Summer has arrived, and it's not the summer we expected.
Summer enjoys the reputation of being the season affiliated with freedom; schools are closed, outdoor activities from boating to baseball get encouraged, and Fourth of July celebrations light up the skies. But with safety measures being employed to combat COVID-19, many of those traditional summer activities have either been altered or eliminated.
Depending on where you live, this reality may mean facing a summer without vacations, summer camps, or even a trip to the community swimming pool. We’re all dressed up for summer, and we’ve got nowhere to go. Even worse, because the quarantine has been in place since March, there’s a good chance all of the go-to activities have been used up, and the idea of trying to find more just seems depressing and unworthy of the effort.
Well, not to worry, we did the work for you:
- Check Activities Frequently
Not sure what to do? Make a list of things you actually want to do, and then see if they can be done. And if it’s not an option today, check to see if it’s an option for tomorrow.
It’s important to remember that, while many of the usual summer activities may seem out of the question due to safety restrictions, the shutdowns will not be permanent. In fact, depending on where you live, the places allowed to operate might be open right now.
For example, that lake a few miles from you home not open for swimming on Monday morning? Check the state and local county websites Monday evening, and keep checking to find out when something changes and you can go swimming. The restaurant you like to visit not allowing dine-in services in early June? There’s always a possibility they’ll allow you to eat inside in mid-June.
- Maintain Contacts
This suggestion includes virtual and physical contacts. Being in lockdown limits many of the usual community and social venues we engage in every day, which can lead to feelings of isolation and depression. We need contact with other people, even if that contact has to be virtual. If you’ve got friends you haven’t spoken to since the quarantines started, give them or call or set up a video chat.
But don’t be afraid to engage in actual physical contact with your family or the people you live with. Hug your spouse and kids if you have them, or maybe give your roommate a fist bump. Practicing social distancing does not have to mean complete physical isolation.
And if you’re still unsure about getting close to anyone, maybe just sit at the same table with them for starters.
- Adapt Your Activities
This one can apply to life after the quarantines and shutdowns: Don’t get stuck doing the same things every day. If summer really is about freedom, exercise your freedom to choose.
Spend your Monday binge-watching the streaming services? Do something outside on Tuesday. Spent Wednesday doing face painting and craft projects with the kids? Break out the water balloons on Thursday.