March 30, 2020

5 Ways to Stay Socially Connected While Physically Distant

Physical distancing is one of the best ways we can reduce and slow the spread of COVID-19. It's vital we keep our physical distance from others to help “flatten the curve” and keep our communities as safe and healthy as possible. But even in a time of physical distancing, social connection is vital to our health. Now, more than ever, it’s important we take time to connect and care for ourselves and others. 

Luckily, staying “physically distant” doesn’t have to mean disconnecting from friends, family, or the healthy habits that make us happy. With a little creativity and a few simple changes to our usual routines, we can continue to engage in our favorite activities—like cooking and physical activity--and connect with others in ways that boost our mood, reduce stress, AND strengthen our collective effort to protect the health of our communities.  

Here are our top tips for staying connected while physical distant: 

1. Make a “Quick Connection” with help from Harmony SEL 

Feeling tongue-tied on phone calls and video calls? These printable conversation starters are the perfect way to kick-off a chat with a friend or loved one. Bonus: they double as an at-home social-emotional learning lesson for kids! 

2. Start a gratitude group 

Expressing gratitude can relieve stress and boost our mood, especially when we share our gratitude with others! Gather friends or family members in a group text or email and check-in daily by sharing “Today I am grateful for ___.”  

3. Send snail mail 

Pen pals are a great way for kids and adults alike to deepen a connection with friends and loved ones. Try writing a letter about the latest book you’ve read, a movie you’ve watched, or a new recipe you’ve recently tried. And, remember to ask questions so that your pen pal can respond! Then, get creative using markers, colored pencils, stencils, and stickers to decorate your letter and envelope. 

4. Host a virtual dinner party 

We may not be able to gather around the same table, but we can still enjoy a meal with our favorite people! Schedule a day and time for your group to break bread over video chat and invite guests to make their favorite healthy dish. Once everyone has “arrived,” take turns sharing the ingredients and steps needed to make your meal. (Need some inspiration? Check out our new Eating Healthy at Home recipes, presented by Kohl’s) 

5. Sweat together—online! 

Movement can make us feel more energized and less stressed. Invite a friend to join you for a virtual sweat session by streaming a workout video together while you video chat. Try our physical activity break videos for some creative movement ideas, inspired by some of our favorite athletes! 


How are you staying connected with friends and loved ones while practicing physical distancing? Let us know on Twitter by tagging @HealthierGen in your message!