Tips for Staying Socially Connected

Teens connecting by smartphone

Following social distancing guidelines is critically important to support public health but so is staying socially connected.  Feeling connected to family and friends has numerous mental health and wellness benefits, including decreased stress, a sense of belonging and purpose, and improved memory and mental skills, among others.  Below are some tips to support social connections, while practicing social distancing. 

Use Devices to Connect   
To the extent you are comfortable and allow your kids to use devices like smart phones, tablets and computers, think about live chats and virtual play dates through apps like FaceTime, Google Duo, Zoom, Caribu, etc. Although they can’t be face-to-face, this may be a great alternative for your child.

Activities using these apps could include:

  • Just talk and catch up
  • Study group
  • Reading together
  • Watching a movie (checkout how to organize a Netflix party)
  • Playing games (charades, 20 questions, board games, online games, famous movie lines, an at-home scavenger hunt, etc.)
  • Arts and crafts sessions and/or lessons

Email and Text
Sending an email or text message is a quick and easy way to connect with a loved one or friend. 

Get Old School
Getting a letter in the mail is so rare it’s fun!  Take a moment to have your kids brush up on their writing skills and send a letter.  (The CDC reports contamination from mail is low and provides guidelines for handling mail.)

Keep it Simple
Making a phone call is also another simple but great way to connect.