Social distancing – you’d think as a generation of screen lovers and serial conversation avoiders we’d be great at this. But even my introverted self is craving a bit of social interaction already.

Staying in is the responsible thing to do right now. Plus, it could do wonders for our bank balances, if we’re lucky. That said, I get it. You miss your squad, but sitting there on Skype when they live 5kms away feels a bit weird, right? Fear not. I’ve rounded up 8 free + non crap ways to hang with your pals while practicing social distancing.

1. Do a course and drink wine

I’ve got this scheduled in this weekend with a local friend and a friend from overseas, and I am buzzing. We’re going to do an online brush lettering glass and guzzle wine all together, on two sides of the globe. Loads of amazing courses are available online for free, including from Brit + Co for the next two weeks!

2. Sync up a movie or TV show

Can’t go to the movies? Worry not. Arrange to watch a movie or your fave series in your own homes, but press play all at once and let the group chat go wild. Or, set up your phone and Skype in so you can watch together and chat in real time.

3. Hold a virtual book club

Choose a book to read, set a date to Skype, and boom – virtual book club. Wine recommended. 

4. Have a virtual cook off

Can’t go out for dinner? No problem! Pick a recipe, set up your FaceTime and have a virtual cook off, by all cooking the same thing together at once. When my boyfriend and I were doing long distance, we made dumplings from scratch on Skype and chatted at the same time.

5. Set up a virtual coworking space

Craving your coworkers’ company?! Set up a virtual coworking space by all turning on your Zoom/Hangouts cameras while you work from home. You don’t have to chat the whole time, but you’ll have that office vibe of being able to randomly blurt out something whenever you feel like it. Plus, you’ll hold each other accountable when working from home.

6. Hold a virtual wine tasting

Ok not *strictly* free, but if you can get a couple of different types of wine each, you can Skype each other, catch up, and read the tasting notes as you drink. You’ll have fun and become a wine snob at the same time. Bonus.

7. Be virtual housemates

If it’s not a long conversation you’re craving, but just a sense that someone else is around, set up your Skype camera, dial a mate and just exist together. Even if you just both clean your apartments at the same time or meal prep. Having a sense of being around people might just help you feel more human again. 

8. Do virtual workouts together

There are so many free workouts available, and even more companies are stepping up and offering freebies to help us keep fit while in isolation. Sync up with your mates, lock in a time, and work out together. Friends who isolate together, stay together…remember?

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8 free ways to socialise while in isolation