I typically make seasonal bucket lists, chock full of fun activities and local happenings. Uh, that ain’t happening this spring/summer. With the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic caused by that pesky coronavirus, we’re all stuck in our house. Everything has changed. The way we work (if we’re lucky enough to keep our jobs). How we socialize. What we do for fun. During quarantine, there are no vacations, parties, or outings. Here’s my (slightly tongue-in-cheek) quarantine summer bucket list. It’s full of activities that we can do safely tucked away while social distancing.
How You Feeling?
First, let’s do a mental health check. This is a scary time, full of uncertainty and hardship. I’m not here to tell you how to feel. Frankly, our feelings aren’t each other’s responsibility (no one else’s is either, okay?). But I do want you to understand that however you feel, it’s okay. The stress our bodies are going through is generating high levels of cortisol. Remember that retro commercial, “This is your brain on drugs?” Well, cortisol is a helluva drug.
Having one’s brain and body constantly drenched in cortisol can create havoc. You could be irritable, weepy, sleepy, stress eating, dissociating, all kinds of weird or out-of-character behavior. As my friend Aurora put it,
How you’re doing during a global crisis is not a fair indication of your usual ability to cope emotionally, deal with your finances, take care of your body, connect with people, do your job, parent, and generally be the person you want to be. Reduce your expectations of yourself. It’s okay not to be your ideal self right now. Absolutely nobody is. Everyone is doing their best, let’s grade on a curve.
Quarantine Summer Bucket List 2020
This list contains some real suggestions, activities, and some things that are just for fun. Don’t feel like you have to do any of these. It’s in no way meant to stress you out or add another goal to your already burgeoning to-do list. We’re lowering the bar overall, remember?
- Shake your fist and scream at the sky. Look at you getting fresh air.
- Meditate in your backyard. Seriously. Five-minute increments totally count. Download an app.
- Do something to celebrate spring/Easter. Pick some flowers from your backyard, hide and then eat a bunch of Reese’s Eggs.
- Get outside and move your body. Chasing your significant other with a properly folded towel counts.
- Wake up at some point. OMG, you are so accomplished.
- Make a hair mask out of one ripe avocado and two eggs, leave it on for at least 30 minutes.
- Watch something totally trashy: Kardashians, Real Housewives, the weird corners of YouTube, Tiger King.
- Take naps. Sleep is rejuvenating.
- Here’s one free pass to be staggeringly drunk by 1 pm.
- Put on a little makeup (or whatever makes you feel pretty). I’ve been doing a “lite makeup” look here lately, and it makes me feel better.
- Cut your own bangs. There’s never been a more excusable time.
Stay Social while Social Distancing
- Pick a fight with your significant other. They’re going to learn how to fold a towel the right way today.
- Reach out! Call a friend or family member, messaging on social media counts.
- Text a random number and pick a fight with a stranger. Pineapple does not belong on pizza, dang it.
- Reassure children and pets the best you can.
- Remember that person who broke your heart in seventh grade? Stalk them electronically and see if they’ve come down with the ‘rona
- Call a local nursing home and ask if there are any residents you can talk to.
- Complain online about the people not properly social distancing. Nip that ish in the bud with an online rant.
Try Some New Things
- Do something creative, even if it’s just doodling or hot gluing Dollar Tree merchandise to other Dollar Tree merchandise.
- Try baking something new, maybe a yummy dessert. Calories don’t count in a pandemic.
- If you’re a parent, relax your standards. More screen time is allowed (and normal).
- Sanitize your phone compulsively.
- Do not join an MLM.
- Throw away the stuff that you suddenly realize isn’t important. Like other people’s expectations.
- Pay attention to companies and leaders. The ones that you don’t feel are handling COVID-19 well? Don’t patronize those businesses or vote for those people when all this is over.
In All Seriousness
At the beginning of the Shelter In Place order, we did whatever we wanted. Lots of screen time, no order to the days, and I consistently looked like a swamp monster. After about two weeks, we instituted a light schedule. While Josh works, I lead the A-team through some pressure-free activities. This has helped all of us tremendously. At 2 and 3, the boys just weren’t comfortable with structureless days. And y’all know I’m pretty…rigid, so a schedule helps me, too. I’ll talk more about our Quarantine schedule later.
How are you holding up? What’s been the weirdest, hardest, and/or surprisingly easy thing you’re dealing with in the COVID-19 quarantine? Let me know in the comments. If you’re feeling inclined, share this article!