FAMILY & PARENTING

How To Enjoy Summer During Quarantine When So Many Things Are Still Off-Limits

by Karen Belz
Karen Belz has written for sites such as Bustle, HelloGiggles, Romper, and So Yummy. She's the mom of a sassy toddler and drinks an alarming amount of Sugar-Free Red Bull in order to keep up with her.

Many states are starting to open back up, but that doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily safe to resume activities the way you previously would have.

So it’s possible that your beach trip got canceled. However, it doesn’t mean that you still can’t have an enjoyable summer, or plan for outdoor fun.

The tough part about enjoying summer during quarantine is that the rules have changed. Chances are, you’ll be distant from your neighbors while grilling outside. You’ll also still likely be wearing a mask, meaning that certain outdoor activities may be slightly less comfortable. But honestly, it’s still for the best.

By following all the rules, all of us are more capable of enjoying summer during the quarantine. We just need to look out for each other and our neighborhoods. The tough part about viruses is that we can’t see them approaching. That makes the situation pretty scary, especially if we happen to be living with older people who are more susceptible to sickness.

That said, we can’t ignore our mental health. And during this time, summer during quarantine might make us feel somewhat unstable or not very happy. So while it’s important to follow the rules set out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s also important to set up family ground rules that’ll let you have more control of the season. One hint? Masks are a good idea.

Here are healthy and innovative ways you can enjoy summer while staying safe.

Buy an inflatable pool.

Buy an inflatable pool.

Inflatable pools aren’t just for kids — even though it’ll likely help your summer situation if you happen to have them. These days, there are so many options to turn your backyard into a swim club. Sure, you probably won’t be able to swim laps. But at least you can wear a bathing suit, beat the heat of the sun, and stay safe from communal germs.

Start writing.

summer during quarantine

Know that novel you’ve always been meaning to start? Well, now’s the perfect time to put pen to paper. If you can’t go outside and see the world, at least let your imagination and fantasy craft an entirely new one for you to visit. You can write a set of essays, or just create the next best young adult series. But no pressure. The most important step to take is to start.

Create a mixed drink and name it after yourself.

Create a mixed drink and name it after yourself.

If you’ve got a bar set up in your house but don’t feel great inviting people over just yet, why not work on your bartending skills? Mix the perfect drink and learn a new skill. You can even concoct your own beverages and name one after yourself. It’ll take you back to your 20s when you were new to the bar scene. Your drinks don’t even have to be alcoholic — just make them fun and creative.

Learn how to knit or crochet.

summer during quarantine

If you learn a handy new skill like this, you won’t think of this period as being the “summer during quarantine.” Instead, it can be the “summer you learned to crochet.” As a bonus, you can start working on a bunch of great crafts that can turn into gifts for the winter holiday season, which will end up saving you some money down the line.

Rent a bounce house.

summer during quarantine

It doesn’t even have to be anyone’s birthday. By renting one, you’re not only helping the party supply company, but you’re turning a humdrum summer into something your kids and family will never forget. If you’re feeling brave and have a big backyard, you also might want to invest in a trampoline. They’re a lot of fun for kids and a great way to work out.

Watch a classic movie you've never seen once a week.

Watch a classic movie you've never seen once a week.

Everyone knows of at least one — a movie that gets referenced a bunch but you’ve never actually sat down and watched it. With so many streaming services, you may be able to complete this summer goal without paying an additional penny. Consider it to be educational. If a movie is inappropriate for the kids, wait for them to go to bed for the night. If it’s a classic Disney movie that you’ve never seen, then make it a family event. Every week, you can choose something new.

Take the week off work.

Take the week off work.

You would have taken the week off had things not been closed, so why are you giving that up to work? You can have a true vacation even when working remotely. Just don’t check your work email (at least, not too much), and stay away from your laptop — unless it’s to game, shop, or chat with friends. The mental break will be very helpful.

Take a bath every night.

Take a bath every night.

You probably don’t do this too much. But why not? If you have a tub, you have pretty much all you need. Bath bombs are a great add-on and will make the experience even more relaxing. Feel free to also break out the candles and the wine glasses. You can even safely use your phone to scroll around while in the tub, with the help of all the accessories that are available right now.

Take a long car ride with no destination.

Take a long car ride with no destination.

Remember when you first got your license? Driving around in the summer was a lot more fun. You usually had the windows down, and you had a great mix CD playing that you made earlier that morning. Why did that have to stop? Sometimes, you don’t need a destination. Just getting out of the house and taking a drive is freeing enough.

Always check with your health care provider concerning any symptoms you may be experiencing, and seek the most accurate information from the CDC and your state’s health department.