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What It Means to Quarantine
Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Dictionary.com both define quarantine as a period of isolation. You’ll find nothing about staying home or inside. No, I didn’t learn this because I became so bored during quarantine that I decided to study the dictionary. My eureka moment came only after realizing that being locked inside together for 10 days straight would not be healthy for anyone.
If you’re lucky enough to live in an area that isn’t heavily populated, then you may be one of the lucky few for which quarantine activities don’t have to be indoors. If you have a backyard, then it’s likely you’ve already taken your quarantine activities outdoors. But these ideas are mostly about getting away from home. After 10 days, even your own backyard may begin to feel like you’re under house arrest.
The Benefits of Outdoor Quarantine Activities
Outdoor activities are not only good for your physical health but your mental health as well. As a parent, you understand the importance of getting your kids outside for your sanity. Kids’ voices and footsteps sound 10x louder when they’re inside and they tend to get into much more trouble. But even deeper than the obvious, “my kids are driving me crazy” feeling, outdoor activities are very good for your health.
According to the Mayo Clinic, regular exercise can help ease depression and anxiety, which tends to elevate during quarantine. And if you’re thinking that there are plenty of ways to exercise in the comfort of your own home, you’ll still be missing out on the benefits of outdoor physical activities. According to Michelle, a registered nurse and the creator of Healthier Steps, feelings of happiness and better sleep are only two benefits of getting fresh air.
5 Outdoor Quarantine Activities
Have a picnic
There are playgrounds with swings, slides, and jungle gyms, and there are parks like the one below with nothing but open grass areas. These types of parks are the ones best for outdoor quarantine activities. That tiny spec in the center of the field is my 8-year-old son. If you can barely see him from where we stood in the parking lot then it’s safe to assume that anyone walking by would be a safe distance away. So go ahead, leave the house, head to a park like this, and have a picnic.
Play a Sport
Whether you enjoy basketball, baseball, soccer, or tennis, sports where you bring your own equipment and play on an open field or court can be perfect outdoor quarantine activities. You get some fresh air and exercise, and can still remain isolated from others outside of your quarantine bubble. Depending on the day and time of day, these areas have a higher risk of being occupied by others but if you know your local parks, you’ll be familiar with when they’re generally free. Try visiting popular parks on weekdays during school hours.
Go for a walk, run, or hike
Nature trails are awesome outdoor quarantine activities. Choose an isolated park like this and depending on your preference, go for a walk, run, or hike. Being in this park was so peaceful. We enjoyed the sounds of the birds and the running river. When your kids eventually get bored of being in a large empty park, you can make up games as we did about the sounds they hear or have a nature scavenger hunt. If there’s a lake in the park, you can also try skipping rocks.
If you love to fish, there’s no need to stop because you’re in quarantine and if you’ve never tried but always wanted to, then this is the perfect opportunity. There’s no worry about remaining isolated at a lake or a river. There’s plenty of space for everyone. Just remember to check your local laws before fishing.
Pop the Trunk
This is one of my favorites and one of the main reasons I bought an SUV. The fact that the trunk of your car can turn into a hangout for the whole family is just super cool. If you have an SUV or even better, a pickup truck, hop in the car and drive to your favorite isolated location and just hang out in the back of the car. Don’t forget the snacks!
For a bonus, try finding a location you’ve never been to before with scenic views. If you can’t think of any exciting locations, you can always just find an empty parking lot. Trust me, an empty parking lot with scooters for the kids is still a better activity than being stuck in the house.
Yes, the world is reopening; however, the end of the pandemic is nowhere in sight. Even if there is never a need for a mass quarantine again, there will likely be times when you’ll be required to quarantine. Don’t drive yourself crazy by trapping yourself in the house with your kids for an entire quarantine period. So long as you are all feeling well enough to do so, go out and explore. Remember, mental health is just as important as physical and there’s only one rule when it comes to quarantining, remain isolated from others.