Physical distancing means we’re all spending a lot more time at home. Many of us are missing those person-to-person connections. It’s easy to feel lonely. But there are plenty of ways you can stay connected with your family and friends while physical distancing.
1. Social media
Social media is one of the most popular ways to stay connected. There are so many different platforms that let you follow friends and family, celebrities, businesses/organizations, and create a newsfeed that keeps you entertained and engaged.
While social media is a helpful resource, it can also be overwhelming sometimes. Lots of people are posting about COVID-19, and it’s helpful to take breaks from that kind of content.
Most phone plans come with a texting plan. Texts are a great way to do quick check-ins with friends and family. You can also send photos, videos, and other attachments.
3. Phone calls
Phone calls are a great way to feel closely connected, no matter how much distance separates you from your loved ones. Just make sure that you’re familiar with your phone plan and how many calling minutes you have – you don’t want to accidentally raise your bill.
4. Video chats
Video chats are the best way to get the immediacy of phone calls while also seeing your loved ones’ smiling faces. Here are some free video chat apps you can use:
- FaceTime (for Apple products)
- Facebook messenger
- Google Hangouts (accessible via a Gmail account)
Please note: some of these platforms have free and paid versions. Most of these video chat platforms require an email address. You will need a stable internet connection to make or receive calls.
5. Online message apps
If you have friends and family spread out over the country, texting and phone calls aren’t really an option. If you want the immediate connection, try online messaging apps. Options include:
Remember: the people you want to chat with must also be on your chosen messaging platform.
Emails allow for more immediate communication with the same appeal as letter-writing. If you don’t have an email address, you can create one for free on the following platforms:
If you want to take a break from digital communication, writing letters is a great way to stay in touch with people. Plus, who doesn’t love receiving a letter? Whether it’s typed or handwritten, having something to open from a friend or family member makes people feel connected.
8. Online concerts
Many musicians and organizations are hosting online concerts for free in an effort to help people feel more connected through art, performance, and music. Not only is this a great way to stay connected, but it’s entertaining as well!
9. Join virtual groups
Many social media platforms host private or public groups that enable like-minded people to connect. One of the most common places to find groups is Facebook groups.
You can also try Meetup.com. These groups are in various categories, and allow you to host your own as well. It’s free to sign up!
10. Digital games
Talking is great, but do you know what’s really awesome? Winning a game against your friends without leaving your couch! Thanks to the internet, it’s possible to play group games without having to be in the same room.
The following sites and apps allow you to play all kinds of fun games.
- You can find Cards Against Humanity and other card games at playingcards.io
- Pogo – sign up and play tons of classic board games for free
- If you like more complex role-playing games, try Roll20. Please note: making the account is free, but some features cost money
- House Party – this is a video chat app you can get on your phone, allowing you to play games on the go with your friends
Please note: When messaging, calling, using data or using the internet, you should always make sure to stay within your monthly plan limit. Some of the large telecom companies have waived long distance calling fees and data limits until April 30. This is only available from certain companies and for certain plans, so check on your provider’s website or give them a call.
Bonus: join Brain Injury Canada in our weekly challenges
Another way to stay connected is to join us in our weekly challenges. We want to bring some fun to you, so we’ve designed 12 weeks of challenges you can complete right at home. Check out the challenges on our website, and follow along on Facebook and Twitter.