Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control has issued several important guidelines to help people stay healthy. One of the most important factors of the CDC’s guidelines is the practice of social distancing. Social distancing includes staying at least 6 feet apart distance from others, not gathering in large groups, and avoiding crowded places.
In order to “flatten the curve” and reduce the spread of this virus, even more, many states have placed their citizens under stay-at-home orders. At the beginning of April, 95% of Americans were under some kind of lockdown. Unfortunately, being forced to stay at home and maintain social distancing can cause everything from simple boredom to the feeling of going stir crazy!
While there are many restrictions in place in order to reduce the spread of this virus and to maintain social distancing, going outside isn’t one of them. You may not be able to play sports with others, go camping with friends and other people, or gather in crowded parks right now, but there are still things you can do to spend some time outside. Doing so is good for your mental and physical health and can keep you from feeling so isolated while it lasts the current coronavirus pandemic
So, how can you spend time outside while still maintaining social distancing? Let’s cover a few practical ideas and ways you can stay safe and healthy.
Stay at Home By Hitting the Road — In an RV
It might seem like a bit of a loophole, but you can follow stay-at-home orders and still enjoy traveling if your home is on wheels while maintaining social distancing!
Renting or buying an RV is a great option for people who enjoy traveling and road trips. RVing allows you to spend time with your family, continue to work/go to school remotely, and still experience everything the country has to offer.
It’s still important to keep your RV as safe and clean as possible to reduce the spread of this virus, especially if you’re making frequent stops at campsites, rest areas, etc. If you want to make sure your rig is ready during this pandemic, make sure to do the following:
● Regularly disinfect the interior
● Stock the pantry (avoid making unnecessary food/snack stops)
● Wash the sheets and bedding
● Have hand sanitizer in a few locations onboard
While many businesses and attractions might be closed right now because of the coronavirus, simply getting out of the house and taking a family road trip can make you feel less confined, and can help to eliminate some of the stress you’re under by taking time to rest and being more mindful of how you’re spending your time.
Take Nature Breaks for Your Mental Health While Maintaining Social Distancing
Being outside is beneficial to your health in many ways. According to one study, being closer to nature can do everything from lower your blood pressure and stress levels to boost your immune system.
Finding time to exercise outside, even when you’re on your own, can do even more for your overall health and wellbeing. Swimming, hiking, kayaking, and cycling are all great outdoor physical activities you can do on your own that will get your blood pumping and boost your energy.
For many people exercising outside while maintaining social distancing can also be good for their mental health, especially if they’re working remotely at home for the first time and they’re starting to feel burnt out. Not sure what occupational burnout really is? Some of the symptoms include:
● Trouble sleeping
● Tension headaches
● Feeling drained after a day of work
Exercise can help you to avoid burnout by giving you more energy, rejuvenating you, and allowing you to stay more focused. It can break up your day so you can step away from the stress of work and really focus on taking care of yourself, especially if you’ve been stuck inside for a while.
Follow Safety Guidelines to Protect Yourself and Others
No matter what you do to get outside and enjoy yourself, it’s still important to follow the guidelines and suggestions put in place by the CDC until this pandemic passes. If you decide to take a road trip, or even if you go for a walk in your local park and run into someone else, make sure to either wash your hands or use hand sanitizer as soon as possible. Even if you don’t purposefully touch things while you’re out, be sure to wash thoroughly as coronavirus can live anywhere from 2-3 days on plastic objects, as well as stainless steel.
Handwashing with soap should always be your first choice, but if that isn’t available, use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
It’s not easy to be in isolation from the people, friends, and family because of the coronavirus. This pandemic has flipped everyone’s regular routine upside down, and you’re likely spending in isolation more time at home (or by yourself) than you’re typically used to. While it can be tempting to maintain social distancing staying inside, watching television, and wonder when this all will end, you’ll be doing something better for your mental and physical health by stepping outside, getting some fresh air, and moving your body. It’s one of the simplest luxuries you can still take part in, even though this “stay at home” period, and it can make a big difference in how you feel while.
Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer that lives in the Northwest region of the United States. She has a particular interest in covering topics related to health, social justice, and workplace issues. When not writing, her free time is spent reading and researching to learn more about her cultural and environmental surroundings.