How to stay social while staying at home

Often in life, we find ourselves physically separated from family and friends for a time – but no matter whether it’s a holiday or a period of self-isolation, there’s no reason for geographical distance to mean emotional distance. In an ever-connected world, there is no better time to stay social and #stayathome at the same time.

1.Take video calls to the next level – and have a pub night from home!

I’m sure you’ve heard plenty about catching up over your choice of video call application… but have you thought about making a proper night of it and pretending you’re back at your favourite spot for a cosy drink or two? Pour yourself that glass of wine or grab a can of lemonade – it’s time for a long-distance pub night! BONUS: There are more than a few virtual pub quizzes floating around the internet right now, so why not form a team and put your bored brains to the test against some isolated teams from around the world?

2. Have a movie night!

I’ve been doing remote Netflix sessions for years (the trials of a long-distance relationship) and can confirm they’re a brilliant way of staying close to friends, family and significant others. Snuggle up with some blankets, choose a film or series, and watch something together in real time. Even though you’re not speaking, just hearing your friends laugh alongside you can be a big morale boost.

You can download specific apps for this like Netflix Party – but personally I’ve always preferred the old-fashioned method of calling my boyfriend on the phone and then playing whatever series we’re watching together on my laptop. Pressing “play” at exactly the right moment makes for an extra element of challenge!

3. Host fun themed dinners with your family

Are you missing lavish meals out at restaurants? Get the family chef on the case and have them serve you a gourmet dinner at your very own kitchen table, complete with waiter service…

You’ll all have to take it in turns, of course, and if you’re not a culinary genius, perhaps start with an oven pizza night dressed up with a few candles and your choice of Italian-themed music in the background. Who said home cooking couldn’t be luxurious?

4. Conduct silent study sessions over Skype – or with your younger siblings!

If you have younger siblings, chances are that they’re off school right now – and they might want that little motivational boost as much as you to get through their homework! Find yourselves a workspace, and work on your individual projects with renewed solidarity. You could even implement a group reward for getting it all done – time for a round of Mario Kart on your old Wii, perhaps?

Sibling drama too much to handle? Video call a friend for a few hours and pretend you’re working in the library as you type away in silence and watch each other get stuff done. No slacking off or heading to the kitchen for a snack – your friend will keep you accountable from the other side of the country!

5.Long-distance lunch dates

I love going out for lunch and having a long chat over some eggs – but why should that have to stop just because I’ve stopped going out? Call a friend and sit down to eat together over video call, or you could even try cooking separately but together while you attempt the same recipe!

6.Get competitive with online games

Whether or not you’ve got a dedicated games console or just a laptop, there are a host of options for battling distant friends online – go for a classic game of chess via a mobile app, a free group Pictionary-like game over at, or splash out on numerous multiplayer games for your computer or console!

7. Do a language exchange with someone from far away!

There’s one kind of relationship which is always long-distance, and that’s a language exchange. People have been learning languages by making friends from across the globe for years, and if you’re looking to learn a new skill, this might be it. Find yourself an exchange partner through apps like Hello Talk or websites like iTalki, and you’ll find yourself with international social plans before you know it.

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