How to stay in touch with your friends

Staying social while physically distancing
Staying home and physically distancing are vital steps to stop the spread of COVID-19. But physical distancing doesn’t mean you need to cut yourself off from a social life.

Whether you already have a tight-knit group of friends, or you have just started at the Uni and are looking to make new ones, physical distancing shouldn’t stop you from being social. In fact, it is now more important than ever to stay connected.  

We’ve put together some steps to stay in touch with your friends, and maybe even make some new friends, while physically distancing.

Reach out and keep in contact

It may seem obvious, but the most crucial step to staying in touch is to continue to reach out and talk to people. Whether through chat groups, Facetime or social media, you won’t be able to maintain relationships if you don’t keep talking to each other.  

Fortunately, you have access to a plethora of options to communicate with friends and classmates. Whether through Zoom, Facetime, social media, messenger, chat groups or forums, find a platform that works best for you and use it as much as possible.

You can also use this time to reach out to people from your classes or tutorials that you may not have spoken to before. Remember, we are all in this together, so your classmates will likely be looking to connect just as much as you are.

Study together

Setting up an online study group is a great way to keep in contact and maintain motivation throughout the semester. If you don’t already have a group, try messaging your class or tutor group forums to see who is interested in setting one up. 

Once you have your study group in place, arrange regular times to meet up, be it weekly or daily. This way you have a regular motivator and can consistently check-in. If you prefer to study solo, it is still a good idea to join so your classmates can help keep you motivated. You can put yourself on mute whenever you don’t feel like talking.

Keep up with your coffee dates

Just because you are physically distancing doesn’t mean you have to give up your regular routines. For many of us, a morning coffee run is the foundation of a relationship, so try and continue these as much as possible. Set up a regular ‘coffee date’ each morning, just to check-in and catch up. Keeping this routine will help ease the difficulty of being isolated and is always a good way to start the day.

Take some time to chill

Studying together is a great way to keep motivated and stay on top of your classwork, but it shouldn’t be all work, down time is just as important. Take a moment to relax and do something fun with your classmates.

The options are endless. You could set up a Netflix viewing party, organise a trivia or games night or just pick a time for a group hang. You can be as creative, or as chilled, as you want – all that matters is you are staying connected.

Get physical

Whether you are a gym junkie or a fitness beginner, self-isolation can be a great opportunity to get in shape. And you can bring your mates along your fitness journey with you.

Try organising a video chat and setting up an exercise regime. You can all have a go at planning a workout, or use one of the many available exercise apps. Set goals for your group, and encourage each other to stay on track.

If exercise isn’t your thing, maybe try a meditation class instead!

Just keep talking

We’ve said it before, but the most important thing to remember during self-isolation is to continue to communicate with people, no matter what your preferred method. Whether it’s in your study groups, hangout sessions or coffee dates, try and keep talking as much as possible.

Staying connected with your friends and classmates will be vital to helping you get through the next few months, and it will help you set up routines and relationships that will hopefully continue when you can meet face-to-face again.

8 April 2020