Forget plain old phone calls. When it comes to keeping in touch with your friends (even the ones you can’t see them right now because of the pandemic), the digital age makes it easy to stay connected in fun and fresh new ways. From working out to playing games, here are several things you can do with friends from the comfort of your own home.
Do a Workout Class
Pre-COVID, many friends spent countless evenings and weekends going to workout classes. While gyms and workout studios are still closed in much of the U.S., you don’t have to sacrifice your workout routine (or your friendship routine) during the pandemic. If your current studio isn’t streaming workouts or posting old classes, you can still stay in shape by finding workout sessions on YouTube or Instagram. Connect with your friend via Zoom or Google Hangouts before the call so that you’re both doing the exercises at the same time. (To help you feel even more connected, consider wearing matching leggings.) You’ll sweat up a storm and feel more connected with your friend in the process—we’d call that a win-win!
Host a Game Night
If you’re missing pub trivia or game nights, consider making your own fun by hosting a virtual version. Whether you want to find a pub that’s hosting virtual trivia or have everyone try their hands at playing Jackbox games on their smartphones, a game night is a great way to bring the entire gang back together for a night of laughter and laid-back fun. Don’t forget to break out the popcorn maker and popcorn bowl so you can offer some snacks to your partner or roommate.
Create a Costume Contest
Remember all those ‘80s-themed roller skating nights (complete with neon-colored outfits and scrunchies) or wild Halloween parties you used to go to? While you might not be able to go out on the town for a spell, you can bring the party to your own home by hosting a virtual costume contest for your friends. Simply pick a theme and have everyone get creative with their outfits—whether they want to rummage through their closet or find something especially zany online.
Make a Recipe
If you miss going to restaurants with your friends, why not cook a meal with them from your own respective homes? Simply agree on a recipe together and then make it together over FaceTime or Skype. To make the night even more memorable, arrange for a bottle of wine to be delivered to your friend’s place so he or she can enjoy it alongside the meal. (If your friend is more of a spirits connoisseur, consider doing a virtual tasting instead.)
Watch a Movie
Recreate the timeless fun of a movie night by watching a classic TV show or chick flick with your friends. After installing a Google Chrome extension, you can use Netflix Party to watch episodes or movies with your friends at the same time. Just click on the NP icon in your extension bar to generate a link that you can send to your friends to ensure everything is synced up. There’s even a built-in chat feature so you can make comments throughout the viewing. To make the night even cozier, order a throw so you can snuggle up while watching.
Though not being able to see friends can be a disorienting and sad experience, the Internet makes it possible to still stay engaged and involved in each other’s lives—even from a distance. By using the above ideas as inspiration for activities to do with your friends, you can enjoy creative and meaningful time together. Even after life goes back to normal, these memories will continue to be a cherished experience.
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Rebekah Bell is a writer who lives in Los Angeles.