This time last year it would have been hard to believe we are heading into 2022 with the Coronavirus still as prevalent in our lives as it is as we were about to have access to multiple vaccines to help protect us against it. We all had hoped this would be a distant memory by now and we would be back to life as we know it. No masks, no testing to gather indoors, traveling, and seeing those we love safely and more frequently. While things have not turned out the way we necessarily hoped they would to begin this New Year, it does not mean we have to stay stuck on Covid-19 and keep living our lives as if it is the only thing that matters. Here are some tips to try and regain some normalcy, while still staying safe.
Take a staycation!
Before the pandemic it seemed as if everyone was constantly on the go with not much time to appreciate the little things around them. While things have started to pick back up again there is still more free time than there ever has been before with so much being closed and work being remote. Take this time to explore a part of your hometown you haven’t before. Even rent a hotel and make it a mini vacation, a staycation! I took a trip to Middleburg, VA over the summer, about thirty minutes from where I grew up and had never been before. I spent the day hiking, hanging out with my mom, exploring the town, and then we ordered room service and had a movie night. Since we had never been it was like a vacation for the night and something to switch things up during the pandemic.
When my brother and I were younger we used to make our own movie theaters all of the time. In the winter, sometimes the most fun thing to do is head to the movie theaters and watch a good film. However, with Covid this may not be possible so we reverted back to our own ways and made our own movie theater. We put black out shades on the windows, made homemade movie theater popcorn, bought candy for a concession stand, and even made tickets and a box to put them in. Then, my family and I came up with a long list of movies we all wanted to watch so we took turns to pick one each time we gathered together for movie night.
During the summer we bought a cheap blow up pool from Walmart and filled it up so we could hang around it and cool off. Each family member got a chair and a towel and we kept a cooler stocked with drinks and the ice cream our neighborhood pool snack stand always had. These activities were nostalgic, expressed our creativity, kept us busy, and kept us distanced outdoors.
Create Your Own Sports Bar!
With the Super Bowl coming up it is hard to think about another year passing without being able to have a huge watch party or go to a bar or restaurant to watch the game. However, in the years past we have created our own sports bar to keep us busy and give us a sense of normalcy. Again, my brothers and I decorate the living room with lights and different sports decorations and bring around TV trays and barstools. Then we each pick one bar food or appetizer we love. Mine is always chicken tenders. We make all of the different appetizers and lay them out on platters behind the bar and all watch the game together. Some years we even put $5.00 each in to bet on the outcome. It may not be a real watch party, but at least we all stay engaged and the game brings everyone together and helps us all forget about Covid for a little.
While the fact that Covid is still around may be making everyday feel like Groundhog Day, try and break out of that rut and do some things that give you a sense of some normalcy. It can help you forget about everything for a while and you may find a new favorite spot, activity, or tradition. Let’s focus on the positive, celebrate how far we’ve come and make this year the best one yet!