How to Feel Less Isolated During Self-Isolation


Self-isolation can get…well, pretty lonely. The COVID-19 pandemic has spawned shelter-in-place orders for nearly all 50 states, and while being socially distanced from friends and loved ones is less than ideal, risking further infection of the community at large is far worse.

As we continue resisting the urge to socialize in person, we can make the best of this solitary period by virtually hanging out with the people we miss.

I’ve put together 10 ways to connect with your friends online during quarantine. Get the crew back together even though you’re physically apart. Let’s. Get. Digital!

Cook (and eat) together

I’m doing a little more baking than my favorite jeans are comfortable with. But who cares, because I’m not wearing jeans now and won’t be for a while—pajama pants for the win! Times are tough, so it’s important to treat yo self! Sauté, bake, and feast with your friends through FaceTime while you’re apart. Break out your favorite recipes, or create new ones with your best pals. Looking for some healthy food inspiration? Click here for immune-boosting recipes featuring wholesome ingredients.

Online birthday celebration

Parties for major milestones are getting postponed, but birthdays only come once a year. Host a bash on Zoom with close friends and family to ring in yours or your loved one’s new year of life. It’s Taurus season, so make sure the earth signs in your life still get a thoughtful gift to cheer them up during quarantine. Click here for Taurus-approved beauty gift ideas.

Start a YouTube channel

Each of your friends has talents and skills that should be shared with the world—and so do you! Plan your content and create a YouTube channel where each of your besties contributes one separate video a week. Start an Instagram or Twitter account for your new channel to build a loyal following and spread a little joy to those struggling during the outbreak. Who knows, one day you might get to collaborate with Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson!

Group pampering session

Make “me” time, “we” time by inviting your friends to a virtual pampering extravaganza to catch up on all your beauty-related to do’s. Swap skincare routines, while donning detoxifying face masks. Share tips and tricks as you transform your Skype call into a nail salon. Spill beauty secrets while you deep condition. I could go on, but there’s more to read.

Virtual happy hour

When life gives you lemons, squeeze them, pour in some tequila, and add salt to the rim. Even though you can’t hit the bar with your friends on thirsty Thursday, a simple Zoom conference with your beverage of choice will still get the job done. Click “Gallery View,” to see all your buddies and change your backgrounds for a little extra fun. If you’re under 21, or looking for a healthier drink alternative, click here for tasty, collagen-boosting non-alcoholic options.

Host a digital prom

If your prom was cancelled, get all gussied up and host a virtual prom night with your classmates. Grab the get up you spent months planning, don an edgy makeup look, pump up the jams, and Zoom the night away.

Workout and keep each other accountable

Quarantine might be the perfect time to follow through with the workout program you’ve contemplated starting since January 1st (Attn: Me). Commit to adding at least 20 minutes of physical activity to your daily routine. You and your friends can even workout together, virtually. Go for a calorie-scorching routine or something as simple as grabbing your old textbooks and using them as weights.

Watch a show and have a weekly discussion

Fact: You can’t survive shelter in place without some sort of streaming service. Start a new show with your friends, then pick a day and dedicate it to online discussion. Chances are you’ll find yourself talking for hours on each season’s plot twists and dramatic events—it’s the perfect way to fill up your quarantine days.

TikTok dance battle

Corral your crew into learning some borderline cringey dance moves set to catchy songs. More and more of your favorite celebrities and beauty influencers are joining TikTok to help pass the time. If you haven’t already joined the bandwagon, hop on and buckle up. Challenge your pals to a digital dance battle or maybe create a viral routine of your own.

Get glammed up for no reason—together!

On the surface, getting ready to go nowhere seems like a colossal waste of time. But really, what else do you have to do? Bust out your favorite eye shadows and glosses to create full-on looks and then take a group photo (of your Zoom screen)—just because you’re cooped up doesn’t mean you can’t make new memories.

Illustrations by Christina Fung