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Being inside during COVID-19 can feel claustrophobic, stressful, and at times, miserable. Mental health disorders are on the rise and children are missing out on interactions with their friends. Birthday parties are cancelled, and family get-togethers are small or non-existent. Normal activities such as going to Disneyland and taking a family vacation now induce feelings of nostalgia. Though there is much to be stressed about, continuing to feel cooped up and unhappy is unnecessary during the pandemic. There are several other fun and safe summer activities that families can partake in. Here are the top fun and safe things to do this summer.
1. Have a Picnic in Your Yard
Taking the children out to the front yard and making a picnic can be a great way to get some fresh air while still maintaining their safety. Younger children will especially like this, but it can also be a great date idea for adults. Find a nice spot to sit with a blanket and picnic basket. You can even bring out some music to add to the ambiance.
2. Ride Bikes
Bike riding is a safe way to get exercise and fresh air. Because it’s a solitary activity, there’s less fear of touching or interacting with someone. Families can bike together in their neighborhood or around a park. Smaller children can sometimes be attached in wagons or enclosures on the back of bikes. They also have storage areas for food and drinks if you want to make a snack stop along the way. Ask your doctor before wearing a mask on a bike ride, as mask-wearing during bike rides is not always recommended.
3. Plant a Garden
Planting can be a very therapeutic solitary or family activity. The end result is always wonderful too-watching your seeds grow into beautiful flowers, fruits, and plants. Have your children pick out some seeds they want to plant and show them how to maintain their own garden. If alone, listen to music on your iPhone while getting into the groove of planting and watering.
4. Start Cooking
Many of us don’t have time to cook under normal circumstances. We are too busy working, taking care of our children, and running around to various activities. Since time and many activities have come to a halt during COVID, this can be a great time to learn how to cook. Check out the many different recipes online or pull out your old grandmother’s cookbook to get started. Kids also enjoy helping their parents make new foods and trying them out.
5. Plan a Road Trip
Many don’t feel safe flying, and for good reason. Planes require us to sit in close approximation, and germs are all around us. An alternative is taking a road trip, though families should take safety precautions and plan ahead well before doing so. Some aspects to consider include
Call ahead to any place before you go and see what they are doing to ensure other’s safety. Ask about their refund policies and what they are doing if someone contracts the virus while staying there. Find out whether or not there’s a quarantine requirement in the state the hotel is in.
Read reviews about how the destination handles safety precautions and see whether or not it’s a place you feel comfortable bringing your family to.
Pack Plenty of Masks & Sanitizer
Make sure your family has all of the proper safety measures to ensure a safe trip.
Communicate with Family Members
Make sure your family knows that this trip won’t be like prior trips. Though it can still be a great trip, children need to know that they have to stay away from other families and be respectful of people’s personal space.
Summer Fun is Still an Option
Though some places are no longer open and certain summer activities are off the table, there’s still plenty of opportunities to relax, have fun, and enjoy time with your family. Just make sure to take the proper precautions before any activity where there’s a risk of interacting with other people. Staying busy and making the most out of the situation will help ease your stress levels and improve your mental well-being.
Are you struggling with anxiety and depression during COVID-19? If so, please contact Straight Talk Clinic at 714-828-2000 or visit our website at straighttalkcounseling.org. One of our professional counselors would be happy to speak with you.