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Happy Summer Vacation! I think it is safe to say that this year has not gone how any of us has planned so far, right? While most of us look at summer as a time to travel and spend outdoors, Summer 2020 is going to be a different experience altogether. Ideally, everything will go back to normal soon, but in reality, we will all likely still be doing some level of social distancing for a while yet. With that in mind, how do you plan for a summer that you might have to spend mostly at home, especially when you may feel like you’ve already run out of things to do by being home all spring?

It is perfectly normal to be bummed about any ruined or postponed summer plans—I sure am. But in this time of uncertainty, you can still find fun things to do. Check out these ideas to have a positive mindset for summer 2020, which will (hopefully) be the weirdest summer that any of us will ever experience.Girl waving at someone from her laptop.

What Can I Do Inside?

By now, you probably feel like you have done every possible thing that you can do inside, but that is not true! Now is the time to start seeking out new skills, or put a new twist on an old stay at home standby.

On the newer end of things, think about any skills or projects that you have always considered trying but never had the time. Start learning a new language, pick up a musical instrument, paint, learn how to dance, read a book, the possibilities are endless. For just about any skill or hobby, there are resources online for how to get started.

Now how can you spruce up your go-to indoor activities? My favorite way of putting a twist on my favorite activities is by being intentional. For example, if you usually default to movies, build a blanket fort or set up an imitation movie theater in your living room, have all your favorite theater snacks, and pick a creative movie theme (Movies with great soundtracks! Movies that you love that everyone else hates! Movies from 2004!). This is only one example, but if you get creative, you can breathe new life into something you do all the time.

It’s Like Going Out…But Not.

I think it is safe to say that most of us had intentions of actually leaving our houses this summer. But how do you create the illusion of going somewhere from the comfort of your own home?

What if, every time you had the thought “I wish I could go do x,” you try to figure out a way to do it from home? When you miss your friends and family, set up a Zoom meeting or FaceTime, or even send a letter or card. Do you miss concerts, restaurants, the zoo, or just traveling in general? Look online to see if there are any livestreams or videos of the experience that you miss, or tips on how to recreate it from home. For example, I recently did Zoom karaoke with a bunch of my friends since we like to do in-person karaoke together. It was definitely a different experience, but it was a lot of fun!

These substitutes will not be the same as actually leaving home, and it may take more time and effort to figure out, but hopefully they will help scratch the itch until everyone has more freedom of movement.

Summer 2020 may be challenging, and it will definitely be unforgettable, but it does not have to be a bust. Stay positive, stay safe, and have a great summer!