Summer in Quarantine: A write-off, or an opportunity?
By Emma Shehan
The warmer weather is finally here, and with it comes an urge to hit the beach with friends… right? Maybe not….
As we all know, this summer is a bit different: as large gatherings now pose a potential risk of infection, summer 2020 will look different than any that we’ve experienced before, but there are many ways that you can still make it memorable while practicing social distancing and keeping yourself and loved ones safe.
One thing that we have learned through quarantine is the importance of social ties even while apart. Reaching out and staying connected is so important to combat feelings of isolation. There are many ways that you can get creative with your Zoom/FaceTime/video chat dates with friends, such as by taking activities that you used to do together and doing them virtually. Baking, running, movies, gaming, and so many more can all be done over a video call or through apps (Netflix Party and Jackbox are two personal favourites!). Doing shared activities together can help bring a feeling of normalcy in uncertain times, and help you fight boredom.
As wonderful as social media and technology is for staying connected, everyone needs a break from their screen from time to time, now more than ever. Taking time to disconnect is extremely beneficial for your mental health. And while the pandemic has emphasized long distance connectivity with others, it has also highlighted creative pursuits that you can do from home. Now is a great time to try out something you’ve always wanted to do. Create a summer reading list, learn a new language, try a new recipe, start a journal, try cross-stitch, plant a flower/vegetable garden, tie-dye a shirt, create a painting - there are so many engaging, fun, and hands-on things that you can do and learn this summer. Think about what speaks to you and make a summer bucket list! It’ll keep you focused and give you something tangible to work on, which is super rewarding and fun.
On a final note, remember to above all take care of yourself. Exercise, drink water, and check in with yourself and your thoughts - how are you feeling? What do you need? Every day does not need to be productive, and sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to take a break. It’s okay to feel sad that summer plans may not work out, it’s okay to take a day to yourself. Just do your best and what you can, and if possible, have some fun along the way.