How to be sociable during self-isolation

It’s Physical Distancing NOT Social Distancing

Everyone should avoid non-essential contact with others to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  We are all either self-isolating or practising “Social Distancing”.  But even the World Health Organisation has made the point that what we should be doing is “physical distancing” and in fact we are social animals and staying in contact with others is good for our health.

How to stay in touch with friends and family?

Getting in touch with friends, family and neighbours can reduce feelings of anxiety and loneliness that people can experience while self-isolating. 

A recent survey found that this outbreak is bringing family and friends closer together but also that 24% of people surveyed by YouGov are feeling more lonely.

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The key way to stay in touch is by phone.  Call your friends, colleagues and relatives regularly to see how they are and just for a chat

Be a social butterfly but on the internet

If you have access to the internet you are very lucky as there are so many ways to stay sociable online. If you can, you could offer help to older friends and relatives to get them online – see our page Helping Older People Who aren’t online.

  • Create WhatsApp groups with neighbours, family or friends. Share how you’re getting on and ask other people how they are.
  • Use Facebook to keep in touch.
  • Use Twitter to find interesting accounts to follow – I like @SIBirdClub (Self Isolating Bird Club) where you can see lovely photos and interact with other followers.
  • Start using video conferencing apps like Zoom to interact with a group of people face to face.  There are other fun ones too like HouseParty!
  • Find Live events and Quizzes that you and your friends can take part in together online.

There are even ways to meet new people

  • Meet new people by searching Facebook Groups and finding one which matches your interests, or start your own and invite friends.
  • Meet new people by having a Zoom Dinner Party and getting your guests to invite someone you don’t already know!
  • Join a local volunteering group to see if local people need assistance.

We have created a How To guides page to try to help you use many of the things above.

We’ll add new ideas as we find them, below.

Other ideas for staying sociable