For the past 18 months, many of us have been on survival mode. Lock downs, school-at-home, masking, and social distancing have been keeping us separated from our usual hobbies and loved ones– or sometimes too much in the way of our loved ones! The CDC’s advice is ever evolving as scientists learn more about COVID19 and its variants. COVID-safe does not necessarily translate to mental health. I’ve spent the past several months on too many screens. I’m looking for screen-free ways of spending my time. How about you?
A stickler for safety, my M.O. for connecting with others has consistently been Zoom and Facebook. I don’t know about you, but I’m Zoomed-out, weary of my device and overstimulated by my Facebook feed. How can we re-emerge and re-connect with friends and family — but especially ourselves — safely and screen-free?
Summer is a time to open the windows and go barefoot in the grass. That’s right, let those new ideas in and allow our own light to brighten the world for a bit. Not the blue light of our screens, but actual energy, love, motion and our own creativity.
Here are five fun — screen-free — ways to connect with others during this summer break in the pandemic.
ONE. Explore your town
Invite your best friends to hit some of the hot spots you’ve neglected the past 18 months. Some of us are on permanent stay-cation mode for a while — make the most of it! Cities are opening up, along with cute boutiques, museums, restaurants with outdoor patios, beaches and more. Shop local and support the businesses in your town. Bring your phone…but only for the GPS function.
TWO. Grow a backyard or balcony garden
Share the bounty with your neighbors. Cherry tomatoes are abundant and always welcome. Herbs are easy for the gardening-challenged. No phone required!
THREE. Invite your brother for a backyard BBQ
Good for the little ones. Covid-safe. Masks optional. Hotdogs in your hand, not your phone. Need I say more?
FOUR. Write a letter to your Mom
Include a photo of the kids. Her refrigerator magnate feels empty. Fill it up. Plus, you just may need to splurge on some new stationery, amiright?
FIVE. Take an outdoor class
Park districts and community centers are offering outdoor yoga, neighborhood walking tours, wine tastings, and other programs that take advantage of outdoor settings. Sometimes just stepping out of your comfort zone can spur new energy and ideas. And remember, leave your phone at home!
What are your top five ways of reconnecting with friends and family this summer?