Socializing is critical for mental health, and people who associate with others live longer. Research also concludes that isolation can often lead to loneliness, depression, and other health problems. Especially now, during COVID-19, our desire to connect with others is heightened. Before the fall season changes to winter and cold weather arrives, get out and enjoy the season- but do so safely. Here is a list of ideas to safely enjoy fall until we experience brighter days ahead in a post-COVID-19 world:
Head Outside- COVID-19 does not mean you need to confine to your home; you can still enjoy the outdoors’ natural beauty. Just remember to practice social distancing while walking, biking, or while attending outdoor fall events. Remember that even a walk around your neighborhood with a friend is an easy way to get a little sunshine, exercise, and socially distanced socialization.
Be Neighborly- While a cup of coffee or hot cider indoors with your neighbor or at a cafe may not be an option, have it outside while distancing at least 6-8 feet apart. Bringing cider or coffee and blankets to a local park provides an additional canvas for enjoying time with others.
Attend a Fall Farmer’s Market- Farmer’s markets are open in many states and may require ‘masking up,’ washing hands, moving one direction through the market, and socially distancing. You may be limited in handling the product or other items and required to pay with cards versus cash. Check your local area and experience a pumpkin patch for an added outdoor experience.
Fall Football- If fall sports occur in your community, sit on the sidelines out of the grandstands unless the seating is limiting. While outside, limit your exposure by avoiding contact with others.
While we still do not know everything about COVID-19, the CDC has established guidelines to help reduce the virus’s spread that can be found here. Isolation and socially distancing isn’t going to last forever. While it not yet safe to return to the way our lives were before COVID-19, there are ways to safely socialize in person versus through a screen or phone call.