Would you have thought that two months ago we would all be stuck inside our homes, isolated from friends and family, not able to go to stores, work, or even the movies? I’m sure your answer is no. We didn’t think so either. It is definitely an odd time in reality. Whether you are home with your kids and spouse, or by yourself binge watching Netflix, there are plenty of other ways you can stay sane during quarantine. Here are our top 6 ways to keep you busy:
1. Create a Bucket List for 2020
I’m sure like us, you are itching to travel or at least go to your favorite restaurant! Once we are allowed to be social again and the travel ban is lifted, creating a bucket list for the rest of 2020 is a great way to be prepared for your next adventure and ready to roll. Have a plan on what you want to accomplish and where you’d like to travel to. We suggest day-trips or weekend getaways for the first few months. We might be biased but if you live within a 5 hour drive of Randolph County, West Virginia we highly suggest us to be a destination on your bucket list. Not only do we have an ample amount of outdoor recreation available at your fingertips, we also have plenty of events, festivals, and train rides where you can experience our culture like none other. This is a great way to have your friends or family to write down what they would like to do and incorporate it all into your future plans!
2. Take an Inventory of Your Adventure Gear
Whether you camp, hike, bike or fish there is always something you might want or need for your next adventure. Now is a good time to organize and take an inventory of your gear.
— Camping supplies can be a bit overwhelming. Take advantage of a nice spring day and air out your tent. It’s also good to practice setting up your tent so it’s easier to put up when out in the wilderness. Another key thing to do is to hang up your sleeping bag and let it breath so the material lasts longer. Also see what tools and supplies you need for you next adventure, you know.. the one you put on that 2020 Bucket List. It can be quite frustrating when you don’t have what you need or can’t find the gear when you need it. Minimize your frustration by getting rid of what you no longer use and bulk up on what you are lacking. As always support local small businesses as much as possible.
— Having the proper shoes and making sure your day-pack is filled with essential items can make your next hiking journey a lot easier. If you’ve had your hiking boots for more than 3 years and the sole is wearing out then you definitely need a new pair. Grip, traction, and arch support is very important when looking into new boots. Items that are essential for your day-pack include, but are not limited to: first aid kit, water, high in protein snacks, compass, and of course your favorite trail maps (we suggest looking into Purple Lizard Maps for some areas in, near, and around Randolph County).
— Do you like biking? Contact your local bike shop to do a routine tune-up and support them during this challenging time. While in the shop (social-distancing, of course), you might as well buy some additional biking gear! Check out the hot new bikes on the market and add to your collection. It’s always nice to have variety; road-bike, hybrid, mountain bike, downhill.
— If you are into fishing, open your tacklebox and write down what you have and what you are lacking. Make sure you have extras of your favorite bait, spinner, or fly. Also we know re-stringing your fishing pole is a tedious task, but what better time to get ready to catch the big one and not have your line break, than right now? It’s suggested you should re-string your fishing pole at least every 2 years.
3. Clean Your Way Into Spring
With the warm weather quickly making itself known and the mountains are finding their bloom again, it’s time to start spring cleaning especially since you are stuck at home. Spring cleaning is definitely a chore, and like most chores, it isn’t something we love to do. With nothing but time on our hands, we might as well get busy with vacuuming, mopping, dusting, and decluttering and not just your house! Campers, vehicles, and boats need spring cleaning as well. For example, check fluids, tire pressure, routine maintenance, etc.. Open up the windows and let that fresh breeze flow through. If you have a clothes line, wash your bedding and hang it up to air dry. Some folks go as far as washing the walls… We suggest cleaning those hard to reach places that you might not think of, like the top of your ceiling fans or the nooks and crannies of your kitchen cabinets- the dreaded Tupperware cabinet comes to our minds. Here’s a tip for the grill masters of the house, scrub and wash the grates of your grill or smoker so when you put on that thick, juicy steak it tastes like perfection.
4. Plot Your Garden
At the end of a day in the spring, you should smell like dirt. Even if, you may have no experience with gardening, it’s proven that getting your hands in the dirt can elevate your soul, mind, and mood. If you can’t get out among the trees, trails, and mountains why not get out in your back yard and soak up that sunshine. In today’s day and age, growing your own food has been lost in culture. There are so many resources online on where to begin or ask a grandparent because we’re sure they know a thing or two about gardening. Even if you don’t have a big plot of land for a garden, there are several innovative ways to work with smaller spaces. For instance, you can have an herb garden of your favorite spices on your back porch like mint, rosemary, thyme, lemongrass, or basil (the list could go on). These are all plants that are easy to maintain and have perks like keeping those pesky mosquitos away. Another way to get your “hands dirty” is to buy some planters, scatter your favorite flower seeds in them and watch them grow. Landscaping your front and back yard can be work, but watching the bloom come to life and seeing the benefits of your hard work will give you a sense of fulfillment.
5. Read a Book
Although spring brings warmth and sunshine, it also brings those wet, rainy days. Sure, Netflix is always available for us, but reading is what helps develop our mind and expand our knowledge. It is necessary to sit still and read because you are training your body and mind to slow down. Reading books help your imagination by taking you wherever you want to go. We don’t have the luxury to buy a plane ticket and travel right now. Do us a favor and think about a place that you have wanted to travel to. Okay, do you have said place in mind? Now find a book about that place and travel to it while reading. Get excited about it and put it on your bucket list! In the great words Louis L’Amour, “For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography, and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time”.
6. Stay Active While Social Distancing
Whatever you do, don’t stop doing what you love. For us, it’s the possibility of going outside and taking advantage of our nearby parks, trails, forests, and wilderness areas. For you, it could be going outside and walking around your neighborhood. For others, in complete quarantine, it could be working out inside their home. Whatever it is, keep active. Activity helps boost your mood, improve your sleep, and allows you to stay focused for longer periods of time. We want to make a note that we are not encouraging you to travel or disregard the policies that are in place due to COVID-19. We are, however, encouraging you to stay positive and to take precautions while staying active. Take time for yourself to do solitary workouts, consider heading outside and taking an adventure walk. Reflect on life priorities, personal goals, and ask yourself what is truly important. Whether you prefer to walk, run, climb, hike, canoe, or whatever it is that you like, breathe the fresh air while you can and remember to practice social distancing as much as possible.
**To beat Coronavirus, we need to work together. We need to learn and follow the best advice of public health experts. We need to support our local businesses. In other words, we need to be #RandolphTogether. Check out this website for more information and resources concerning the Randolph County Coronavirus response in one location.