For most people, living in the new normal will take a lot of getting used to. The limitations on mobility, the strict lockdown measures, and the general fear of being infected have made it almost impossible for many of us to find ways to enjoy what we used to love doing.
The trick to enjoying diversions or recreational activities again is to get creative and to be open to trying new things. Here are a few ideas to enjoy leisure activities while keeping safe in the new normal:
1. Going for a Hike with a Few People
In the age of the pandemic where closed-door social gatherings and leisure activities are prohibited, outdoor recreational activities like hiking are surely a great way to take a break without risking one’s safety and breaking health protocols. Just make sure to go with a small group of individuals, preferably your family members or people you live with, so you can minimize contact with people outside your circle. And while hike trails are open air places that allow plenty of space between you and other people, it is still important to observe safety precautions such as wearing a fabric antimicrobial mask and maintaining physical distance.
2. Hosting Movie Nights Online
When the pandemic hit, health officials were forced to close down malls and impose restrictions on social gatherings to slow down the spread of infection. This also meant that people can no longer go to malls to watch the latest flicks. Luckily, there are online platforms that support video streaming for large numbers of people. Platforms like Teleparty, Scener, and Squad allow friends to bond together safely over movies in the comfort of their own homes.
3. Playing Virtual Games with Friends
The pandemic has also opened up new opportunities to connect with friends. With so many video chatting platforms springing up today, companies also got creative with creating virtual games friends can enjoy while in quarantine. Whether you like board games, card games, and trivia games, there’s a bunch of options you can find online to shake the boredom off of you.
4. Eating Out in Places That Offer Outdoor Dining
Because of the restrictions placed on indoor dining early in the pandemic, many restaurants were forced to cease operations. This urged restaurateurs to set up al fresco seating spaces where people can enjoy dining out without worrying that they might get infected. Parking spaces and sidewalks were turned into dining spots. Some cities even blocked off roads to provide more space for table seating. Not only is al fresco dining a safer alternative to indoor dining, it also offers a unique dining experience in the new normal.
5. Hosting Virtual Birthday Parties
Holding birthday parties is not quite the same in the new normal. There’s no getting drunk while dancing, no loud music for scores of people, and no food and drinks being shared around. When it comes to hosting virtual birthday parties, the key is to get imaginative. Here are some ideas to try to make your birthday party fun and special despite the distance between you and your friends:
- Ask your friends to dress up
- Have everyone prepare a toast or a birthday message
- Prepare fun games
- Watch a movie together
- Have the same food and drinks you can all enjoy at once over video conferencing
- Create a virtual background for everyone
6. Bonding with the Family at Home
One silver lining of having to stay at home all day is having more time to spend with the family. Before the pandemic, most families rarely had time to bond and do fun things together because of schedule conflicts and other important commitments. In the new normal, arranging family bonding activities is easier than ever. From simple things like playing board games and setting up movie nights to doing more intentional bonding activities like bake-offs, cook-offs, gardening, and building things together with your own hands, you will never run out of activities to do with your family.
7. Getting a New Hobby
What better time to pick up new hobbies than when you’re spending all your free time at home? Binge-watching TV shows or movies can get pretty dull and boring, but luckily, being at home 24/7 also means you have time to try new things and discover new interests. This might also be the perfect time to revisit old hobbies that you might have given up a long time ago. Whether it’s crocheting, doing yoga, building miniatures, painting, or stamp collecting, your options are virtually endless.
8. Enjoying the latest flick at a drive-in movie theater
With most live events and big gatherings taking a pause because of the pandemic, people have been finding ways to do what they used to enjoy without compromising their safety. Over the past year, many towns and cities have witnessed the comeback of pop-up drive-in movie theaters, an outdoor venue with large screens where families, friends, and couples can watch the latest flick right from within their parked car. A movie night under the stars will surely be an experience like no other.
Living in the new normal is not quite the same, but what matters is to keep doing the things that give you purpose. As long as you practice recommended health protocols and consider how your actions affect others, you can still find ways to achieve a sense of normalcy and to live your life to the fullest.
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