These past few weeks have been a challenge with many states issuing stay-at-home orders. Being isolated to your home and distanced from your family and friends for weeks is proving to be extremely difficult. Personally, as someone who likes to stay “on-the-go”, I had to find ways to keep me and my child from going stir-crazy. Being out in nature calms me and with the arrival of COVID-19, I had to cancel hikes and camping trips but it hasn’t kept me from enjoying what I love. Here are 5 ways I’ve been getting my “nature fix” while practicing social distancing:

1. Take a Walk

My Morning View – Local SC Trail

Although many parks and trails are closed during this time, you can still get out and enjoy this wonderful spring weather. Get your daily dose of Vitamin D and fresh air by taking a walk around your neighborhood or local walk/bike trail. Many others are having the same idea so remember to practice social distancing by wearing face masks and staying 6 feet apart.

I found a public trail close to home that has remained open. The earlier I go, the fewer people I encounter while walking.

2. Virtual Tours

Photo by Parker Byrd on Unsplash

During this pandemic, many parks and museums have set up virtual tours and live feeds of their sites. This is super awesome especially if you have little ones. My daughter is enjoying learning about different places, plants, animals, and history from around the world. (It’s also helping with her distance learning school assignments.)

Here are our top 3 favorite virtual tours/activities:

South Carolina State Parks FB page: SC state parks have closed during this pandemic, but their rangers are showcasing one or more of their 47 parks with virtual hikes and tours daily. Their virtual campout videos from last week included campfire stories, recipes, and how-to videos.

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park: This national park in Hawaii teamed up with Google Arts and Culture for an amazing tour of its park. The tour includes the exploration of the Nahuka Lava Tube and interactive 360 views of their volcanic cliffs. You can also check the other five (5) National Parks in Google Earth’s The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks.

U.S. Civil Rights Trail: This website includes a gallery of different landmarks and sites along the United States Civil Rights Trail. Rich in history and beauty, this site also includes an interactive map that lets you explore the civil rights history of different U.S. cities.

3. Backyard Camping

My spring camping trip to Asheville, NC was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak but that’s not stopping me from pitching my tent.

Our Tent. We call her “Blue”

As soon as the rain here stops, my daughter and I will set up our tent in the backyard and use the charcoal grill as our campfire to roast our yummy marshmallows for s’mores.

Campfire nights

No backyard? No problem! Set up in your tent in your living room or build a cozy fort. (Kids love this!) I found this YouTube video of a campfire with nature sounds and it helps to create an ambiance of actually being outdoors.

4. Star Gazing

Grab a blanket and go sit under the stars. The ground was wet here this past week so we set up our blanket in the back of a pickup truck and enjoyed the clear night sky.

Raining or just wanting to enjoy the night sky from the indoors? Check out NASA Hubblesite’s Tonight’s Sky for videos about the current month’s constellations.

5. Plan Your Next Adventure

Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

Use Pinterest or Instagram to create a bucket list of places to go after this pandemic has passed over. Whether it’s a destination for rest & relaxation or a new thrill-seeking adventure, visualize yourself in this place and experience the feelings you’ll have when you finally get to go.

Although there is no set time for the end of this pandemic, you can still enjoy the outdoors during isolation. Practice social distancing and stay safe during this time. Better days are coming!