In the midst of COVID-19, it might seem like cuddling up on the couch and staying inside is your best bet. But self-isolating doesn’t have to mean drawing the blinds and staying home. With some mindful decisions and responsible practices, you can enjoy Mother Nature and avoid dreaded cabin fever during an especially trying time.
Just because you’re outside doesn’t mean you can stop listening the recommendations of local governments and health officials. Avoid areas that are heavily populated and, if you encounter other adventures, make sure you keep appropriate distance. Carry hand sanitizer to ensure you’re keeping your hands clean even when running water might not be available.
Since community spread is a concern during times of contagion, seek outdoor areas that are typically less crowded. For example, picking a national park for an adventure might not be ideal. Additionally, outdoor hot spots are likely to experience a higher level of closures. Seek off-the-beaten path alternatives.
If you arrive at an outdoor destination and do encounter large groups, consider a plan B.
With ever changing closures and state and local mandates, taking trips closer to home is a good idea to avoid unnecessary stress. While this can mean visiting a nearby park or trail, it can also be as simple as taking a quick walk around the block. Even taking the time to enjoy your own backyard can offer a nice respite from hours indoors. Get creative with how and when you can get outside and avoid the crowds.
Getting outdoors is a great way to relieve stress in trying times, but still try to limit your exposure opportunities. Don’t call up all your friends, rather limit your group to those in your immediate household. Similarly, avoid making stops at shops and stores on your way (hopefully you’ll already stocked up on trail snacks). Hop in your car, get to the trail, breathe the fresh air and make your way home.
Have parks in your area been closed? Is the state not allowing overnight use at state parks? Be sure to plan ahead and do a bit of research regarding possible closures before heading out. While one spot might be closed, another option down the road might be open and ready to explore.
While cabin fever is all too real, if you’re at higher risk of contracting an illness during an outbreak it’s probably best to just stay home. Consider using this time to day dream and plan future trips. It’s never a bad time to think about where you want to go next. The outdoors will be waiting for you!