If there is one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has helped us realize, it’s the meaning of friendship. The days of meeting up for a casual drink or planning a weekend getaway have been placed on pause. Moreover, this has been going on for months without a clear end in sight. Consequently, making an effort to stay connected with friends during this time is more critical than ever.
But, just how do we maintain closeness to our friends while staying apart? Zoom or other free video chat platforms, of course! Here are five ways to utilize these platforms to connect with your friends, all while keeping a safe distance.
1. Sip and Paint Night
A local painting studio by me did this early on in the pandemic: They picked a night, chose a painting to create, and had a virtual sip and paint! Participants purchased the materials in advance and the studio mailed them out. On the night of the sip and paint, participants logged in and, much like being at the studio, enjoyed their favorite beverage and attempted the painting.
You don’t need an art studio to make this happen, either. Organize one of these for your friend group by picking a night, sending out supplies in advance, choosing a painting, then getting on Zoom for some artwork and drinks.
2. Book Club
Pick a book to read and a day to meet, then set up a meeting via a video chat platform. Discuss the book as you would if you were hosting an in-person book club. Having a day where everyone comes and meets up helps to get through a crazy work week! What’s more, it’s an excuse to sit down and enjoy a book during the week leading up to the book club.
3. Photo Scavenger Hunt
My photo club set up one of these when the stay-at-home orders were first put into place. We started with the alphabet—each day, we had to photograph something with the given letter. Then we transitioned into harder challenges, such as shooting something in your home that starts with your name’s first letter or finding an object that combines two given colors.
You can do the same with your friends. Set up a weekly or biweekly Zoom meeting, then give everyone their assignment for each week. During the video call, you can go around the group and have everyone share their photo.
4. Baking or Cooking
Being at home lets you try out new recipes that you might otherwise not have time to do. So why not incorporate your friends into the activity? Decide on a recipe and attempt to bake it together via a video chat platform. Once it’s done, enjoy it as a group and discuss your thoughts.
5. Watch Party
Facebook is suitable for this! Create a group and determine which video or movie your group wants to watch. You watch the video in realtime and can leave comments as you watch.
No matter what you choose to do, just remember always to stay connected. Don’t let the COVID-19 pandemic cause you to abandon your friends. What’s your favorite way to stay close with friends during this time? Let us know in the comments!