Get-togethers are always fun, but unfortunately, being able to get together is not the easiest thing in the world these days.
With so many responsibilities and challenges, it’s becoming so hard to find the time and window to hang out and hang out safely.
At the same time, however, you can’t become a hermit, so you need to still get together with friends from time to time.
In general, you should try to make a point of getting together with friends at least once a week, so long as the conditions are safe.
However, even if you can’t get together that often, you can still hang out online, watching movies and playing games.
Either way, it will go a long way toward your health.
This question does not really have one answer, as everyone is different and has different levels of capacity for interactions.
However, believe it or not, there are actually scientific studies that speak to the importance of getting together with friends.
One such study recommends that people get together with their friends at least once a week, if not more.
Being social creatures, we really thrive in social situations, and as such, being deprived of them for too long can have a pretty negative impact on us.
Not only that, but by hanging out with people on a regular basis, you also adopt better habits (usually, anyway!).
These habits include diet, active living, and more.
Hanging out with people on the regular also helps you out with being better socially.
Participating in social situations makes it easier for you to be social in future situations. Makes sense, right?
If you don’t get out often enough, you run the risk of becoming more anxious, closed off, awkward, or stressed by situations that otherwise may have been fine.
No matter how much you like hanging out with your close friends, the truth is, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
Simply put, by spending too much time with your friends, especially the same friends, you run the risk of things becoming overbearing, for all involved.
By allowing space between you, you lower the risk that things may go in this direction.
Mind you, that does not mean that you need to fret about it. Not everyone is going to necessarily need space, but it’s important to be able to read the room.
Sometimes, people may not be able to properly convey that they are in need of space, so if they can’t, it would be a good idea for you to broach the issue. Though be mindful, as you don’t want to convey that there’s something wrong with your friendship.
Introversion and extroversion also factor into the frequency by which you get together with friends, as people who are more introverted need more time in order to recharge their batteries.
So, where one person may love seeing their friends every single day of their life, others could buckle under the pressure of seeing them more than once a week.
This doesn’t mean that they don’t enjoy the company, nor does it mean that they’re shy or quiet, but introverts do tend to need some time to recharge.
Determining how safe it is to hang out with people will ultimately depend on the data, time of year, etc.
For example, if you are visiting someone during the holidays, you are invariably going to be at a greater risk of getting sick than if you visit at other times.
You should also check out data as it relates to certain illnesses.
Even if flu numbers, for instance, were down one year, that does not mean they would be down this year.
Getting together with friends can also be much more complicated to do safely depending on how far away they are.
If you are traveling by bus or plane, for example, these are a perfect way to catch something, as they are relatively tight quarters circulating the same air for hours.
How to hang out safely
If you want to hang out with friends, there are things you are strongly recommended to do before taking that plunge.
First, make sure that you are not sick with anything that could be spread to them.
It is impossible to guarantee that you do not (especially if what you are sick with does not have any visible symptoms), but making sure you’re not contagious and wearing a mask are good ways to stay safe at the best of times.
You should also make sure that no one you’re hanging out with is sick, at least not very.
The common cold, while annoying, is not going to be the end of the world; meanwhile, the stomach flu can be a real nightmare to deal with.
But hey, just because you might not be feeling great, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do things with your friends remotely at least.
While it is a good idea to not let yourself be apart from people for too long, there are still things that could be done to hang out with them without creating risk.
For example, you can watch movies together over Discord screen sharing, or play games online.
You can also just hang out on voice chat and spend hours chatting the night away.
Finding a solid balance of remote and in-person hangouts is good for any friend group.
This way, you can try to find the perfect balance between spending too much time together and too much time apart.
For people who like to play video games online, one great option is to go with a program like Parsec.
What Parsec does is allow people to play video games online that were not designed for online play.
This helps expand the list of possible games you can play, especially if you have a game you normally play in person with your friends.
No matter how much you want to spend time with your friends, sometimes it simply is not possible.
Be it because of work, sickness, or distance, you simply may not have the time or energy to spend that time together.
As mentioned above, you can always try to hang out online or stay in contact via phone. While that is not usually an adequate substitute, it is, at the very least, better than nothing.
You should also be mindful that you do not isolate too much, as in-person hangouts bring to the table what remote hangouts simply cannot.
One option you may want to consider is for the lot of you to get virtual reality devices, like the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift.
The benefit of this is that, while you are not physically with each other, you can still feel like you are doing fun stuff together anyway.
There are a lot of different games and activities that can be simulated through VR devices, such as riding a rollercoaster, solving puzzles, and playing racing games.