We’re all in the thick of the pandemic still, awash with concerns over homeschooling, unemployment, the economy and not to mention, the increased risk of contracting COVID-19. Typical August travel has been curtailed or for many, canceled. Yet even amidst distancing and mask-wearing, it’s important to break from routine and define the season. Now, more than ever, healthy distraction and lighthearted fun are forms of critical self-care to help nurture our own mental wellness as well as that of our loved ones. So, in the spirit of summer, we’ve rounded up a few home activities to infuse our days with adventure and create some happy memories for 2020 (which clearly, we all need).
Lucky for us here in NorCal, evenings are bug-free and as of late, full of meteor showers. So, why not pull the sleeping bags outside and slumber under the stars in a glamping adventure? Parents may enjoy a quieter night's sleep (or not), and kids will love the excitement of roughing it outdoors with flashlights and telescopes. More buggy climates may require tents, but even still, there’s nothing like falling asleep while scanning the night sky for shooting stars and constellations. Coffee and pancakes always taste better when they follow chilly, dewy mornings too.
Even though we can’t go to an actual spa, we can bring the spa home. DIY hair and face masks are easy to find, as are cute tips for nail art and hairstyling. Consider gathering together a few members of the COVID-19 pod and exchanging manicure/pedicures, haircuts and facials with one another. The results may not be as impressive as the professional versions, but the experience will no doubt facilitate some sweet bonding and likely, lots of laughs. With nail and hair treatments now permitted outdoors, there are also plenty of stylists looking to make home visits.
For those of us hoping to come out of the pandemic in better shape than we went in, here’s a chance to design a custom staycation boot camp. Whether we embark on a sport that’s brand new or enjoy an old one filled with fresh fitness goals, we can devote some time to physical wellness. Even if we don’t have workout equipment at home, modifications are easy to find - running in place, jumping rope, using water bottles for weights and bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, planks and pushups. Combining nutrition is a wonderful add-on, so why not revisit those early Shelter-in-Place recipe threads and get culinary as well? Help offset the COVID 10 while nurturing mental and emotional resilience and investing in strength and flexibility.
We’re all overwhelmed with finding ways to keep our kids active and engaged (read: not bored or depressed), so how about a family art project? Whether it’s a communal drawing, tie-dying session, or clay molding, creativity helps us express pent up feelings in productive and effective ways. None of us are escaping this pandemic unscathed by psychological or emotional suffering, and collective art activities facilitate meaningful collaboration, communication and release. Instead of focusing on the final product, enjoy the imaginative process together and the many ways it can help us heal.
Believe in Bounty
There’s nothing like getting our hands in the dirt – sinking into the richness of soil and seeds and the promise of future blossoms. Even for those of us with a black thumb, there are all sorts of fail-proof plants (hello cactus!) we can grow. From succulents to herbs, vegetables to flowers, consider a project centered around the concept of growth. Not only will the act of envisioning future bounty help offset the stagnant energy we’re feeling internally, but months later, when we witness the fruits of our labor (literally), we’ll also be provided with a new perspective around this time.
Bring the Beach Home
Fishermen are doing everything they can to keep their businesses afloat (pun intended) these days, and they could all use our support. From Maine to Alaska, Cape Cod to Washington State, there are many opportunities to bring lobsters, oysters and fresh fish straight to our homes for some beach-like meals. While we may have to imagine the grit of sand and the rolling rhythm of the sea, we can indulge in lobster rolls or barbequed oysters just the same. And knowing how grateful the fisherman will be will provide a lovely garnish of love alongside or seafood treats.
To say that this time is unprecedented is almost a cliché by now, but most of us will attest to having found silver linings. Learning new ways to take care of ourselves are practices we can take into our post-COVID-19 lives. So, let's make the most of the warm temps and long days of sunshine by designing memories that will endure and ultimately, shed light on this unique moment in time.
“One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.” – Henry David Thoreau