This week marks the last days of the 2019-20 school year, and with that the start to summer vacation.  It is safe to say that summer 2020 will look different for all of us.  With many counties beginning to open back up, there are some activities we can participate in for the first time in months. However, some summer staples like extended day or overnight camps, sports camps, and even group sports are still on hold, or may not happen at all.  Below are some ideas for staying safe while participating in public activities, simplified summer activity ideas, and ways to help manage stress and anxieties that come along with all of the unknowns that summer 2020 will bring.

Re-entry Safety

As we begin to re-enter public spaces, it is important to remember Washington’s Safe Start guidelines: Wear a mask, stay a safe distance of 6 ft apart, and wash your hands!  A lot of retailers are beginning to sell cloth face masks now, but you can also make your own.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has great instructions for masks (sewing and non-sewing alike) as well as how to wear them properly, and even how to wash your cloth masks.  View instructions and videos on their website.  Our own ESD 112 Safety Committee has some great tips on keeping your home and family safe in their latest post.

It’s also important to check with individual businesses or county websites to see if any additional safety precautions or procedures are in place.  And if you are going to be spending some time outside, don’t forget to check out our previous post on Sun Safety!

Summer Activities

While libraries, zoos and museums may still be closed or restricted, you can still participate and visit many of these attractions from your own home.  Fort Vancouver Regional Library’s popular Summer Reading Program has gone virtual, with activities, videos and chances to win prizes.  See details and sign up on their website.  Also, make sure to check out our post back in April about fun ways to stay entertained at home, including links to virtual museum and zoo tours all over the world.

Summer is also a time when many people travel for vacations. With travel still limited in parts of the country and other states check out this post from May on the Art of Staycations for tips on backyard camping, exploring your own town, and even ways to travel the world virtually.  If you are willing to brave the outdoors, overnight camping at many state and county owned campgrounds is beginning to open up. Washington State Parks has these Guidelines for Responsible Outdoor Recreation on their website.  As well as a list of open parks and their availability. You can view Oregon State Park openings here.

Resources for Stress and Anxiety

There are still so many unknowns in our current COVID situation and it is important to check in with your mental and emotional well-being.  In a post back in March, Sara Hatch provided us with 5 tips for managing stress and anxiety:

  • Focus on things you can Control
  • Just think about Today or Tomorrow
  • Make physical movement/exercise/getting outside (safely of course) part of your daily routine
  • Stay connected to family and friends
  • Limit daily exposure to news and media and intentionally seek out POSITIVE news and stories

Self-care is so vital to helping us cope with change, relieve stress, and process anxiety. For tips on Self-care routines, and other resources view past posts on our Commit to Health page.