Our lives have changed an uncountable number of ways over the past few months. As more data comes out, it unfortunately becomes less and less likely that we will achieve “normalcy” this year, at least when it comes to large gatherings like concerts and conferences.
This begs the question: what does fun look like these days? As “normal” is nowhere in sight, we have to find new ways of enjoying our lives while still keeping the safety of ourselves and others as top priority.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released re-opening guidelines for the US, in an effort to re-start activities in a safe way, taking all precautions necessary to prevent the spread of covid-19. Some of them include working from home whenever possible, wearing a mask when in public and of course, practicing social media. Outdoor activities emerge as a way to have fun this summer, and still observe the above mentioned guidelines.
New hobbies, new things to enjoy
The sad truth is that we probably won’t get to visit our favorite restaurant, the cinema, or bar anytime soon. With summer approaching, many outdoor hangout areas like beer gardens have announced that they won’t be opening at all this season.
Even though it’s being done for the greater health of our communities, it’s still completely valid to be disheartened by this. Particularly if you’re a social person and these are some of your favorite summer activities.
It doesn’t mean fun has been cancelled, though. New ways to enjoy life are everywhere if we put the effort in to look for them.
There’s been plenty of talk around picking up a new hobby while we stay home during the quarantine. Knocking out some books you’ve been meaning to read, breaking out the water colors, or learning a new skill like baking.
We can also get a great amount of enjoyment from tiny things, as well. Maybe you followed our advice on planting your own garden (no matter your space restrictions). Seeing a little green bud poking its head up from the soil always brings a smile to our faces.
Sending and receiving snail mail is also something to enjoy. First is the pleasure of sending something—crafting a letter by hand on stationary (and perhaps having kids join in) and sending it off to someone you love.
Then there’s receiving mail in return. There have been actual studies done that reveal that our brains release the most amount of dopamine (that’s the neurotransmitter in our brain that affects pleasure) in anticipation of receiving a reward (aka a letter or package) compared to actually getting it.
Active outdoors time
Slowly, some aspects of daily life are returning to us. One of these things is active outdoors time.
The UK government has released new guidelines not limiting the amount of time people can go outside and exercise—while maintaining social distancing guidelines to avoid close contact with others, of course.
In addition, they have also begun to allow people to see one person outside of their household at a time. Again, with face covering and social distancing. But for many, especially those who have spent quarantine with one or two other people, a different, friendly face is a small beacon of hope.
Beaches in California have also begun to open as well. Just… not for sunbathing like you may think. These places are only open for outdoor recreation, like walking and surfing.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of them, though! Studies show that going outside can literally improve your health and happiness, and that the sound of the ocean decreases anxiety.
Aside from beaches and exercising around your neighborhood, activities like horseback riding and rock climbing are perfect to have fun while still practicing social distancing.
If you are more attracted to the great outdoors, you can check on what attractions or activities the State Parks near you are offering. National Parks have begun reopening in a phased approach, you can find out which ones here.
Small groups in the near future
Public health experts suggest that some of the first big restrictions to be lifted will be those involving small gatherings. By the end of June, we may be granted the ‘ok’ to be social in group settings. That comes with a lot of ifs—people wash their hands a lot, don’t crowd, and don’t share utensils. But it’s a much-needed light and the end of the tunnel.
It’s also good news for the incoming warm weather. Because pool chlorine kills the COVID-19 virus, seeing your friends around a swim session may be one of the best options.
Chlorine does dry out our skin, so make sure after every dip in the pool to hydrate and repair. Serums like our Facial Recovery Elixir are a great fit for this purpose. And as always, put on some chemical-free SPF before swimming.
However, don’t expect to leave your mask at home anytime soon. Facial coverings, especially cloth ones, are most effective when everyone is wearing one—not just people who might be sick. Like your hands, be sure to wash your cloth face mask when you get home with soap.