In need of some fun and social distancing actives? Honestly, I totally get it. I was really upset when back in early April the government here was going to ease restrictions and beginning opening things, and in fact, had already done so to a degree in March, and then instead slammed us all back into lockdown and a stay at home order due to rising numbers in the ICU and the crazy variants being spread around. I thought to myself, my God, when is this all going to be over? Where I live, lockdown has the order of business since November. But, finally, in mid June, things are being to open again. More people are vaccinated (still not sure how I feel about the way vaccines were rolled out, how pushy the government and media has been about everyone getting vaccinated etc but…) numbers have decreased and so we are trying to get back to normal.
Related Article: How I’ve Survived Virtual Isolation in a Six Month Long Lockdown
So how can we enjoy the summer when there are still a lot of restrictions? Here are some ideas to get you out of the house and social again. Safely. Or, you can do any of these on your own! We can have fun and social distancing while being social!
Ice Cream in the Park
This is an easy one. Get together with a friend or two–or however many your region is allowing, and you’re comfortable with–and grab some ice cream. It’s easy to find a park to sit in and you can distance a bit and still enjoy socializing and a tasty treat. I will likely do this with my hubby, but there is no reason you can’t do this with a friend too. It’ll be a great way to catch up. Try and find a spot with some shade to stay cool.
My friend has continued to run with her running group throughout the pandemic. I think they stagger a bit and just run. What a great fun and social distancing activity–if you are into running! This is a great idea because at the end of the run you can put your masks back on, stand a bit apart and catch up. If you don’t run (and I don’t blame you if you don’t) you can always play a game of tennis or toss around a frisbee. Bike rides with a friend seem like a good way to get out and socialize while getting in some physical activity as well.
Hear me out. I know this sounds like a larger gathering, but you could do this with only a handful or less of friends, everyone bring something either individual serving sized or bring their own food, and just gather and eat and chat. You can do this while distancing while respecting guidelines about the number allowed in groupings in your home. Of course, it’s easier and more reassuring to be outdoors, so this is perfect for summer. A potluck gathering would not have worked in winter after all.
I love shopping in small shops you find in downtown locations. You always find cute shops with lots of gifts or really specialized stores for things like skincare or spirituality. Or just a cute shop with amazing fashion pieces you won’t find in a mall. I can’t wait to be able to stroll along (or, in my case waddle) and get into some local shops to not only support them, but also be able to be around people again. You can do this with a friend, a cousin, whoever and it’s a return to normalcy without plunging yourself into a large crowd. Which I don’t encourage for a variety of reasons I don’t need to list. You know them 🙂
So in my neck of the woods, restaurants are opened again for patio dining only. I know many people have missed gathering with friends and family for a dinner out, whether for a special event or just to enjoy each other’s company and some foods you wouldn’t normally prepare yourself at home. So this is great. My husband and I really enjoyed all of our patio meals last year in Montreal when we were honeymooning. So get out with a friend or two, or maybe your SO or mother, and enjoy something tasty.
You can totally take to the trails! You can do this on your own, or with a friend and it’s a great way to enjoy nature, be together and get your butt out of the house. After the hike, maybe swing by a patio and grab a beer or other cool beverage. This makes for a fun day that is free from social media, city noise, and full of sunshine and nature and human interaction.
Painting by the Lake
Or pond, or river or tree. I think painting outside could be a fun way to get together, do something creative and yet spend time with a friend. It’s fun and social distancing can be respected as well if you are still worried about being too near others. People do paint nights indoors, especially in winter I find, so why not do a paint afternoon outdoors? Who cares if you don’t have a teacher or guide? Just do your thing. Or watch a Youtube video to guide you. Alternatively, you could do other crafts by the lake such as knit, embroider, sketch or whatever you fancy.
I realize that this might sound a little geeky, but birds are really fascinating and beautiful creatures. I keep meaning to do this myself, as I love birds. It’s a great way to get outdoors and just be with nature–you’ll have fun and social distancing will be easy to maintain. Walk in a wooded area, a park or a hiking trail. You might even have ravines near your home. Take along a pair of binoculars and see what you can find. I’ve seen blue herons near my home, as well as cardinals and blue jays and while these are birds that are often seen in cities, you might be surprised at some of the other birds you may encounter as well. You’ll find some tips on how to get started in birdwatching here.
I don’t know about you but I’m dying for a beach day. I don’t know how practical it might be for me to sit on the sand with my big pregnant belly, but I think that the beach is a great place to head with a friend or family member and just relax. The sound of the waves always soothes me and I love the feel of the sun too. Plus, you can always head into the water for a refreshing dip and it’s a great place to read. Perfect for self care! Of course, follow guidelines for public beaches and be safe.
Outdoor Movie Night
So we can’t go to the theatre. And I guess our own home theatres are getting dull. Let’s change it up and do a movie night out of doors! You can have a couple of friends over, bring the TV or movie projector outside and enjoy some classic oldie or maybe a new blockbuster. Plus, you can have popcorn, chips and dip, drinks…I mean, we should do this all the time really.
There are a lot of ways we can still enjoy the summer, even if there are some pretty restrictions still in place. I think all of the above are safe and just require a bit of planning and creativity. I know we are all tired of this kind of thing and just want to be able to carry on with life as we used to, and maybe where you are that is more possible than where others are. But I also think we have been cooped up a lot this past year and that we need to get outdoors and start really getting together with friends as I know friendships have broken down over Covid over time. It’s time to re-establish friendships and make new ones. Socialization is a big part of how human beings function and we cannot continue to delay that forever, and if now is not the time to start re-connecting and getting out a little, then it’ll be harder to later when cough and flu season begin again. So don’t be afraid, be smart and get have fun this summer!
What are restrictions like where you? How will you be enjoying the summer? Share your thoughts in the comments below.