I am a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, Mum, and Occupational Therapy student from the Panhandle of Texas. I have a question for you. Do you have COVID-19 cabin fever? Go outside! Despite being at various levels of quarantine since March, there is absolutely nothing and no one keeping us from going outside. Feeling the warm sunshine on your face, a cool breeze in your hair, and enjoying nature and all your surroundings is bound to perk anyone up.
People have complained that during this challenging time they are not able to go anywhere or do anything. For me, COVID-19 has forced me to be more creative, thrifty, and to get back to the basics. I like to cook, and this has made me cook even more because all the restaurants were closed for a while and even now are still very limited.
For a time, it was difficult to find basic food items like eggs in the grocery stores. My mother-in-law raises chickens, so I was lucky enough to be able to get fresh eggs every couple of weeks. She was also providing eggs for other family, friends, and neighbours so she shared her eggs on a rotation. Those eggs were and still are like gold! I try to ration my supply of eggs but splurged and made a chocolate pie one day. The recipe called for sugar and eggs which are major pantry staples, but I made it anyway. Unfortunately, the pie was a flop. Not only did it not turn out well, but I also wasted those precious eggs.
It made me think about my grandparents, growing up in the depression and WWII. They had to save and improvise to provide the necessities for their families. How lucky are we to have everything that we do?
My husband and I and our 13-month-old daughter love to be outside. We like to take a walk in the neighborhood or go to the park. Watching my daughter play in the grass in the front yard while I water the garden helps me appreciate the little things in life. Her favourite thing is to splash and play in the mud. She is too young to be making mud pies but I have a feeling it will be just around the corner.
Many areas have local outdoor parks, splash pads, lakes, rivers, botanical gardens, or state parks for free or for a small fee. These opportunities to get outside are so valuable. Not only is being in nature good for your mental health but it improves your physical and spiritual health as well.
As a graduate student, I know many people have struggled with mental health and illness during the COVID-19 virus and quarantine. These rules and regulations have changed the habits, routines, roles, and occupations of daily life for everyone. We all must dig deep and find what is truly meaningful and try to make those needs met for ourselves and our loved ones. Getting outside is something simple, free, accessible, and provides that green space to improve our state of mind. Get out of the house, go outside, and shake off those COVID-19 blues!