Living Out Loud,  Living Your Life

Upping Your Social Distancing, Safely

I am loving stories of how communities are coming together in a time of social distancing. Meals are getting delivered. People sharing their toilet paper. It is important that we stay connected to our communities, even more so now that we are physically isolating ourselves. Every chance I get I try to share the good news of humans coming together to make a bad situation better. To help inspire you I am sharing a few of my favorite safe social distancing activities to help you survive and just maybe help you make the most of your quarantine life.

Let’s Go on a Hunt!

Several members in my community have put together different themed community hunts for the kids. The first one I saw was a Shamrock hunt (link takes you to shamrock printables). Saint Patrick’s day has passed but the annual Easter Egg hunt is high on everyone’s radar. Think about placing pictures of decorated eggs in windows…or yards to keep the festivities going. Walk and get fresh air or ride around and find the bears with the extra protection your vehicle provides. Either way a great activity for younger kids. For inspiration take a look at this sweet bear hunt inspired by Melissa D.

Going on abear hunt

Make an Art Walk!

Right now is the perfect time to make a little art to share with your neighborhood. Get creative about how to display it. Your front door, your windows, your garage, even your driveway is a blank canvas. What will you do with yours? Thank you J.T. for sharing your Chalk walk with us!

Chalk art

Start a Neighborhood band!

It is no secret why various community events and concerts are cancelling their venues. The fun doesn’t have to stop. While some are taking to broadcasting their talents online from home using #togetherathome, others are taking to their lawns. Break out your microphones budding musicians-it is time for you to shine. Everyone sits in their yard for the community performance while keeping 6 feet apart for safety reasons and your neighbors get free entertainment. It’s a win for everyone.

For inspiration checkout @eaglerockisolationband on Instagram for scheduled performances. Play that funky music right.

Look Up!

Turns out on Day 1 of social distancing a hundred other folks thought it was a good day to get out for some fresh air and a bit of nature. We had planned this a week in advance because we were meeting up with friends. I was glad to see so many people taking the idea of walking in nature to heart. When we were ready to leave we noticed the park rangers turning people away. With more people at home, the walking trails are seeing more frequent use. Luckily there is no trouble keeping our distance. If you find yourself worrying about contact too close for comfort, here is another solution-perfect for the night owls among us. Stay up a little later to appreciate the stars!  Discover the Universe is offering free astronomy 30 minute mini lessons for ages 8-12 to help you appreciate the world above us. If you need lesson plans for your homeschool don’t forget to check out their website for free downloads and my homeschooling blog for more ideas. Thank you Patricia M for this find!

Getting your nature fix doesn’t require driving long distances. It can be as simple as spending a hour under the night sky and watching the phases of the moon. If your neighborhood permits it, gather your family around a patio fire pit. Tell stories. Drink your hot cocoa and tea. 

moon watching
Thank you Eden. K. for capturing the moon this month!

Get Your Tee Time

Apparently the community I live in is known for its golf courses. Something I know very little about. However with people canceling their travel plans, now might be a good time to venture out for those of you wanted to play more but never found the time. While major cities and metropolitan areas have closed state parks and recreation sites, smaller areas of foot traffic may still be open. If such a place exist in your backyard, its a great way to support a local business. Check with your local golf course. Chances are carts are sanitized and ready for you.

If golf is not your thing, look into reviving a neglected hobby or sport. Grab that tennis racket or basketball. Your garage or driveway makes a good practice court.

Play Together

Life with gamer teens makes social distancing a tad easier. They can visit their friends online and play games. This is the life they have been training for. To keep things in balance and keep us connected I always look for more ways for us to hangout together. Recently we downloaded PokemonGo for the whole family. About a year ago I downloaded the game to…research it for the kids… Yeah. For the kids.  It was a perfect mental health break tool then so why not now? So let’s use this time to play our favorite games together. If our quarantine life get more restrictive we will have to resort to using lures and walking laps around the house to hatch eggs. In the meantime we have a couple of PokeStops near our home making it the perfect excuse to get out of the house. if PokemonGo isn’t your favorite app, no sweat. Pick a video game you can play together. It’s doesn’t matter which game it is, so much as we are playing it together.

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Speaking of which. Playing together is one of the most important things we can do.

Since we are spending a lot more time together, why not? Scientist say one of the key indicators of a happy and mentally strong family is they play together-often. It does more than naturally reduce stress. Bottom line; play is key to our social, emotional, and cognitive development. Aside from academic benefits, when we play we communicate that we belong. While playing we create memories and shared experiences, which contribute to our well-being. These moments become a part of our identity and help us to adapt in the face of new challenges. So grab a Frisbee and throw it. Find a Disc Golf course. Pull out your Cornhole boards and start tossing. Have a ping pong table or basketball hoop collecting dust in your garage? Not anymore.

It is okay if you don’t like being outside. Pull out a board game. Watch a movie together. Have a dance-off and dance like no one is watching. Summon your inner James Corden and sing karaoke-The Carpool at Home edition.

The choice is yours.

There is nothing wrong with being bored or being social, from a distance. Lead by example my friends. Make healthier and wiser choices. And don’t hesitate to make them fun.  If we all practice safe social distancing we can get through this.

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