watch a TV show, or have a cup of tea via FaceTime. Even better: schedule a FaceTime date in advance, so you have something to look forward to during moments of loneliness

Social distancing

If LDRs can do this, so can we!

5. Share your recommendations

It’s always fun to tell people about your favorite things — and now that more people have time to stay in — they may finally listen to a playlist you love, read that novel you’ve been raving about for years, or try that pesto pasta recipe you talk about every week.

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The more you work to find common ground with loved ones during time apart, the more you’ll feel bonded once you’re reunited again.

6. Embrace virtual silliness  

This is a serious time, but try to embrace moments of silliness when you can. So yes — movie theaters are out of the question, but Netflix and Disney Plus aren’t going anywhere! Turn on some TV, and get some friends on FaceTime or Skype for a digital watch party. 

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Not so much a movie buff? No prob. There are so many other ways to connect, thanks to technology, just remember to laugh through the awkward angles!

Here are other virtual group activities:

  • Face mask online spa-day party
  • Virtual potluck
  • Karaoke club (take advantage of that volume button!)
  • Online trivia night
  • Book club (p.s. not everyone has to read the same book, you can all just chat about what you’re reading!)
  • Get-to-know-you question games 
  • Online charades
  • Do home tours — expand your scenery by scoping out your friend’s oasis
  • Group meditation sesh
  • Dance party!

7. Listen to a podcast 

Give yourself a break from Twitter news updates and turn on your favorite positive podcast instead. Hearing the chatter of a familiar podcast will fill the silence without adding to anxiety levels, which can happen with non-stop news coverage. Need some podcast inspiration? Check out our fave podcasts about sustainable living

8. Change your scenery

Even if you’re in a tiny apartment, moving from a bedroom to a kitchen counter can work wonders on your brain.

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And get all the feelings of going out while staying in — by taking a virtual tour of The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History or Guggenheim Museum. Or consider watching live nature stream videos. Warning: they’re addicting! 

9. Check in on your neighbors

Sending your neighbors a quick text or email is an easy and thoughtful way to foster community. And don’t be afraid to ask for help whether that means you need a roll of toilet paper… or just an encouraging pep talk from a distance. 

10. Connect with yourself

Doodle in a gratitude journal or write a letter to yourself. Basically, get the thoughts in your mind into a place besides your brain!Social distancing

There are soooooo many ways to connect with yourself and acknowledge your feelings in a way that’ll make you feel a little less alone. 

11. Take yourself on an at-home date

Whether you live solo, have four roommates or share a place with your significant other — try hosting a fun at-home date-night. Maybe that looks like wearing your fave sweater and reading some fun magazines.

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Perhaps it’s pitching a tent in your backyard (or living room!) and pretending you’re somewhere far away. Or maybe it’s doing a little digital detoxing and enjoying an at-home spa day. Whatever gets you excited is the right thing for you.

12. Remember, you’re not alone

Feeling lonely and anxious is completely understandable. And no matter what you’re feeling… there’s a really good chance, others are feeling it, too. So be kind to yourself. Just like you can show others love and compassion… be sure to show yourself love, too. 

Take care of you! Check out these posts to up your self-care game:

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