Sun-kissed skin, sandy toes, festivals, freedom. Ah, the sweet summertime is here!
In the pre-pandemic world, we spent our hot summer holidays soaking up endless sunshine; traveling to exotic islands, and dancing the night away at beach parties. It’s the season when families go on picnics or camping trips; kids make new friends while developing their skills in youth camps and sports clinics. With summer in full swing, we’re longing to enjoy the great outdoors again just like the good old days.
We see a glimmer of hope with the rollout of vaccines, but precautions must still be taken to curb the spread of the virus; despite the gradual lifting of travel restrictions in various places. Border closures and ongoing quarantines are still keeping us locked up at home during these bright sunny days; so we have to find ways to beat boredom and stay connected with our loved ones while social distancing. It might also be the perfect time to rekindle our forgotten hobbies and learn new ones.
Perhaps you used to have a penchant for painting;
but had to focus on completing your tasks in the academe or you’ve been planning to cook your grandma’s recipes; but you were always too busy with work. Now that you’re spending most of your time indoors, juggling your job, studies, and other responsibilities, why not do something fun and creative that can help you cope with isolation and stress?
It might not come close to the summer times that we’re used to but we can definitely make the most out of what we have right now. So if you’re running out of activities during quarantine, here are some tips on how to have a blast in these warm months without going far away from home:
GIVE YOUR ROOM A MAKEOVER
Who wouldn’t want to take refuge in a cozy and dreamy bedroom adorned with calming hues and accessories that reflect your own personality? Your private quarters should feel like a sanctuary that shelters you from the concerns of the world; because it’s where you get to sleep, relax and rejuvenate your body and mind. As a DIY project this quarantine period, decorate your room and transform it into a peaceful retreat; where your creative energy and imagination can freely flow.
Choose decors that express your charisma and lift your mood. Declutter your closet and give away the items that you don’t need anymore. Change your linens. Hang those polaroid pictures and old postcards on your wall to remind you of the good times with your favorite people, then embellish it with fairy lights.
Some bedrooms double as a home office or library for those who are working and studying virtually. Create a workspace where you can read in peace and attend your Zoom meetings without distractions. Accent your desk with plants and scented candles. And of course, don’t forget to disinfect and keep your homes clean to protect yourself and your family against coronavirus.
GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY IN THE KITCHEN
Your social media timelines must have been filled with trays of sourdough bread, banana cakes, and chocolate chip cookies since the start of the pandemic. It seems that the quarantine period has turned us into home bakers (with a bit of help from Youtube and cookbooks). Spending more time at home also made us experiment with new recipes; in preparing healthy meals for the family using fresh produce.
It’s the perfect chance to learn your mom’s tried-and-tested kitchen tricks or travel the world through your palate by cooking international cuisines. This hot season, why not whip up chilled summer desserts with the kids; such as homemade popsicles, ice cream sandwich cakes, and strawberry pies. The children will surely have fun getting messy making fantastic treats and of course; tasting the yummy sweets! Bon appétit!
ORGANIZE A BACKYARD PICNIC OR CAMP OUT UNDER THE STARS
Missing the outdoors? Roll out the picnic blankets, serve milkshakes or summer cocktails and fire up the grill for a backyard barbeque lunch with the family. Since a trip to the beach is harder these days; you have the option to cool down in your own garden by taking a dip in an inflatable pool while getting your dose of Vitamin D. You can even go for an alfresco movie night or; set up a tent to recreate a memorable camping experience with the kids. Enjoy stargazing and identify the constellations while roasting some s’mores and hotdogs for your child’s birthday bonfire!
No yard? No worries. Just bring out a rug or bed sheet, some bean bags, cold drinks, and snacks as you enjoy an indoor picnic in the living room. Don’t forget to put on your summer playlist to complete the mood.
TAKE FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASSES ONLINE
Since flying abroad for leisure is currently put on hold for most countries affected by COVID-19; learning a new lingo while on self-quarantine is something that can come in handy for our next holiday. Studying foreign languages is also a great way to appreciate other cultures; converse with locals (when traveling resumes), improve career opportunities; and engage in a brain-stimulating activity during our downtime this summer.
Practice ordering your croissant in French or greeting your friend in Spanish by downloading language learning apps like Duolingo and Babbel. Enroll in one-on-one or group virtual classes with native teachers. Sign up for online learning platforms like Coursera that offers language courses from top universities; where you can earn a certificate. In this e-learning site, you can also explore other interesting topics; and skills like creative writing, photography, astronomy, and entrepreneurship.
LEARN TO PLAY AN INSTRUMENT
Unleash your inner rockstar by learning to play musical instruments; like piano, guitar, or ukulele to beat your lockdown blues. Music is a wonderful company especially when we’re coping with isolation and stressful situations brought by the pandemic. So if you’ve always wanted to pursue this hobby, now’s the perfect time to dust off your old guitar and re-learn the skill or even master new instruments; through Youtube, online music classes, and apps like Flowkey, Fender Play, and Yousician.
Research articles such as A Prescription for Music Lessons (Shipman D., 2016) show that playing music may have various positive effects on our health; it can boost one’s mood, reduce anxiety and depression, enhance cognitive functions and improve social skills, among its other important benefits.
HOST A FUN ZOOM GAME NIGHT
Video conferencing technology like Zoom is not just meant for work meetings and online classes. Nowadays, it seems to be the safest place to socialize; and catch up with our best friends and family whom we haven’t seen for a while. We’ve had virtual wine nights, birthday parties, baby showers, and movie dates; to connect with our loved ones during the quarantine – why not recreate our fun childhood days by hosting an exciting Zoom game night this weekend? Send online invites to your buddies, change your Zoom background into a cool bar or resort; and enjoy an evening filled with laughter and competitive spirit by playing the games you love such as charades, pictionary, truth or dare, scavenger hunt, trivia contests, and virtual cards!
REDISCOVER THE JOY OF READING BOOKS
During these uncertain times, many of us find solace in the simple pleasure of reading books. Immersing ourselves in every chapter of our favorite novel or nonfiction is the perfect escape from pandemic stress. Getting into the habit of reading books is also good for our physical and mental health. It makes our brain stronger, promotes empathy, develops our vocabulary, prevents cognitive decline, reduces stress, helps us get a good night’s sleep, lessens symptoms of depression and increases lifespan, according to Healthline.
There are a lot of e-books available for tech-savvy readers but for some, nothing compares to flipping through the pages of an old school print on paper. Organize your bookshelves, pick something uplifting and read it at the patio or by the window while sipping a cup of coffee.
SWEAT IT OUT
Some of our go-to gyms and yoga studios are closed right now but that doesn’t mean we should stop trying to get fit and active. The popularity of at-home workout routines has skyrocketed during the lockdown and there’s a plethora of online resources like fitness apps and free training videos that we can use to stay in shape. Those who don’t have access to gym equipment can try bodyweight exercises or incorporate common household items like water gallons and backpacks in their workout.
We can also keep our zen by practicing yoga and meditation or reconnect with our fitness buddies through online group Zumba classes. In some places, cardio exercises like jogging and biking are allowed outside while social distancing. There are also other physical activities that we can do at home this summer like gardening, cleaning the house, playing with the kids and initiating an impromptu aerobics session for the whole family.
Taking care of our mind and body is important to get us through these trying times. According to Mayo Clinic, regular exercise and physical activity entail many benefits like weight management, better sleep, improved mood, energy boost and prevention of health problems and diseases.
SUPPORT CHARITABLE PROJECTS
Even if you’re stuck at home, you can still find ways to help and give back to the community for pandemic-related causes or other advocacies that you care about like social justice and nature conservation. This can be done by donating money, goods as well as your virtual services. Search for volunteer opportunities near your area. You can offer to run errands for the vulnerable groups who are in need of groceries and medicines. Or give your contributions to local charities, livestream fundraisers and community pantries.
You can also reach out to your colleagues who might be having a hard time dealing with the global crisis or support small businesses. Use your social media platform to share information on how other people can extend their help to organizations, families, individuals and even pets who are in need. And of course, be kind to everyone, especially to the healthcare personnel and other essential workers who put themselves on the line just to save lives.
STREAM ONLINE SHOWS AND DIGITAL TOURS
Now’s probably the best time to get cozy in bed, binge our favorite movies and series; and start ticking them off our Netflix bucket list. Whether you’re into cult classics, rom-coms, thrillers or other genres, you’ll surely find something interesting to watch. If you’re missing the culinary culture in Asia and Latin America, you can check out the documentary series “Street Food.” Another popular Netflix TV series is “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” which features decluttering tips and inspiring home makeovers. Host a virtual viewing party with friends and family to make it more fun and social.
Other forms of entertainment like online concerts, festivals, gigs and even operas are also available for streaming. You can also visit museums all over the world without leaving the couch through virtual tours in cities like London, New York, Paris, Seoul and Berlin.
Traveling to far-flung places and tropical beaches may not be feasible for most of us right now but that doesn’t mean that summer is officially cancelled. Aside from these tips, we can actually invest in a resort-style condo to experience the carefree summer vibe any day! If you’re looking for properties outside Manila, this condo in Puerto Princesa is a great option to score a profitable real estate investment or a lovely vacation home in a paradise dubbed as the “Best Island in the World”.
INTERESTED TO BUY A RESORT-THEMED CONDO IN PALAWAN?
Palawan is an ultimate dream destination if you want a blend of island and city living. Strategically located in the country’s gateway to El Nido and Coron, Camella Manors Verdant in Puerto Princesa will make your rural and urban lifestyle possible. Here you can explore the breathtaking landscapes and waters of Palawan’s capital city while enjoying the convenience of malls and public transport.
The Verdant, a ready for occupancy condo, is the newest and one of the most affordable mid-rise condominiums of Vista Land in Gabinete Road, Brgy. Bancao-Bancao, Palawan. It is nestled in a highly urbanized city with a promising investment potential and a thriving business district.
This condo for sale is only 10 minutes away from the Puerto Princesa International Airport as well as the Port of Puerto Princesa. Beaches, hospitals, schools, malls, lifestyle centers and other major attractions are within striking distance. There are also ongoing infrastructure developments in the area, which will possibly increase business and commercial engagements in the city.
The Verdant is a 5,075-square meter condo village comprising two 7-storey structures that have a total of 532 units for both buildings. Each building of The Verdant features studio, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom units.
One of the perks of living in The Verdant is having access to amenities like the swimming pool, kiddie pool, fitness gym, club house, play park and commercial area. The Verdant also has security features such as CCTV cameras 24/7 and electric perimeter fence.
Visit the official website of Camella Manors for more info about the property.