The COVID-19 Pandemic
While the nation is making efforts to return to “normal,” this summer will be very different from past summers. Travel plans have most likely been canceled, long road trips are not recommended, concerts and festivals have been postponed, and visiting friends and family will be challenging. If you have children, their summer activities and camps have most likely been canceled and playing with their friends comes with many restrictions.
After months of shelter in place and stay at home orders, Americans were hopeful things would be improving by summer. However, phased reopening has led to an increase in COVID-19 cases. According to the Washington Post, as of June 24, 7 states are reporting their highest coronavirus hospitalizations since the pandemic began. This makes it clear that precautions need to be taken to protect the health and wellbeing of your family this summer.
Mental Health Concerns
“The stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic can and is having an effect on people’s physical and mental health,” states American Psychiatric Association President Bruce Schwartz, M.D. A, in a recent poll. This poll also found that 48% of Americans are anxious about the possibility of getting coronavirus and 62% are fearful about the possibility of family and loved ones getting coronavirus. On top of these fears and anxieties, Americans have also endured a rapid transition into remote working, home schooling, a suffering economy, and now another spike in cases. All of this has led 36% of Americans to say they can feel the impact coronavirus is having on their mental health.
A Positive Outlook
There are many negative thoughts floating around right now, such as “this will be a wasted summer,” “I won’t get to do anything fun this summer,” and “all my plans are ruined.” However, research has proved that negative thinking affects both your mental and physical wellbeing.
To help combat these feelings, we have a solution! Create a “Summer to Remember” bucket list. While the term bucket list is often associated with big, extravagant experiences, it can truly be any activity you want to do. This summer, try focusing on family time, nature, and local experiences. Writing down small, attainable goals for the summer allows you to check off more activities and the more activities you get to check off, the more accomplished you feel. Also, when the weekend rolls around and you don’t have any plans or you feel bored, just look at your bucket list and see which activity you could check off.
Having your bucket list displayed will be very beneficial if you have children. When they feel restless or feel like they haven’t gotten to do anything fun lately, they have a visual of how much they’ve accomplished so far and what fun things they still have panned for the future! While this is great for families with children, the best part of the “Summer to Remember” bucket list is that all ages will benefit from it! Some example bucket list items include:
- Have a family game night
- Take a virtual tour of your favorite museum
- Have a campfire
- Make s’mores
- Make healthy homemade ice cream/popsicles
- Go birdwatching
- Take a hike
- Go kayaking
- Teach your dog a new trick
- Paint your favorite scene