I miss my friends, colleagues, and relatives. I miss my circle of people. I miss hugs. I really MISS HUGS! Life has not been the same since the pandemic restricted our way of life. All of us, especially parents, have had to pivot and adjust to the ongoing changes. I used to joke about how busy I was pre-pandemic. Now, I am even busier since I go into work and my spouse works from home, and we juggle distance-learning. Our schedule is as tightly organized as our small freezer, where everything fits just so. I keep in touch with friends and colleagues through text and the occasional call. But nothing can replace the joy meeting in-person. To fill this need to connect with others, I’ve identified a few different (safe) in-person activities I can schedule with the people I miss and with the limited time I have. They can work for you too (if you’re comfortable).
Weekday lunch dates or coffee dates
With neighborhood restaurants doing parklets, the weekday lunch date is doable and does not take time away from my children. It allows us to support a local business and gets me some fresh air when I’ve sat at my desk for hours staring at a screen. The weekday lunch date also works for a day-date with my spouse, as date-nights are not doable for us.
The errand date
As a busy parent, I always need to run to Target or Safeway. Why not turn it into a date with a fellow parent! Leave the kids with your spouse and go for a nice-childless outing. Kudos if you have time to add coffee to the mix. I always find it a treat when I can go shopping sans kids.
The weekend family outdoor playdate
This is especially fun because the whole family participates. We have done this a few times with my cousins and our kids. The kids (and sometimes the adults) get fresh air and burn off steam in a park or open lot with snacks and separate blankets. Then, we do lunch nearby at an outdoor dining spot at separate tables. A picnic would work for this type of outing, too.
The workout date
I like the workout videos on Amazon and my other streaming services, but it would be extra special to have a workout buddy for the neighborhood jog or walk. The workout date could easily take the place of the weekday lunch date.
The Online Date
When all else is too time-consuming or doesn’t feel safe, there is always the online date or the “Zoom Date.” It can be done anywhere at any time, so long as both parties have a “meeting app” on their device. While I, myself, am so over web meetings of any kind, I’ll take a web connection over no connection at all.
Masks and social distancing are essential when in public. While I have to wait a little longer to hug my people, I take comfort in the activities I can do that fit in my schedule and still feel safe. How do you stay connected with others? What activities feel safe for you and your family?