As a teenager, I would spend hours talking on the phone with my friends. We would see each other all day at school and then go home and call each other. I would hang out with my friends all day on weekends, go home, and then call them after dinner. My mother couldn’t understand it and started inventing rules for my telephone usage. No calls during dinner. No calls after 10pm on school nights. No calls before 9am on weekends.

I’ve always worked hard to maintain my connections with friends and family. Through the years, technology has advanced in a way that makes it possible for us to do so many things – including checking in with the people we love – in a matter of seconds.This is so important – especially when we’re feeling scared, stressed, or isolated as many of us do in this uncertain, challenging time.

Here are some ways to stay connected with others while social distancing.

Start a Group Text. Send a text to the group at least once a day, just to check in, see if anyone needs anything, or send a funny meme. Be aware – this may cause your phone to beep and buzz at all hours of the night, especially if the people in your group span several time zones!

Catch Up On Chat Apps. My friends and I started a Facebook Messenger chat. Every day, we check in at least once (usually 5 or 6 times). Here, we can express our fears, our frustrations; we can make each other laugh and share pictures. This helps us feel together – even though we’re not.

Host a Virtual Dinner Party or Brunch. Sign up for a free Zoom account (or any other video conferencing app) and encourage your friends or family to do the same. Then invite everyone to a dinner party or brunch. Sure, you’re all sitting in your respective homes but it’s a close second to being out together, enjoying a meal.

Have an Online Watch Party. You may not be able to go to the movies together right now but you can use Netflix Party to watch a movie or series together. Other streaming platforms have this capability, too. There are also apps you can use to start a watch party.

Connect with Your Neighbors. You don’t need technology for this one! So many of us are out walking or riding bikes, especially as the weather gets better and better. A nod and a smile go a long way, especially right now, when people may be feeling lonely or scared. Use neighborhood apps or groups to keep up-to-date on what’s happening where you live.

Sign up for Modo Online! Get access to on-demand classes and join thousands of people all over the world practicing Modo. Keep your mind and body energized by keeping your practice going.

Whatever you do, make sure you reach out for help, encouragement, and support when you need it. You are not alone. We are all in this together.