Social distancing is so important right now. It’s also stressful, hard, and can feel really frustrating. However, I also think that we can still have FUN while doing it! (Speaking of fun…if you haven’t checked out my summer self-care series yet, go do it! You can find all 5 videos over on my IGTV channel!) In these unprecedented times, I think we could all use a bit of fun in our lives!
Also, in my signature training, How to Ditch the Food Guilt + Shame to Gain Confidence + Feel Free, I dive deep on what intuitive eating is and how it could work for you. Whether you’re just starting or could use a refresh, this is for you!
Enjoying This Time
Back in April my whole family booked our annual trip to Moon Lake, Washington. Our tickets were the cheapest they’ve ever been, and we were so excited! However, as the trip drew newer, we started to feel less confident about actually traveling. Ultimately, my husband and I canceled our tickets in favor of social distancing. It’s what felt right for us, and I know it was a good choice for where we’re at right now.
Knowing the rest of my family is there without me has created some major FOMO. Plus, this is the first time in my life that I haven’t been able to make it! And even though it’s technically a small thing in light of everything else that’s going on globally, it still felt really hard.
Rather than sitting around and moping, however, we decided to get activated and create a plan for enjoying that time we do have. From house projects to furniture set up, we put together a series of activities we can do around our house. We get to feel safe AND have fun together — and that makes what we’re missing in WA feel less heavy.
As I record this, a part of me knows I “should” be in Washington with my family. It’s strange not to be, but I also know that I have the choice to enjoy the time I do have here at home!
Food Can’t Replace Joy
Even though having fun might not feel like it’s that connected with intuitive eating, it absolutely is! When we have fun we are engaging with our lives. We’re present in the moment. And we honor our needs to connect, celebrate, and notice all that is good.
When we don’t do that? Sometimes we turn to food instead.
If you’re not enjoying your life, you’re going to rely too much on food to fill the gaps. After all, eating is a coping mechanism! If you’re not getting fulfillment and joy from other parts of your life, you’re more likely to turn to food to get what you’re looking for.
The reason you eat the way you eat as so many layers! Often, those layers have nothing to do with the actual food we’re eating. They are connected to our emotional needs, our struggles, our pain, and a whole assortment of other things! Right now, over-eating might be a response to social distancing. Rather than feeling guilty or ashamed, you can peel back some of those layers and look for other ways to help yourself get your emotional needs met. (And you can even find ways to have fun while social distancing!)
The Foundation of Self-Care
A quick note about how vital self-care is in the process of having fun!
If you’re not taking care of yourself on regular basis, you won’t have the energy for adding into your life! Exhaustion, fatigue, and overwhelm might be signs that you need to build in a foundation of self-care that will allow you to engage in fun things.
The best way to do this is to develop a routine that feels really good for you. This might include journaling, meditating, moving, or connecting with loved ones. Get clarity about what things feel really good in your life, and make sure that you’re building them into your life.
You might also look for energy leaks! This week I had to get off social media for a while. Why? I was getting drained and overwhelmed by my social feeds. Taking the week away helped me consider if and how I wanted to add it back into my life. Rather than just slogging forward with my same old patterns, I noticed the issue and took action as a form of self-care!
Once your foundation is set, you can up level by adding in fun!
5 Ideas for Adding In FUN While Social Distancing
Take some time to sit down and brainstorm fun ideas. It can be hard to have fun if you’re stuck in a rut, or just watching time pass by. Once you have your list, make a PLAN! Often time passes us by because we don’t plan how we’re going to use it.
You can think of this as a sort of summer bucket list. They can be small (eating an ice cream cone while taking a walk), or a bit more time intensive (plan out a summer picnic and take it to your favorite park)!
Make time to connect with the people you love. This is harder than it once was! You might need to be more creative about you can spend time with those you love.
If you have nice summer weather, you might be able to create an outdoor space to connect while still staying socially distanced.
Another option? Phone dates! I used to visit with my friends while I was going places….but since I’ve hardly been going anywhere lately, I realized I wasn’t connecting with my friends as much anymore. Intentionally planning in phone dates with my friends has been so helpful for my own mental health.
You can also try using Zoom or other video chat tools to have larger gatherings! From Beauty Counter parties to birthday parties – find a group and get together. Virtual connections do feel different, but they can be life giving, fun, and exciting all the same.
Projects! Head over to Pinterest and hunt for some new ideas. Personally, I’ve been working on a paint-by-number craft. My husband and I are doing some home projects. We’re starting a garden! I’m even looking into weaving. And, of course, I always love baking.
Whether you return to an old hobby or craft, or learn something new, projects can be a huge source of joy and inspiration. Rather than park yourself in front of the TV, you can explore other options that might feel more life giving.
Another note: projects don’t have to mean being productive! Finding things that bring you joy are wonderful. Give yourself space to be creative, to try new things, and to explore. Even if that means you end up making something and throwing it away, that’s okay!
Get outside. Fresh air and nature bring so much joy. You might try taking a walk around the block, finding a local beach, or taking hike.
Not into all the activity? Try sitting outside with a cup of tea, or watching the stars from your backyard.
Especially if you’ve been working from home, make the extra effort to get outside and breathe some fresh air when you have a chance.
Plan some day trips! Often we forget how many really neat things are all around us.
My family lives in Albany, which doesn’t get super hot in the summer. I realized I was craving that summer heat! After a bit of brainstorming, I thought of a childhood friend whose mom lives in a hot area and has a pool. After a bit of connecting, we got the details sorted out and headed over. It was a blast!
She was more than happy to see a family enjoying a pool that she doesn’t often use, and we loved the chance to swim somewhere that felt really safe and enabled us to maintain our social distancing practices! It was close by, it was free, and it was much needed!
Maybe you could take a day trip to a park and have a picnic. Could you try picking blueberries or strawberries? Finding a quiet beach front or out-of-the-way trail?
You might refer back to your summer bucket list for more ideas. What would you have FUN doing? What would bring joy into your life? Go do it and have fun!