Quarantines and lockdowns have become an unforeseen and unfortunate part of everyday life with the arrival of the novel coronavirus, which is responsible for COVID-19. Life as we know it has overnight changed drastically ― professional and collegiate sports played without fans in attendance, middle seats on most airlines suddenly free, and arrows placed on supermarket floors directing you which way to go down the aisles.
Stay-at-home orders are keeping us away from in-person collaboration with work colleagues and children away from their friends and teachers. In a nutshell, life has become anything but fun. However, there are some ways to keep the lockdown blues at bay. You just have to use a little creativity. Here are a few suggestions:
Hold a Drive-Thru Graduation Party in Your neighborhood
Graduation is one of life’s most important milestones for millions of high schoolers headed off to college or those leaving universities to embark on a new career. About 4 million students are expected to graduate from high school this year and an equal number of students are expected to graduate from colleges across the United States.
However, with COVID-19 social-distancing measures in place, many schools have opted to cancel traditional cap-and-gown graduation ceremonies this year, leaving many students and their families devastated that they can’t share these special memories with their loved ones.
In lieu of a full-blown ceremony, how about organizing with other parents and hold a drive-thru graduation party? You can spread the details via social media and organize a route to drive-by parade style with graduates lining the sidewalks. It may fall short of pomp and circumstance, but it’s the next best thing for now. Just be sure to place markers on the sidewalk to make social distancing easier for everyone to stay safe.
Have a Picnic
Remember the tried and true picnic in the park? Now that public parks are starting to open up again, why not pack a lunch ― and a blanket ― and enjoy the sun and fresh air of your favorite local park? If your local park doesn’t cut it or isn’t open, there’s always the option to picnic outside in your own back yard near the comfort of home.
Just remember that picnicking will be a little different even though some lockdown restrictions are easing. You can still bring your favorite sandwiches and pickles to the park, but you’ll have to practice social distancing from others wanting to enjoy the open spaces themselves. Don’t forget to pack hand sanitizers, masks and gloves to keep yourself safe.
Binge Watch Shows
The coronavirus pandemic is doing more than making people ill and causing disruption to our daily routines. It’s feeding the 24/7 news cycle to the extent that most of what you hear about has to do with COVID-19 crisis. As if living through the pandemic were not enough, media exposure and the 24/7 news cycle can activate “fight or flight” responses, which can lead to stress.
Now is a perfect time to limit your exposure to media overkill and binge watch your favorite TV shows and movies. It will take your mind off the pandemic for a while and give you time to enjoy a tasty snack while you watch. Try adding CBD oil to your favorite drinks or have a few gummies with your loved ones, kick your feet up, and relax.
Teach Your Kids About Germs Using Glitter
Kids are notorious spreaders of germs mostly because they don’t know what they are and typically don’t practice good hand hygiene all the time. Need proof? Next time your child comes home from school sick, ask the teacher if other children in the class are sick and you’ll find most of them are.
One way to teach your little ones about good hand hygiene is by using glitter in a handwashing activity. It’s easy and safe. Add some hand sanitizer to a bowl. Next, add glitter and mix thoroughly. Now place your child’s palm into the mixture and have him or her place their palm onto a piece of paper. Let them know that the glitter represents germs.
Let them wash their hands and repeat the step onto a clean sheet of paper so they can see that no glitter transferred onto the paper. It’s an easy way to teach your kids about the importance of handwashing to prevent germs from spreading.
BBQ at Home
Hosting a BBQ with your family in your backyard is one of summer’s greatest pastimes but just because we’re in lockdown doesn’t mean you can’t fire up the charcoal and get corn on the cob boiling. You can choose to become a BBQ master by cooking your own food and bask in the glory of your own amazing culinary skills. But If your skills are not up to Bobby Flay or Emeril standards, or you can’t get out of your home, there are plenty of companies that can deliver a “BBQ In A Box” right to your front doorstep.
Some companies offer a subscription service and deliver spices, rubs and sauces while others will ship you ribs, briskets and other ready-made meats. You just need to pop on some tunes. Beer and Hawaiian shirts are optional.
Start on Those Home Projects You’ve Been Avoiding
No one wants to clean out gutters or organize closets but tackling these typically “spring cleaning” chores not only gets rid of dust, dirt and germs, but it’ll temporarily take your mind off the reason why you’re on lockdown to begin with. Besides, the more people living under one roof, the more routine maintenance is required to keep a home clean and safe.
For some people, decluttering can help put you in a better frame of mind while making your home a safer and healthier place to live. Plus, when you’re done you can reward yourself with a CBD-infused smoothie and relax.
Plant a Garden
Now that you’ve cleaned out the attic and organized the garage, why not start planting a garden? Depending on the time of year, and where you live in the U.S., there may be ample opportunities to plant your favorite fruits and vegetables. Recent studies have shown compelling evidence that gardening and spending time in green spaces is good for our mental health ― an added benefit while in lockdown.
Before shrugging off gardening because you live in an urban environment, you don’t need lots of land to get started. The smallest of balconies or terraces can be used to grow herbs or vegetables in pots. An added benefit is the contribution to your health and well-being by eating the organic veggies that you grew yourself from your own garden.
Break Out the Board Games
Who can forget Monopoly, Life, Scrabble, and Trivial Pursuit? They are all classic games in their own right and still enjoy amazing popularity today because of their strategically challenging qualities and timelessness. If the board games of yesteryear aren’t your cup of tea, new ones like The Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride and Cards Against Humanity all have their loyal followers.
Set a schedule to keep it from getting boring by playing once per week at a given time and play games that are appropriate for the ages of the players. For example, Monopoly is available in various versions for players age eight and above but CAH is definitely not for the kiddies.
Getting through the COVID-19 crisis will take perseverance and due diligence from everyone but we’ll soon get past it. Remember to practice social distancing and stay safe by using sanitizers, gloves and masks whenever you venture out in public. Despite the disruption to our lives, there are still creative ways to have fun with loved ones if you look in the right places.