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A woman on a virtual friend date on her laptop. She sits on her bed, smiling.

5 Virtual Friend Dates to Create & Deepen Bonds During Social Distancing

Many of us never thought we’d be living in an age of social distancing, and this new normal can be quite disruptive to our sense of reality—even if it is temporary. We miss our friends and we want to connect, but we’re asked to stay at home to protect ourselves and others.

Connection is an important part of life, and living without it can feel hollow. But just because we’re distancing ourselves physically doesn’t mean we have to distance ourselves emotionally.

5 Virtual Friend Dates that Will Keep You Entertained During Social Distancing

It’s time to get creative and find new ways to reach out to our loved ones. That’s why we’ve created this guide with 5 ideas for the perfect virtual friend dates.

Host a Virtual Cook-Off

Let’s face it, one of the best things about working from home are the snacks. We’ve all probably sharpened our chef skills in the past few weeks. And with fewer trips to the local supermarket, you may have had to get creative with the ingredients at your disposal.

That’s why this is the perfect time for a friendly virtual cook-off! You can make the rules up as you go, or sit down and map out a plan. Set up a video call and see who can create the most delicious meal with the most unusual ingredients. Bonus points for fun, fusion combinations, like peanut butter and banana sandwiches with a drizzle of sriracha!

Get Gaming

Gaming is a great way to engage with your friends while staying home. There are many online games that host multiple players, making your gaming experience more connected. You can also simply call up a friend while you both play Animal Crossing or Skyrim on your consoles.

There are also games like UNO, and Scrabble Go that you can play with friends simply by downloading a phone application. Gaming is not only engaging for the mind, but it can also bring us closer together right now.

Audio Adventures

This is such a great time to pick up your favorite novel, so why not share it? We love our audiobooks, but how much more fun would it be to hear your best friend or family member doing funny, exciting voices for each new character?

Call someone up and read to them for a unique experience in this technological age. You’ll be surprised at how much fun you can have getting lost in the story, navigating the twists and turns with your loved ones on the line. You can take turns with a book that you both own, or read one chapter each from different novels. You can even have a contest to determine who makes the most interesting voices.

Not only will you find yourselves entertained by the story, you’ll feel more connected listening to the voice of someone you love.

Read This Next: How I’m Living with Anxiety During a World Pandemic

Get Moving: Sweat It Out

We’ve probably all skipped a few of our workouts during this challenging time, focused on maintaining composure more than keeping up with our diets. That’s why a virtual sweat session is such a great way to connect with friends right now.

Try FaceTiming your best pal and challenging them to a few reps or setting a time each day to do at-home workouts together. You’ll not only boost endorphins and feel great you’ll also benefit from the connection and the shared accountability.

People often use the buddy system when it comes to working out because other people help us stay motivated. Even if you only spend ten minutes on your virtual exercise session, you’ll feel healthier, happier, and more supported.

Watch Movies Together

Did you know that the Netflix Party adds a chatroom to the screen so you can chat with your friends while you watch? This is an extension you can add to your internet browser that allows Netflix to synchronize playback so you and your friends can watch movies together in real-time.

As a bonus, you can also share thoughts and spoilers while you’re at it! Even if you can’t go to the movie theatres right now, there are fortunately still ways to sit down and watch movies with your loved ones. So plan a date night with a friend, pick a movie, and don’t forget the popcorn!

Why Virtual Connection is So Important

When we feel connected and supported, it’s easier to make it through these challenging moments. Even though we can’t physically be near many of our loved ones right now, it’s important to reach out and try to find new ways to spend quality time together.

We’re lucky to have so many technological advances that allow us to find connections amidst social distancing. So get creative and make a virtual date with your friends!

Related Article: Social Responsibility & Mental Health: It’s Okay to Take a Break

Rhiannon Gessaman

Rhiannon Gessaman

Rhiannon Gessaman is a student and freelance writer who, from the time she began penning letters to the moon, knew she wanted to spend her life writing. She has written for such publications as Self-Love Soup and Astrology Answers. She is a late bloomer who decided to return to college... Read More

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