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6 COVID-Friendly Fall Wellness and Self-Care Activities

Written by: Miranda Owen

Miranda Owen is one of NAMI Wake’s work study students, helping us as a social media technician and blog contributor.

This fall, celebrations of the season will look much different due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, which in North Carolina means following Phase 3 guidelines which requires individuals to wear masks or other face coverings when social distancing is not possible. Despite restrictions, there are many ways for all of us to enjoy the season, engage in physical activity and self-care while remaining safe. 

1. Apple Picking and Pumpkin Patches 

This year, COVID has caused a cancellation of the N.C. Apple Festival, but many apple orchards across the state are still open. Both orchards and pumpkin packages are typically housed in large outdoor spaces where social distancing is easy. Be sure to check online if you need to book an appointment, as many orchards and pumpkin patches are operating by appointment-only to manage crowds and ensure social distancing. Apple picking or choosing pumpkins is a great way to get outside of the house and get moving. It can be especially fun for young children. 

2. Scavenger Hunts 

Organizing and completing a scavenger hunt for family or whoever you are quarantining with can be a fun change of pace and source of entertainment, especially if you’re living with younger children. The CDC posted a guide on how to host your own at-home scavenger hunt. You can host your scavenger hunt outside in your yard or inside your home – no PPE needed! 

3. Leaf Watching 

Across North Carolina, trees are beginning to shed their leaves and turn from green into beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows. This activity is completely pandemic-friendly as you can easily appreciate the view from your car or bike. If you’re able, a day trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway or local park is well worth the beautiful views. Bring family or roommates and enjoy watching all the colors change. For more information check out the leaf color forecast here

4. Hiking 

Soaking in the fresh autumn air and viewing the scenery is a perfect way to enjoy the season. Hiking means getting out of the house and getting active with an added bonus of wildlife and leaf viewing. Consider taking a short day trip to a hiking destination of your choice. There are plenty of hiking trails in N.C. that feature beautiful waterfalls, mountains, and other amazing scenery. I recommend bringing a Buff, bandana, or other face covering that you can easily cover yourself with if you come across other hikers. 

5. Biking 

Information about many different biking trails around Wake County can be found on the AllTrails app or website. The Walnut Creek trail is one of my favorite biking trails near Raleigh, for a short or lengthy bike ride depending on your preference. Additionally, the park at the North Carolina Museum of Art is a short ride which features outdoor art exhibits for your viewing pleasure. Biking is a great solution for low-impact cardio that’s fun for all ages. Getting exercise is proven to boost your mood and mental state. 

6. Baking 

Fall is the perfect time to break out the flour and eggs and work on your baking skills. Quarantine means more time at home, so you’ll likely have plenty of time to do quick baking prep and watch over your dessert creations. Creating and eating your own treats is perfect for self-care. Try dishes like pies and stews which are perfect comfort food. Many grocery stores are offering curbside delivery or no-contact pickup, check in with your store to see if they are offering these services. 

Enjoy the season and be sure to take precautions and stay safe. Remember to carry PPE with you and wear a mask at all times when you are interacting with others. Happy Fall!

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