On Monday morning Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order advising all Michigan residents to stay in their homes as much as possible to slow the spread of COVID-19. This affects everyone. Michiganders will be spending a lot of time at home over the next three weeks, but that doesn’t mean we have to be alone. We’re in this together.

It’s important we follow the guidelines provided by the CDC and our state officials to practice social distancing. But we know social distancing can leave you missing the people and things you love. We’ve gathered the best ways to stay connected for the next few weeks as we all do our part to stay home to keep ourselves and others safe.

  • Virtual hangouts. Staying at home doesn’t mean having to miss quality time with friends or family. Using tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts can help you stay connected. Schedule regular video chats just to talk or start virtual group meditations and at home workouts to keep health a priority during the down time.
  • Keep it fun. Services like Netflix Party let you enjoy a movie night where anyone can watch from anywhere. Make it even more interesting by creating a hashtag for everyone to use and tweet along with during the movie. If you don’t know what to watch next, try switching to online video games and playing along with friends.
  • Learn something new together. With social distancing keeping people apart, chances to learn as a group can seem lost. Try starting an online book club where you can read along and discuss topics with others. Or join a class, like knitting or cooking, to learn alongside others in real-time from the comfort of your home.
  • Host a game night. Online party games like Quiplash let you play along with friends from the comfort of your couch. Pair it with a video call, grab some snacks and have a fun night in with friends.
  • Support strangers through snail mail: For those of who want to help those who could use words of encouragement and compassion the most, there are organizations such as Love For The Elderly and More Love Letters. These groups connect letter writers with people who could use a reminder that people care or someone new to meet.  

Doing what’s right for ourselves and those around us means staying home and limiting unnecessary contact with others. But there’s no need to miss those you care about most during these times. Try out these different ways to stay connected and share these tips with family and friends.

How are you staying connected while social distancing? Share your ideas with us on social media and we’ll continue to update this post with more ways to enjoy your time staying at home.