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10 fun ways to help you stay connected virtually

10 Fun ways to help you stay connected virtually

happiness mental health wellbeing worklife balance Feb 18, 2021

If you’d asked me in February 2020, I’d have been disparaging about the benefits of video calls.  Fast-forward to February 2021 and they’re keeping the world turning.  We’re running The Rising Festival entirely online in 2021.

But after a week of business video calls, do we enjoy our weekend social catch ups with family and friends on video calls?

Well, if I’m being honest, I’m pretty bored of quizzes, helping relatives unmute and the sound of 10 people howling Happy Birthday out of time from a computer speaker. How can we spice up our social video calls and support our own mental health through connecting with other people?

Takeaway parties

Food delivery apps are a great way to connect with others while supporting local restaurants. Kick it up a notch by using backgrounds of beautiful landscapes, holiday snaps or just plain funny pictures.

Virtual cinema

Do you have family or friends who are big fans of the same film or box set as you?  Or perhaps you both find it hard to chat on video calls without a ‘topic’ to start off the conversation?  Hopping on for a watch party can be a fun addition to your social calendar.


Challenge your family or friends to a bake-off, live on video.  Set up your video call in the kitchen, grab your ingredients and get baking!

Visit somewhere new

Have a museum-loving buddy?  Always wanted to check out an art gallery with your cousin?  Why not take a virtual tour together and chat about what you loved or loathed as you go round?

Cook together

Putting together three meals a day for yourself can quickly get boring, so why not compete with friends to make a meal together over video, like in a cooking show? Designate someone to blast out some music whilst you prep your dishes, and have a chat while you tuck in!

Play Rose, Bud, Thorn

This American summer camp game – where you go around in a circle and say your rose (best part), thorn (worst part), and bud (something you’re looking forward to) – is the kind of thing that’s a cosy way to reflect on the week as adults.  You could use it as a way of getting conversation going at the beginning of the call, or perhaps while you’re waiting for your bake-off creation to cook.

Pictionary, charades or Taboo

All of these games rely on choosing a word – you can either use a Pictionary game from home, or one of the many online word generators like this one – then acting it out (charades), drawing it (Pictionary) or describing it in words (Taboo).

Depending on which video call software you’re using, you can either use the whiteboard function, or flip your camera around and draw on paper.  This is a great game to play to connect multiple generations, as children, grandparents and parents can all get involved.

Guess Who?

 This classic party game – where you stick the name of a famous person on someone else’s head and they need to ask questions until they work out who they are – works well on video calls too.  Instead of using sticky notes, drop the answer into a message.  Probably not a game to play with someone you suspect might try to cheat!  Again, this is a great game to play with multiple generations.


Based on the show, this game calls for you to run around your house gathering items called out by your fellow video-callers.  For example, someone might give everyone on the call 30 seconds to get something yellow or come back wearing as many hats as possible.  It’s a tonne of fun and definitely shakes things up!


If crooning over video calls with friends sounds like your idea of fun, then look no further!  For a low-tech way of doing karaoke with friends, simply follow these tips:

  • Select one person to be the karaoke DJ. This person will select who’s up next as everyone puts their track suggestions into the comments.  If your group has someone bubbly who can carry a crowd, choose that person!
  • When it’s your turn, screen-share your karaoke video (use the ‘lyrics’ function on streaming services) and belt out your rendition for all to hear. Just don’t forget to share your sound in settings too.
  • Enjoy!

So now you know my favourite suggestions for fun ways to connect socially over video calls! We know this year has been hard on so many people.  That’s why we’ve focused the programme for The Rising Festival in March on today’s most pressing issues:

  • Managing stress and anxiety through self-care
  • The work-life juggle
  • Support systems
  • Resilience
  • Mentoring support

Tickets are available here. Join us to celebrate International Women’s Day and invest in YOU.

If you can’t wait until March and need some support right now, check out our February live mentoring sessions; Building your Personal Brand and How to Juggle Work and Family during COVID-19

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