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Quick TIPS: How to Stay Connected When Social Distancing


We're not going to lie. St. Patrick's Day was hard this year. Our Founder Alfred Bentley found it eerie (but necessary) to practice social distancing and not be with his usual friends and family over the holiday.

Hence, this party – 


"While we were all online, I asked, 'Hey. Why don't we get on a video call?'" Alfred recounted for us the following morning.

Now, was this year's celebration the best St. Patrick's Day party ever? We won't go that far, but having to spend six feet away from people outside and staying inside your house isn't the be-all and end-all when it comes to social interaction. After digesting the CDC FAQs about preventing the spread of COVID-19, read on to learn how to stay connected to the "outside world" when you're staying inside your home. 

Take advantage of video conferences 

Take advantage of technology to stay connected.

They're not just for work (though they work well for vipHomeLink). For your family and friends located in towns, cities, or states away, jump on FaceTime or a video call to spend some "face to face" time together. Cook dinner or eat lunch together. Wake up and see each other with bedhead. Just because you can't meet each other doesn't mean you can't see each other.

(Consider investing in a Facebook Portal that follows you around your kitchen, living room, etc.)

Keep up the texts 

Fight isolation from the palm of your hand.

We've been texting or IMing for years now, and now's the time to step it up to combat those feelings of loneliness. To your friends and family, say hi at odd hours. Send gifs and other fun posts. If you and a friend ask about dinner every day, like Caroline, our Director of Partnerships and I do, make sure to message them and ask what's for dinner. In other words, if you've always done something, keep on doing it.

Don't worry if it takes a little while for your friend or team member to get back to you. While most people may be working from home, they are working from home, so they won't be readily available at all hours of the day, especially if they are focused on a specific project. 

Bring your whole self to work 

Jacqueline's DIY yoga studio

For years, business professionals have encouraged authenticity in your job environment in which we can view our coworkers as people, not just as professionals. Now's the time to truly embrace that thinking as the lines between work and home blend even more. Our VP of Marketing Jacqueline Joyner set up DIY yoga studio in her home while our VP of Content Jeff Roos introduced us to his new coworkers, Penny and June Bug.

Is this June Bug or Penny?

Ask your coworkers about their temporary home office environment and other aspects of their lives in order to stay connected and become even closer. (Whether working from home is all it's cracked up to be – we'll leave that to you to decide.)

Keep in contact with your neighbors 

Keep in contact with the Joneses.

Part of the CDC's household plan included keeping up to date with the Joneses (though now might not be the time to ask for a cup of sugar). Instead, contact them through their social media channels, phone, and video chat (or by singing on your balcony). This way, you can learn about community updates and local emergencies. (Make sure to practice your family's emergency plan!) If your neighbor is elderly and/or living alone, you should consider giving them a call at least once a day to check in.

Think virtual – about almost anything 

Though certain events can't ever be simulated online, there are some virtual options for many of your everyday experiences.

  • Looking to search for a new home? Check out virtual tours posted by real estate agencies. (My personal favorite is the Century 21 New Millennium Twitter feed, which posts new tours daily!)
  • Want to visit a museum? Most offer online tours for your visual enjoyment. Check the #MuseumAtHome hashtag on Twitter.
  • Have you ever wanted to see penguins roaming an aquarium? If not, you still need to watch as Annie and Edward roam the empty halls of the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and gaze upon other sea life.
  • Free concerts, anyone? The #TogetherAtHome concert series has broadcasted the likes of Charlie Puth, John Legend, and Chris Martin. See your favorite artists in their homes with an intimate concert that brings us all together.

Connect your computer to your TV screen and enjoy a metaphorical night out on the town. 

Boast your home improvement accomplishments

While home, improve it, and then let us know!

We're posting home improvement project ideas to help you show some love to your home, but why not also share that love? As you complete home improvement projects – from fixing that squeaky door hinge to starting your garden to changing your smoke detectors' batteries – tag us on Instagram or twitter @vipHomeLink for a reblog. We'll help to show the world how you're becoming a homeowner hero.

Want to learn more about taking care of your home? Subscribe to vipHomeLink now and receive tailored recommendations for home improvement projects and personalized notifications to help complete necessary home maintenance projects. 

As the necessity for physical distance continues, we'll also learn more about each other and bridge the distance between us. Social distancing does not mean social isolation, so strive to stay connected to one another through digital means.

Check out these blog posts to help you work better (and stay sane) at home during these uncertain times:

Creating a "work away from work" space at home

How to keep your home healthy from coronavirus

What to look for on virtual tours to score "home gold"

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