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17 Ways To Feel Connected While Socially Distancing

Social distancing doesn't have to mean disconnecting.

1. Reschedule important life events virtually via a video conferencing site or chat group.

Virtual bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and birthdays won't quite be the same but you'll at least get to connect with the friends and family members you'd otherwise be spending time with IRL. Plus it beats sitting at home thinking about your canceled plans!

2. Spend quality time with those you live with — and make time to call family and friends who live elsewhere.

There are benefits to slowing down and staying in, like more time to connect with those around you. Cook together, play board games, or have a movie night. If you live alone, call a friend or family member while you cook for yourself or work on a puzzle.

3. Volunteer from home or online to make a difference in your community without leaving your couch.

Tutoring students virtually, signing up to call isolated seniors in your area on the phone, and making homemade masks for people in your neighborhood are just a few of the ways to help!

4. Participate in or organize a social distancing–safe scavenger hunt in your neighborhood.

Many communities are participating in "bear hunts" by asking neighbors to put a stuff teddy bear in a window for children driving by to search from inside of their cars. See how many you or your kids can spot!

5. Check in on elderly or immunocompromised neighbors and offer to help with errands.

Making a grocery run? Before you head out, call you homebound friends and neighbors to see if they need anything. You can safely leave the items on their doorstep without any contact.

6. Keep up your regular therapy by asking for virtual sessions. If you're not already going to therapy and are curious, now is a great time to start.

There are also some helpful virtual resources for connecting with a therapist either over text or video-chat. A lot of support groups have also moved online right now.

7. Continue to support your favorite local small businesses in a safe way while taking social distancing into account.

Get takeout from your go-to restaurant and tip generously. Bonus: It will make your groceries last a little longer.

8. Learn something new by taking an online class, seminar, or workshop.

Brush up on a language you studied in high school or college, or learn something entirely new with one of hundreds of online classes that are now free or discounted! But don't put too much pressure on yourself to learn something new in a time of crisis.

9. Attend an online cultural event or virtually visit a museum.

A lot of cultural events and and museums are going virtual. Visit a museum virtually or tune in to a streaming (pre-recorded) opera or Broadway performance.

10. Start a book, article, movie, or television show club with a small group of friends — or move your regularly scheduled book club online.

Plan to read the same book or watch the same movie and set up a time to discuss it. Thanks to a number of apps and browser extensions, you can even watch shows and movies alongside your friends while live chatting.

11. Spend some time outside working in your own yard or garden.

This will give you a chance to connect with nature and possibly wave to your neighbors from a safe distance.

12. Join an online forum for your neighborhood or community.

Neighborhood forums will keep you informed about what's going on in your community. You'll find information about changes in store hours and closures along with other announcements that might affect you and your family.

13. Recruit your friends and family to join you in an at-home workout challenge.

There are a ton of amazing at-home workout apps and videos that are currently free or discounted. Challenge a buddy to do a regular workout routine with you or take the same livestreaming workout to keep you both accountable and give you a sense of community.

14. Do a virtual talent show or dance competition with your friends in place of your usual weekend hangout.

Give everyone two or three minutes to show off some dance moves, try stand-up comedy, read something they've written, play an instrument, or show off a new hobby.

15. Catch up with old friends while playing a video game with the chat feature that most gaming systems have.

Gaming doesn't have to be a solitary activity! You might even make new friends.

16. And, if social media is becoming too much, it’s OK to take a break and connect with yourself instead.

If you live alone, seeing others at home with their families, partners, or roommates, can make you feel lonely or isolated. Journal, meditate, or take a hot bubble bath and enjoy your own company!

17. Remember that by socially distancing, you are protecting others.

There's no better way to feel connected to your community than by keeping your neighbors safe.

Images via Getty