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POPSUGAR / paid for by / Campbell's®

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Ways to Stay Connected to Friends and Family Virtually

Comforting Ways to Feel Connected to Friends and Family When You're Craving Social Interaction

We've partnered with Campbell's® to inspire you to find creative ways to stay connected to long-distance loved ones when you can't get together IRL.

Staying closely connected to friends and family requires a lot more intention right now. You can't just pop over to your grandparents' house for Sunday dinner or send a last-minute text asking a friend to meet you at the neighborhood bar.

Instead, we find ourselves relying on phone calls, FaceTime dates, and endless group texts to feel close to those we can't see in person. Since there's only so much small talk you can make, think outside the box for your next virtual check-in. Try these creative ideas for connecting with your loved ones while social distancing.

Cook Together Virtually

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At this point, everyone has had their fill of Zoom happy hours. Next time you want to get your pals together virtually, suggest a shared cooking project to make at the same time. Choose a comforting recipe that everyone will love, like creamy Swedish Meatballs.

Become Postcard Pals

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It's not too late to get a pen pal! Stock up on postcards, then surprise your friends with short-and-sweet handwritten notes. Receiving a fun postcard is sure to put a smile on their face and gives you a chance to upgrade your stationary game.

Start a Movie Club
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Think of movie club as a lower-commitment version of a book club: at most, you're only asking everyone to spend two hours watching a film. Focus on one genre you all love, or pick a different recent release to watch every month. Once everyone has seen the film, you can discuss over video chat — while snacking on popcorn, of course.

Drop Off a Dish

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If you live within driving distance, make a dish that travels well and bring it to a friend who needs a little cheering up. It's a lovely way to show them you care, and having dinner taken care of can seriously lighten their load. Just choose an easily portable recipe like Tamale Pie and include a note with reheating instructions.

Try a New Craft With a Friend
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Even if you've already given up on making sourdough at home, don't give up on all DIY projects. You're much more likely to actually commit to a new hobby if you try it with a friend — even virtually. Find a friend who shares an interest in a trendy craft — think candle twisting, cross stitch, or punch needling — then make a pact to each complete one project. You can keep each other accountable, and your progress will give you something to talk about besides whatever depressing story is making headlines that week.

Design: Mia Coleman; Images: Shutterstock and Campbell's