I took a walk this afternoon with my pup. The grass was green and the trees were in full bloom. I could hear the birds singing and the whir of lawnmowers. I smelled the fresh cut grass intermingled with the faint aroma of neighbors cooking on the grill.
Stepping away from the news, social media and my phone just for the short walk let me pretend that the whole world wasn’t one giant COVID-19 dumpster fire. It was a nice break and a reminder that I need to step away from the more or less 24 hour coverage I’m getting through TV, radio, online and social media. It’s been a little overwhelming lately. My real job (as an essential health care worker) isn’t helping much either.
I have decided that maintaining my mental health and controlling my anxiety about the corona virus is at least as important as my physical health. I suppose I’m saying that COVID-19 may someday steal my breath, but I won’t let it rob me of the happiness of this day.
As such I have decided to limit my media consumption to the 2pm press conferences with our governor, Mike DeWine, and his exceptional staff. It’s become known online as “Wine with DeWine” with several people noting that “it’s two o’clock somewhere.”
Limiting myself to this one slice of corona news pie daily will help keep everything in perspective. This is something we are dealing with, but it’s certainly not everything we are as Ohioans.
You’ve probably already made it through the usual activities. You’ve caught up with a few projects around the house. You may have watched more Netflix than you should (Tiger King anyone?), and perhaps eaten your way through your quarantine stock pile.
We all want to do the responsible thing and follow the governor’s orders. And it’s looking like we will be in this for a while yet. So what’s left to do? I’ll share some of my activities and ideas. Hopefully I’ll provide you some inspiration. Please share your ideas in the comments, we all need to learn from each other right now!
Plan your Garden
Though it’s a little early to plant or even mulch, now is a great time to plan your garden. There are some crops, like lettuce or peas, that you can tuck into the ground already. And now is a great time to start seeds indoors. They’ll be ready to transplant when the temperatures are a little more consistent. Take some time to add gardening activities to the calendar. You’ll stay on top of tilling, purchasing seeds and plants, planting, and mulching.
Local or Metro Parks
Though playground equipment, sports courts and shelter houses are off limits, you likely have a nearby park that is still open for limited use. Within the last week, my girls and I have made use of the trails at several nearby metro parks: Inniswood, Slate Run and Chestnut Ridge. It was good to stretch our legs and we even got the dog out on our walk at Slate Run as on leash walking is allowed.
My oldest child lives in the Canton area where she attends college. She lives in an apartment there. We’ve been missing her quite a bit, however her bubble (she works and has a roommate) is different than our bubble (three of us work). Visiting her at her apartment or her visiting here at the house basically “pops” our bubbles. We could expose her to potential virus or vice versa.
We decided to meet at a park in her area and after a little research decided on Portage Lakes. It’s a lovely park by the way and I will write about it in a future article. We met in the parking lot, two spaces away, and had a picnic. She was on her picnic blanket and we were on ours. We went for a nice hike by the lake and gave our dog an opportunity to stretch his legs as well. Thankfully we had beautiful weather and we were all happy for the opportunity to visit while still social distancing
One of my girls passed the time by going fishing. I don’t know if you would be able to get a fishing license right now, but we have a private pond nearby and she caught a really big catfish. It was a nice way for her to beat the boredom and get out of the house for a little bit.
Some of the most amazing reasons for living in Ohio are our great outdoor areas. As the walls start to close in on us, it’s nice to know we can still make use of our natural resources. If you are trying to find a park, check out the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. You can find a state park near you, find out what resources are available, and if the park is dog or pet friendly.
If you’re looking for some rainy day activities, you can make play clay ornaments alone or with your kids. Find the recipe at Creating with Play Clay.
If you’re still looking, check out these 19 ideas. You might discover something new!
Please share some of your ideas in the comments. We’d love any thoughts on how we can get through this together, separately!