How to stay connected during COVID-19

Getting creative helps connect with loved ones through the health crisis
Father and young daughter looking at a smartphone

We’re all doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 by practicing physical distancing and staying at home unless it’s critical to go out. With shelter-in-place orders across the nation, more people are turning to technology to do, well, nearly everything.

However, nothing can replace face-to-face human connection. Not having the daily social interactions you’re used to can lead to loneliness, unhealthy food choices, and getting off track from your fitness goals. The effects are unique to each of us, but the unifying thread is that humans need one another.

The best way to get through the coronavirus pandemic while staying physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy is together — from a safe distance, of course. To help you get creative, here are three ways individuals are using technology to stay connected right now:

  1. Watch together, while apart.
    Consider using technology to engage with your loved ones in a new way. Interactive activities such as virtual watch parties allow you to schedule movie show times with friends and family so you can watch TV shows or movies at the same time, but in the comfort of your respective homes. There is also a plethora of mobile apps that enable virtual coffee breaks, happy hours, and group livestream fitness classes.

  2. Create memories, virtually
    Even if you’re away from friends and family you can still create shared memories to cherish. Meaningful moments like these can help fill the vacuum created by time apart. Here are some ways to share memorable moments:
    • Do a virtual history tour.
      Each person on the video call can walk around their neighborhood and point out interesting things. This is a great way to stay connected, feel inspired, and get some fresh air and exercise. Just be sure to keep a safe distance of at least 6 feet from anyone else outside, as recommended by the CDC.
    • Tell stories.
      Sharing stories can be a powerful human pastime that helps you learn from others, expand your perspective, and stay connected. Share stories about your childhood, your grandparents, or any experience that helped shape you into the person you are today.
    • Share your skills.
      Are you the designated chef of your friend group? Why not schedule a night to teach everyone how to make your most popular (or healthiest) dish? Do you enjoy yoga? Share your favorite poses for a connection you’ll all remember, while taking care of your bodies. Delving into your favorite activities can help you learn more about what matters most to your friends.

  3. Make a positive impact
    People are staying connected outside of the virtual world as well. One example is making window signs. Some individuals are taping ‘gratitude’ signs to their windows to thank their delivery drivers, while others are making birthday signs for neighbors and family members. There are even birthday parades, where loved ones drive by and honk, wave, and shout for a kid whose birthday falls during this less-than-optimal time. What’s another way to show support while physical distancing? Sometimes a little creativity is all you need.

It can be challenging to find motivation for activities like these when you’re feeling stuck at home. But once you get started, you might find increased energy and positive vibes from connecting with others.

If you’d like a little more motivation, check out Wellvolution. They offer wellness programs like virtual coaching to help keep you healthy and on track.