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Embracing Fall/Autumn by Creating Your Own New Normal

Try these curated activities to maintain your mental health and avoid the fall pandemic blues

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Like everything else in 2020, our fall/autumn season is destined to differ from our past ones. COVID-19 has forced us to adapt and make many adjustments in every aspect of our lives. Fall has inherently been challenging for some people, who mourn the loss of summer and start to feel the blues about facing many months of work, shorter days, and in some states, cold winter months.

As with all things during this pandemic, keeping an open mind is going to be important to discover and hear about “new” activities and entertainment experiences that are being curated and tailored to help us manifest some normalcy in our lives. Focusing on ways to entertain yourself is essential to maintaining your mental health and a positive outlook.

If you have some traditional fall activities you enjoy which are unaffected by the pandemic, continue to do them. If you’re in the doldrums because you can’t do what you’re accustomed to doing in the fall, embrace and find some new activities to replace your old ones.

Here are some suggestions for indoor and outdoor activities you might want to consider this fall:

Outdoor Concerts, Plays, Comedies, Dance:

Performance art is springing up in parks all over the country. In Massachusetts, “Godspell,” was recently performed, breathing much needed hope and life back to theater. A variety of outdoor concerts were also performed regularly in parks throughout the summer, and will continue into the fall. Comedians and dancers are also flooding the parks with performance options. There are plenty of choices, so take the time to review the event calendars at your favorite parks.

Pumpkin Patches and Apple Picking:

Fall is still the season to hit a pumpkin patch for a hayride or find some apples ripe for the picking. Although some of these places may be closed to the public, you may find some that are allowing small groups to book reservations at timed intervals. Check in advance for options near you.

Kayaking/Canoeing:

Most places that offer kayaks, canoes, and paddle boarding are planning to stay open until the end of October. If it’s warm enough, bundle up and go out for a ride. This would be a good time to be out on the water and get an up-close view of the natural beauty of the forest and the picturesque landscape of leaves changing color.

Drive-In Movies:

Vintage drive-in movie theatres that were the rave in the 50s have made a comeback and are popular again. They’re a great way to spend an evening on a date or with your family. Sitting under the stars and enjoying some popcorn or preparing a picnic-style dinner can be a lot of fun. If there’s not a drive-in theatre in your vicinity, check for pop-up drive-ins that are being offered in parking lots and other areas on the weekends with high-tech movie screens.

Dining Out:

Thankfully, we will have the luxury of ample choices to dine out and in during the Fall months. Most restaurants can offer about 25% capacity for in-door dining, and many will continue to offer outside dining, with heat lamps, to make your dining experience comfortable on brisk nights.  Explore dining opportunities to break up the monotony of eating at home and get some fresh air. If you’re a Do-it-Yourself kind of person, plan a day picnic during the fall. Consider packing some hot chocolate instead of cold drinks, dress accordingly and bring a warm blanket.

Exercise:

Lots of exercise studios are offering classes outside, such as cycling circuit training, to name a few. You can also continue to indulge in riding your own bike around town, go for a run, or do yoga in a park. Exercise is always a good way to keep the endorphins racing and your spirits up.

Museums:

Although outdoor activities are good, indoor options may be necessary on cold or rainy days. In some city’s, certain museums are opening at reduced capacity. Although it takes a little planning to get a “timed” ticket, taking in some culture would be a pleasant change of pace on a day with suboptimal weather. For example, I know in NYC The Met Museum is open to the public limitedly. You must make a reservation, wear a mask, and follow social distancing protocols.

Taking care of your mind and body by engaging in activities during the Autumn months before winter sets in will help you take care of your soul. You can do this safely, while following all pandemic preventative safety protocols.

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