The coronavirus quarantine is upending our lives in so many ways, including the way we spend time outdoors. Kids aren’t in school so they don’t have recess. The closing of gyms nationwide has encouraged a new wave of outdoor enthusiasts, dusting off their old bicycles or digging out their old jogging shoes. Once-empty jogging paths in more densely populated areas are now bustling with activity as people seek ways to get out of the house during quarantine. But to prevent the spread of the virus, public health officials are unanimous: social distancing is essential.
Social Distancing is Hard on a Crowded Bike Path
Now that avoiding groups and limiting our contact with people is the rule of thumb, it’s more important than ever to focus on your back yard as a safe place to spend time with your family during quarantine. It’s the one place outdoors where you can still feel safe.
People are Loving Their Back Yards More Than Ever
Physical exercise is essential to your mental health- so why not focus on ways to turn your backyard into a multipurpose family spot for everyone in the house? If you have kids, they might not be getting as much exercise as they’re used to from gym class, dance classes, or sports activities at school. If you are working from home for the first time, you might not realize how sedentary you’ve become over the past few weeks. Plus, the built-up stress that comes from sudden lifestyle changes and from worrying about the novel coronavirus needs an outlet. If you are lucky enough to have a back yard, this is the time to get out there and enjoy it.
You might be used to spending weekend family time in your yard, perhaps preparing meals together in your outdoor kitchen or gathering around the firepit once the sun has gone down. Those are still great ways to spend quarantine time together. But if you want to work in some new ways to enjoy your outdoor space and get some much-needed exercise and Vitamin D at the same time, your back yard is the place to be, now more than ever. Spending time outdoors with loved ones tossing a Frisbee or playing ball is a good way to start but you can get creative, too.
Quarantine Time Doesn’t Have to be Boring
There are some who have taken this approach, inspiring us with their backyard quarantine family time activities. One is Jennifer Lopez and her ex-Yankee fiance Alex Rodriquez, who went outside with daughter Emme to catch ground balls and swing the bat for some pop flies. Another family recreated Disney World in their yard after their trip was cancelled.
Don’t have kids? How about a back yard beer fest, quarantine style? If you miss socializing in big groups, you have the option of joining beer lovers from around the globe in a virtual beerfest from your own back yard. Participants join via social media using the hashtag #backyardbeerfest and join in the general chatter. Just like an in-person festival, people wear fancy headgear, festival outfits, and play fun music. You get to show off your beautiful outdoor living space, too.
We all need to be smart during this stressful time, take care of ourselves and our families, both mentally and physically. That includes being respectful of the health of others by practicing social distancing. We can still feel togetherness during this time of social distancing by thinking of new ways to spend time outdoors in our back yard together.These have been just a few ideas- got more? Let us know, we’d love to hear them!