It’s really difficult right now to stay connected to those we love and don’t live with because of lockdown. We’re no longer able to pop around and visit them, to arrange to meet up or to give each other a cuddle. That’s tough, and it feels strange. It can feel isolating. Thankfully, this will pass, and there are fun ways that we can stay connected through modern technology.
1. Video call group chats
There are lots of great apps which allow you to video call loved ones. All you need is a device with a camera, microphone and internet access. Video calls can be more personal than just a phone call, because even though you can’t be in the same room, you can at least see each other’s faces.
2. Video call quiz night
Taking turns to host a group video call quiz night can be a lot of fun. We’ve been using our weekend nights to do quiz nights with family members, and it’s been so much fun and given us all some social interaction to look forward to.
3. Group text chats
With smartphones, we have the ability to create group chats via text message or through apps like Whatsapp. This allows us to have that social element of a group conversation.
4. Sending each other regular pictures, videos and voice memos
Staying connected by sending pictures, videos and voice memos of what we’re up to can be really uplifting. Take pictures and videos of anything and everything, even silly little things. It can really be nice to actually see what your loved ones are up to.
5. Creating fun challenges
You could create all sorts of fun challenges. For example, we’ve sent each other word games (such as finding as many words as you can from one long word). You could see who can make the funniest video, get the most beautiful photo, do the most steps in one day, or make the most interesting meal. Get inventive and encourage each other to do something fun.
6. Playing online games together
There are lots of ways you can play online games together, from using your smartphone to using a games console.
7. Using social media
Social media is a great way to stay in touch with friends old and new. Even if you don’t usually use social media, now could be a great time to start, to make you feel more connected to others.
8. Sending each other uplifting quotes and encouragements
My loved ones and I send each other inspirational quotes or simply words of love and encouragement each day. It’s comforting to know someone else is thinking about you.
9. Make plans for the future together
Making plans for the next time you are going to meet up with family, the next night out you’re going to have with friends or the next girls holiday you’re going to go on can be a lot of fun, and can help you to think about positive things that can happen once this is all over.
10. Helping each other set daily goals
If one of your loved ones is struggling with something or trying to do something specific, for example trying to eat a healthier diet or get some daily chores done, encouraging each other to set and achieve daily goals can make you feel less alone, and more motivated because you’re accountable.
11. Share one positive thing from your day each day!
I’ve done this with my little community on twitter before, sharing one positive thing from each day with each other no matter how small. It can be so uplifting to hear what other people have found positive, and it can help you to actively search for a positive to share within your day.
12. Have a virtual dinner date or drinks date
Why not use a video call app to ‘meet’ for drinks or dinner. How fun to make your own cocktails or cook a meal, and sit down to chat on camera while you enjoy it.
13. Have a virtual dance party
Put some music on and get dancing over video call with each other. You might not be able to go out dancing, but you can bring the party to your living room!
14. Have a movie night
You could arrange to watch the same movie at the same time, and text to chat with each other throughout. Netflix even offers a ‘watch party’ feature, allowing you to watch a movie together.
15. Create a group video work out session
You could take turns to make up a workout session and take the lead on a group video chat. That way you get to have a giggle and get fit at the same time!
16. Set regular video call appointments
My loved ones and I have found it really useful to set regular times each week for quizzes or video calls, so that there’s something to look forward. We choose weekends so that it feels like we’re getting some sort of social night.
Whatever you choose, I hope you are all managing to stay connected with those you love, and that you’re all doing as well as you can be. I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments if you want to share them!