Ever since the pandemic started, a lot of people have developed cabin fever from being holed up at home for far too long. We miss spending time outside where we can get a breath of fresh air and feed our senses with the beauty of nature.
The WHO and CDC have since eased their stance on going outdoorsbut that still doesn’t give any one of us the license to be careless. Understandably, a lot of folks are still afraid, or at the very least, apprehensive, about spending some time out in the open. But being outdoors has certain benefits.
Why go outdoors during this time?
COVID-19 is found to be highly transmissible in close proximity which is why it is advised for people to stay at least 6-feet apart when interacting, especially in public. The virus is found in respiratory droplets that are released in the air when people talk, breathe, cough, or sneeze. It is found that people are at higher risk of contracting the virus in enclosed spaces due to exposure to droplets and aerosols that linger in the air for several minutes to a few hours.
The fresh air outdoors is constantly moving and disperses these droplets so that the threat of COVID is minimized. You are less likely to breathe them in, especially if you’re wearing a mask and keeping your distance from people.
Going outdoors is also helpful in boosting our morale and mood, especially when cabin fever became oh-so-real this past year and anxiety and depression are starting to sink in. Going outdoors also gives you the chance to get some exercise and much-needed fresh air and vitamin D that will help boost your immune system giving you an extra layer of protection against sickness and disease, including COVID.
Talk about your own nature stories with your kids while you’re out in the park or the woods
If you’re a parent today, chances are you spent a lot of time outdoors when you were younger. Tell your kids stories about your adventures with your friends, whether they’re summer camp memories or backyard shenanigans. Paint a fun picture of being outdoors to make the idea more enticing.
If you can’t go to where the wildlife is, watch them in the comfort of your home
Going on a safari might be out of the question now but you can invite your family to watch wildlife videos with you. It will make them appreciate animal and plant life more and create awareness about endangered species. If you want to rough it a bit, you can take a sturdy yet comfortable mattress and lay it down in your family room as you watch.
Plant or adopt a tree on your family’s behalf
Instill in your family the value of nurturing nature by planting or adopting a tree to mark special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and other meaningful celebrations.
Find or “create” nature wherever you are
The great thing about nature is that it is easy to introduce and recreate at home. If you have a backyard, you can set it up to be more environmentally friendly by planting more trees, shrubs, and perennials. You can have a birdbath or feeder to bring some wildlife into your property.
Don’t be afraid to get down and dirty with the kids
Several studies have found that those who avoid dirt have weaker immune systems compared to those who play in the dirt. Indulge your children’s natural tendencies to get down and dirty by playing and getting dirty with them. It sure beats swiping and tapping on mobile devices, that’s for certain.
Take them camping in your backyard, garden, or rooftop
You don’t need to go out of your way to enjoy the outdoors. You can set up a tent in your backyard or deck and spend the night there. If you have a fire pit, you can even roast marshmallows over fun and funny conversations.
Go for a hike or do outdoor exercises
Lastly, getting exercise outdoors is good for your health. Go hiking in the woods or jogging in the park. Even a brief stroll around the neighborhood can do you plenty of good. Just make sure to observe COVID protocols when you’re out in public.
With all the time people are spending indoors nowadays, a whole lot of us can barely contain our excitement for the day when we can all go out without any fear or worry about getting the deadly disease. Until then, do your best to exercise caution when you spend time outdoors with or without your loved ones. The risks are too great to become reckless at this time.