Students play games in Beau Hall as part of a photo shoot November 21, 2019 at Washington & Jefferson College.

How to stay connected and avoid self-isolating while social distancing 

Created: March 27, 2020  |  Last Updated: October 19, 2021  |  Category:   |  Tagged: , ,

Being at home and catching up on your latest shows is great, but after a few days, the couch might start to seem like a less and less fun way to spend your time. To help keep our minds sharp and our emotions regulated, we need social contact—and that goes beyond scrolling through your Instagram and Twitter feeds. We’ve got some things you can try if you’re feeling the stress of isolation.  

Call (or Facetime) Your Friends 

It may sound obvious, but it’s one of the best ways to fight feeling alone. Calling—and we do mean calling; not texting or sending them a snap with a picture of your forehead and five words—gives you the chance to talk and have a conversation that written communication does not. You engage with each other, pay more attention to your conversation, and there’s no delay in communication, which can be an anxiety-inducer when you’re waiting for someone to respond. Try to get in the habit of doing this daily during the time you’re social distancing—it will help bring some normalcy to your time! 

Play A Game 

Are you at home with family? It’s time to bring back good ol’ family game night. Giving yourself something fun to focus on can help alleviate the feelings of stress or anxiety while offering a shared experience to bond over with your loved ones. If you’re alone, try Skyping or Facetiming a friend and play a game that can work across distances (Battleship, anyone?).  

Plan Virtual Lunch Dates 

Meals tend to be a social activity for a lot of us. Use mealtime as an opportunity to connect with others and plan group video chat sessions so you can enjoy your meals together and retain some normalcy in your routine.  

Check on Your Neighbors 

Now is a great time to learn more about your neighbors! If you have elderly or immunocompromised neighbors, you could help them with errands to limit their exposure to possible COVID-19 carriers (just make sure you’re keeping a safe social distance, yourself!). It will help someone in need and make you feel good! And even if your neighbors don’t need assistance, taking some time outside and maintaining a safe distance while talking to someone face-to-face can help you fulfill some of your socialization needs.  


Have other ways you’re supporting your inner social butterfly? Let us know on Twitter @wjcollege 

Find additional resources on our Student Health & Counseling page.