Summer is usually met with the excitement of taking some time off, getting out to see the world, exploring and discovering as well as relaxing and socializing.
But amid a pandemic…it can look much different.
If your summer travel plans have been canceled, your typical BBQs aren’t on the calendar, or your annual traditions are now put on hold, you may be wondering what you CAN do to enjoy the summer in a meaningful and safe way.
Summer is an important time of year for both our physical and mental health. It encourages us to move our bodies, nourish ourselves with fresh foods, and to give ourselves a break from much of the hustle and bustle.
This is why we shouldn’t stop our summer fun, but rather adapt it.
Following are 10 ideas to take advantage of summer
while still practicing social distancing and safety amid the pandemic:
1. Start a garden or join a community garden/farm.
Whether you only have a small patio or a large piece of land, get your hands dirty, ask the kids to help, and start planting. Herbs and vegetables are fun to watch grow and can be a great addition to your meals. We’ve noticed how kids like to try what they grow!
If planting isn’t your thing, try joining a community garden or farm so you can pick up fresh vegetables, eggs, herbs, etc. throughout the summer.
2. Go to a drive-in movie.
Get out of the house, pack some blankets and popcorn and head to one of Denver’s drive-in movie theaters.
3. Take an at home art class with the kids.
The Guggenheim is offering select days of art classes for families. Keep learning going this summer with teaching from the experts!
4. Try something new.
Ever wanted to kayak? Interested in fly fishing? How about paddle boarding? Hiking a fourteener or learning to play pickleball?
Now is a good opportunity to try individual or easy-to-social-distance sports. Embrace the opportunity to try something new and get your body moving in new ways!
Tents may just be the new hotel room this summer for many.
If you can’t find a campground, try out BLM land. Or, just pop a tent on your deck or in your backyard. Getting out of the house and enjoying a new environment can be refreshing for the body and mind.
Pack a good book and just relax!
6. Go see outdoor art.
Take an afternoon drive to see art around town.
We’ve taken our kids to see the coronavirus nurse and doctor murals by Austin Zucchini-Fowler in Denver (a trip to Voo Doo donuts is fun as a surprise snack). Other outdoor art along Broadway on the sides of buildings has provided plenty of fun and conversation with even our younger kids.
7. Learn to throw adapted summer parties.
Do your kids have a summer birthday? Do you love to celebrate the Fourth of July? How about friends and family barbecues?
It may be time to learn how to celebrate a bit differently this year. Keep in mind that celebrations don’t have to be extravagant to be special. Smaller activities can be just as fun – especially for kids – as long as you are present.
Consider options such as:
– a family grill out night: make it unique with vegetables, pizzas, fruits, etc.
– a super soaker day: get everyone a water soaker and go at it (talk about exercise!)
– driveway tailgates: everyone brings their own chairs and dishes to social distance while hanging out
– kayak or paddle board excursions: keep a safe distance for an early morning or sunset paddle
– lawn game family nights: lawn darts, corn hole, ladder ball, or croquet – pick up your favorite to go dinner and have some fun
– yoga mornings: take your mat outside to your yard, local park, or open space to get in touch with yourself and with nature
– sleep under the stars nights: grab blankets, an air mattress, sleeping bags, etc. and set them out on the deck or yard to find constellations and watch for shooting stars
– breakfast in bed weekends: pancakes while having a stuffed animal party in bed? omelets while reading a new book? homemade latte as you all talk about your dreams the next morning? Yes, please!
8. Attend a concert…online.
Hook your phone or computer up to the tv or a sound system, pour yourself a refreshing beverage, and enjoy the sounds of summer concerts. Click for a list of many.
9. Explore the small stuff.
We love a trip to a national park as much as anyone, but it can also be just as meaningful to take time to notice the small things that make up the big things. Having kids put up bird houses and baths can be exciting and checking out geology on hikes can provide beneficial learning.
Be creative and explore the microcosms!
Summer is a time to slow down – remember to take time to enjoy it, even if it’s not what you expected. Lay in a hammock, start that book you’ve wanted to read, finally grow tomatoes.
Use this time to come down from the stress of the last few months and bask in the art of doing nothing when possible.
What will you do this summer?
Will it be filled with disappointment or will you turn it into opportunity?
If you are finding that anxiety, depression, hormones, digestion, pain, or any other condition is stopping you from experiencing the joys of summer and you live in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Centennial, Parker, Larkspur, Monument, Colorado Springs, or the Greater Denver Metro area, please call us at (303) 688-6698 or click here to schedule a complimentary 15 minute phone consultation with Dr. Graves to talk about it.
We are open and taking safe precautions to help. Together, we can work to get you feeling better and enjoying those warm, sunny days.