Humans are social creatures, but with the COVID-19 pandemic it's become difficult to stay social. 

If you're feeling down from being socially isolated from your friends and loved ones, it's time to make a change. Here are a few ideas about how to put the social back into social distance.

Contact with elderly family members is especially important during this time. Plan to call them at the same time every day to establish a routine. This will give them something to look forward to, while ensuring you don't miss a day of talking to your loved ones. Try to avoid talking about the news and focus on positive things instead. Kids can sing songs, tell jokes, or share funny stories with their grandparents. You can even incorporate their schoolwork by having kids read books to their grandparents over the phone.  

Missing your coffee and movie dates? Group meeting apps like Zoom and Google Meet can help you keep up on coffee dates with friends. Movie dates can also be virtual! Netflix has released a Chrome extension called Netflix Party. This will allow you to synchronize a movie or show broadcast so you and your friends can watch the same thing. There's also a group chat window for you to share what you're thinking as you watch. 

Letter writing is a fun way to include learning into your child's free time. Teach them the parts of a letter and have them write to a family member or friend they haven't seen for a while. If you don't have stamps and envelopes, kids can write their letters in an email to send instead.    

Reaching out to a friend or loved one daily can help improve your mood, too! With lots of options to stay social, you can maintain strong relationships while doing your part to flatten the curve.