Socially distancing ourselves has been a hot topic lately. We are all encouraged to practice socially distancing ourselves from each other to try and “flatten the curve” of the number of cases of diagnosed coronavirus. When our schools announced that they will be closed following spring break, and all our fun local places to socialize closed, I was anxious thinking about how I would entertain my kids throughout these upcoming weeks and how I could engage them socially.

Think of socially distancing yourself in a positive manner. You are not in isolation or being quarantined. You are limiting the number of large gatherings you are attending, play-dates, and hugs and handshakes. While these have a strong impact on our relationships with others and being socially involved in the world, we can still be engaged without physically engaging with one another.

I moved to Florida almost three years ago leaving behind my best friend. Recently she made a joke that we have been practicing social distancing since I moved and as ironic as it is, we really have. Social distancing doesn’t mean you need to feel like you are isolated in your own home.

Here are some ways to stay socially engaged while staying at home

Go for a walk, ride your bike, hike, or just spend time outside of your house. This is a great time to get out all those bubbles and sidewalk chalk.

Many fitness instructors are offering virtual classes. Take this opportunity to do something healthy for yourself while staying socially engaged with others.

Spend time with your family. Board games, cards, crafting, try a new recipe together.

Call each other on the phone so you can hear each other’s voices instead of texting. To me, it is an intimate conversation and a way better way to stay socially connected to each other. Utilize the technology today to be able to call and physically see that person’s face.

Take advantage of having your whole family home with you to help with spring cleaning.

Use your social media groups to share your own suggestions for staying busy while socially distancing. Maybe it’s something that you found to keep your family busy, a new meal you enjoyed, or a fun DIY project.

Find a favorite podcast to listen to as a family, or start a virtual book club with friends or neighbors. You can use Messenger or free conference call sites to discuss your thoughts on a book you’ve all read.

Plant a garden or work on the landscaping of your home.

While thinking about staying socially engaged right now I found all of these ideas to come to my mind easily. I recognize that this is a real fear for people. I, personally, am constantly engaged outside of my home with others. I feel this sense of burden placed on me to keep my children happy, my spouse happy, all while working through my own feelings. Trying to plan out my day before my day starts has been one way that has lessened my own stress.

Social distancing can sound scary, lonely and isolating, but it doesn’t have to be. Most of the things we do on a normal basis can be done at home with our close family members. Think of it as a staycation, but this staycation could ultimately help save lives. Utilize social media and technology to stay informed and connected. Continue to get fresh air and sunshine to decrease the anxieties that accompany this unknown territory.

We will get through this.

This is the perfect time to come together because we are all experiencing this at the same time. I think we can all agree that we rely on each other for social sanity. We crave being connected to one another, but in retrospect, that connectedness we crave can also be dangerous during a pandemic like the one we are experiencing.