It’s been nearly a year since we’ve all started social distancing, but how are you staying in touch with the people you care about? Luckily during these bleak times, technology is our friend and we can telecommute to practically anything. You just need to be creative and plan it out! Staying in touch virtually takes a bit of effort and high speed internet but can be so much fun. Here are our favorite ways you can stay connected virtually with family and friends.

1. Call Using Video Instead Of Voice Only

Do you call your parents or other family members every week? Why not coordinate with them to start making your voice calls into video calls? This way you can talk to one another and see one another again. Depending on what technology you all have available, you can use services like Zoom, Facetime or Skype.

2. Make A Virtual Lunch Date Or Dinner Party

If you’re missing going on lunch dates or having dinner parties, why not virtualize it? All it takes is some careful planning, coordination and videoconferencing. You can make your lunch or dinner before the call or better yet, coordinate it so everyone meets together and cooks together. While you’re cooking everyone can catch up with one another. You can use Zoom, Facetime or Skype for your virtual meal party or date. We just recommend you do it on your laptop or buy a phone stand so you can cook safely while you catch up.

3. Schedule A Weekly Virtual Movie Night

If you’re binge watching your favorite TV shows and movies, why not do it with friends and family? Plus who wouldn’t enjoy bringing back movie night, right? With some planning, careful discussion and coordination, it’s completely possible to have a weekly movie night! You can connect through Teleparty, previously called Netflix Party. The service allows everyone involved to watch your movie of the week in sync and chat with one another while it plays. You can pick movies or shows from Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and HBO. The only caveat is you will need to have everyone subscribe to the service and everyone will need fast internet service to support it.

4. Take An Online Fitness Class

Since we’re all a lot more stationary than we used to be, no thanks to the pandemic, why not get up and move? You can coordinate with a friend, your gym buddies or family who is interested and sign up for an online fitness class together! Check with your current gym to see if they’re doing this. If not, check with other local gyms. Since the pandemic started many gyms that had in person classes shifted to online classes, so it’s worth a quick check. Once you find something or a few things you like, just plan it out! Not only can you be a little bit healthier, but you can keep one another motivated while still staying in touch.

5. Organize A Family Effort Of Helping Others

What causes does your family care about? Find some common ground and make a family or group of friends’ effort into helping others. Whether you all want to donate to your local food bank, run or walk a mile for that cause, pick up trash or foster for your local animal shelter; any of these ideas are perfect to do as a joint effort. You can coordinate weekly meetings to say hello, show what you donate and just share your experiences to motivate one another. You’ll feel great doing it together and you’ll be helping others.

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