Summertime is usually when we shake off the last of our winter blues, see our friends, take trips, and gather at the beach. With many social distancing measures being implemented through July or later, it can be difficult to find joy—especially when we’re feeling cooped up.
Even if you can’t gather with people or go far, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the summer. If your state or county has lifted stay-at-home mandates, here are some ideas for you—and all of them are right outside your door!
- Grab a blanket and find a patch of grass.
Bring a book or some snacks to make it a picnic or find some time in a moment of stillness to meditate. Bonus! If you’ve been sheltering in place with family, bring out the rest of the Brady Bunch. Or, if your friends have been in quarantine as well, invite them along and make sure to maintain six feet of distance in the grass. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
- Drive or bike to a new place in town and walk around.
Being safe and going outside are not mutually exclusive. However, please keep in mind your state and county regulations. If it’s alright to do so, feel free to drive or bike around. Explore a new area of town to keep things fresh. Or revisit an old favorite. How have the familiar places you know adapted and changed with COVID-19?
- Head to the beach or mountains and stay in motion.
Again, please take note of regulations within your own state or county. If you’re lucky to be near a beach or mountain, check regulations and head outside! In California, for example, beaches are undergoing a “soft opening.” Beachgoers are welcome as long as they’re there for “active recreational use” like walking, running, biking, and surfing.
- Go on a photo trip around your neighborhood.
Can’t make it out too far from the house? Explore your neighborhood through the lens of your camera. Regardless of whether you’ve already done the neighborhood loop a thousand times or not, take your camera with you this time! Challenge yourself to notice the little details that have blurred into the background. When we become familiar with a place, it’s easy to forget to smell the roses. A camera may challenge us to slow down and notice the little changes that come with a new season.
- Nurture your green thumb.
Plant a leafy or flowering plant outdoors or bring one indoors. Greenery brightens up any environment, not to mention it freshens your air. You might already be a pro gardener, or maybe you have never come close to raising a plant, but there’s something green out there calling your name. Leafy plants tend to be a lovely, affordable, and easy-care option for first-timers. If we’re stuck inside, we might as well brighten the place!
With all the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, anyone can feel out of control or stressed out. However, we can control our own actions and how we take care of ourselves during this time. Spring and summer are wonderful seasons with warming weather, and we can absolutely make the most of it while staying safe and complying with government regulations.