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7 ways to get the most out of spring while physical distancing

By Megan Bouchard, Canadian Red Cross Digital Volunteer
May in Canada: the days are longer, the trees are in bloom and, other than the ups and downs Canadian weather is known for, the bright sun is here to stay! These past few months have provided some unique challenges for Canadians, and while the practice of physical distancing remains in effect, we all are eager to enjoy this upcoming season. Spring this year will certainly look different, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t take advantage of the weather while still keeping healthy habits during COVID-19. We’ve compiled a list of activity ideas to keep your spring season fun:
  1. Backyard/balcony gardening
Photo of gardening
Ever had the interest to start your own garden? Now’s the perfect time! Whether you have your own yard with space to create a sprawling garden or have a balcony to fill with your own curated potted friends, there are plenty of guides online that can help any novice set up their own home-grown oasis in no time.
  1. Learn how to tune up your bike
Photo of bike
If you have a bike or are interested in getting one, it may be a good idea to learn how to get it tuned up for spring so it’s ready to roll out for a ride. Etsy’s instructional video, How to Tune up Your Bike for Spring provides a step-by-step process on how to do this yourself, with a simple A-B-C system. Don’t forget to keep bike safety top of mind!
  1. Explore and identify the small creatures that live in our backyard or neighbourhood (bugs, snails, spiders, etc.)
 Photo of ladybug
Next time you’re out in your backyard or walking in your neighbourhood, keep an eye out for any critters or animals that you might otherwise not notice! This is a great way to take learning for your children (or yourself!) out of your house and into nature.
  1.  Tackle small projects around the yard and house (hello, spring cleaning!)
Photo of paint brush
Living and working in the same space represents its own challenges and sometimes its good to take a break and, if necessary, readjust our surroundings. If you’ve been wanting to patch up a few nicks in the wall or fix a shelf, now might be the time! Alternatively, there’s nothing that welcomes in the new season like an annual spring cleaning session. Taste of Home had a room-by-room checklist you can use to tackle cleaning in an organized way and keeping from feeling overwhelmed.
  1. Create a time capsule
 Photo of photo prints
While on the subject of cleaning, if you happen to find some memorable items that you’re not sure you want to keep or not, why not put them in a time capsule? You can do this alone or with family and pick out items that means something to you or best encapsulates the present!  
  1. Follow a recipe with grandparents or friends through video chat / write nice messages and draw pictures on the sidewalk for elderly neighbours
 Photo of chalk

Just because we’re practicing physical distancing doesn’t mean we can’t be social! Using video chat is a great way to keep in touch with loved ones during COVID-19 that allows for vocal and visual communication. You can even try fun new recipes to make alongside each other, with fun unveilings of your finished products. Another (indirect) form of communication is by leaving colourful and kind messages with chalk on sidewalks for elderly neighbours or those at heightened risk. It’s a way to brighten up their day and yours!
  1. Practice meditation
Photo of person meditating
As mentioned above, this can be a very stressful time. Make sure you take time out to check in with yourself and loved ones, and allow yourself breaks. There is no “right” way to experience quarantine, aside from keeping yourself healthy and safe, and it’s important that that includes mental health along with physical.
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