While the Covid-19 pandemic has truly turned all of our lives upside-down, the one slight perk has been the fact that the weather has been so nice for the past eight months, allowing us to still see our loved ones and do certain activities in outdoor socially distanced settings. Now that it’s officially fall many of us are remembering that in a month the clocks go back and the cold months of winter will begin.
Instead of sitting around and dreading the inevitable until it gets here, start planning out things that you and your quarantine families can do together when the weather gets colder. Seasonal depression, or seasonal effective disorder, can add a whole other layer of stress to our already busy and frantic lives in the middle of an apocalyptic year, but it doesn’t have to be scary.
Start by asking yourself what you personally need to get through the next few months as happily and healthily as possible. Do you need to make some plans ahead of time? Will you need to gather supplies of some sort for certain snow day activities? Think of some general things that will make the upcoming winter more bearable and work from there.
For example, if I knew that I would need to be able to see my friends every other week or so to still feel like a real social person, I would then begin to think of certain winter group activities that can be done outdoors. Going for winter hikes during the day is a great way to stay connected to your loved ones while remaining distanced. Enjoy the winter scenery during the day while the sun reflects the beautiful landscapes that come with the colder months.
Another way to see your friends without putting your health at risk is committing to weekly Zoom or Google Hangout happy hour type events. Regardless of if you drink or not, having a scheduled day of the week and time to talk to your friends is necessary for all of us. Try scheduling it for the end of the work week so that you all can unwind, and enjoy each other’s virtual company.
Throughout the entire pandemic people have been using their time in lockdown to learn a new skill, practice a new hobby, and work on any other passions they’ve been procrastinating due to the stresses of everyday life. Well, now that winter will really be forcing us all to stay indoors in the coming months, there’s never been a better time to learn something new and keep your mind stimulated.
Learning a new language, or how to to cook, bake, knit, write poetry, etc. are all amazing stimulants for the mind, body, and soul, and will leave you with an overall accomplished feeling. Watching yourself go from beginner to expert at something even as simple as learning to bake a cake, is rewarding, and I think we all could use some of that positivity right now.
While travelling is pretty much the last thing on most of our minds, there are still loopholes in working out how to vacation during a pandemic. For example, AirBnb has implemented a whole slew of new health and safety procedures for all participants involved to ensure that guests can still travel during the pandemic without any major risks. Hotels have also implemented these policies, so if you find yourself needing a break from your home, book something today for a few months into the future when you’ll really need a break.
Finally, it’s important to remember that winter also equates to another holiday season. Regardless of what you celebrate, you can’t deny there’s a positive, cheerful, and giving attitude in the air during the holidays. Don’t let Covid-19 stop you and your loved ones from celebrating at home and getting into the spirit of the season. Decorate, watch cheesy Lifetime movies, bake traditional desserts, make some snowmen, and just take a breath to enjoy the fact that you’re with the people you love.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.