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Fun and a pandemic

By Kay Tippett/ Community Columnist

No, those two words don’t go together. It’s an oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp, deafening silence, or unbiased opinion. But let’s face it — this pandemic is our current reality, and something’s got to give. So, we adapt.

According to Michael Rucker, Ph. D., in his article “Why You Need More Fun in Your Life, According to Science,” fun improves relationships, increases intelligence, reduces stress, balances hormone levels, enhances energy levels and supports youthfulness. Fun is the holy grail! It’s the fountain of youth! So how do we have more fun and not alert the CDC police?

Here is a list of fun things to do while social distancing:

  1. Get to know your dog. He’s been waiting, and now is the perfect time to leash train him or teach him to fetch.
  2. Go on a picnic. Choose a place that allows you to disconnect from work and social media. It can be your own backyard, your neighbor’s yard or your living room floor. There are many places locally or in the surrounding area that provide solitude and peace. Find peace.
  3. Take your significant other out for dinner and a movie, COVID Style. Get takeout from your favorite place, choose an appropriate place to park, link your digital device to the car’s speaker system for surround sound, and enjoy the show in seclusion. You might even be able to steal a kiss.
  4. Take a hike. Many local, scenic trails allow you to get closer to God and nature, temporarily ditch the mask and breathe freely.
  5. Research your ancestry. Now you have time you haven’t had before. Call your parents. Ask questions. Utilize tools on the internet. You would be surprised who your ancestors are. Personally, I’m related to Boo Radley.
  6. Create a photobook. The whole world has gone digital, and family photo albums are slipping away. Create a legacy for your children.
  7. Learn something new. My grandmothers were excellent cooks. One played the piano and the other quilted. What have you always wanted to try? Me? I’m learning Spanish.
  8. Improve your culinary skills. Admit it. You bought new cookware. We all did. The Pioneer Woman and Pampered Chef had their best years ever! Find some new, healthy recipes and figure out how that air fryer works. Get the cooking blender out of the box.
  9. Add exercise to your schedule. If you didn’t have time before, you do now. Find something fun, like ballroom dancing, and do it in your own home. Try tennis. It’s the perfect game to play six feet apart, and the court access is free.
  10. Go fishing or hunting. You will probably need to acquire a license, but the peace and quiet will be good for your soul.
  11. Read a good book. You’ve already watched everything on Netflix. Don’t be ashamed. We all have. The public library can hook you up with a physical book or a digital copy. Check them out.
  12. Visit the Alabama Safari Park. You can pet and feed a llama from your own car.
  13. Make home improvements. Allow your creative juices to flow. You may be surprised.
  14. Get out the old board games. Teach your kids how to lose gracefully. It’s a needed life skill, and games strengthen your family bonds.
  15. Get closer to God. The Bible says that “A joyful heart is good medicine …” (Proverbs 17:22). We all need some of that.