We all need downtime. We all need a break from our routines and a reminder of life outside of our homes. As the school year starts and workloads increase, it is important to not only encourage breaks, but to intentionally schedule fun outings together as a family.
Schools are working to figure out ways to bring your child back on campus safely. Even if they are unable to bring students into the classroom, many schools are introducing creative ways to allow your child to interact in-person with his or her peers. Whether that is through socially distant PE classes or meet-and-greets for small groups on the school playground, school administrators recognize that we need social interaction outside of the four walls of our homes.
Break up the doldrums of COVID
During COVID, it has been really easy to shut in and avoid the outside world. We are told to social distance ourselves from one another, to wear masks, and to be hyper vigilant about exposure when we are around others. For me, this has translated into extreme isolation except when absolutely necessary to venture out of the house: necessary doctor’s appointments and grocery shopping.
Being in public places hasn’t felt safe for me, and while I understand the importance of my mask, my ears are in staunch opposition to the dang thing. It’s been easier to stay home.
But lately, I’ve noticed that I don’t have the energy to be around other people, that I am not interested in things I used to find fun anymore. When I brought this up with my therapist she said, “I think that you may be underestimating the monotony of quarantine.”
And she’s right. I’ve been seeing this time as a gift to focus on building new things and writing a book, but I haven’t been giving myself any downtime or time to make fun memories outside of my home.
Schedule Fun … Often
Leaving the house when you’ve been isolated for so long can cause anxiety, but the benefits of venturing out are important. To keep yourself safe, wear a mask when around others, wash your hands after any time you touch something, and keep your distance from crowded places.
Together with your kids, make a list of things that you would like to do outside of the home. These things can include:
- Spending the afternoon at the beach
- Going kayaking/stand-up-paddleboarding
- Having a picnic in the park
- Hiking a nearby trail
- Visiting Sunflower fields or an arboretum
- Going fishing
- Visiting monuments in the city
- Getting ice cream at your favorite ice scream shop
- Rafting down the nearby river
Decide on one day each week when you will do something off of the list. And then get out and do it! We like Field Trip Fridays – more because of the ring it has to it than anything else. And we avoid going out on weekends. With the new school year starting up, we will have to be creative and flexible with our time outside of the house. But fun outings away from the home have become a staple in our house.
Fall and winter are upon us – the warmer days won’t last forever, and with the summer go many outdoor activities. Now is the time to soak it all in while you still can. Winter outdoor activities are possible, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll be hibernating from December through March!
What suggestions do you have for other families looking to schedule fun? What family outings have you done this year to help you get out of the house?
Read more in the Summer Series: Surviving COVID Homeschooling: