Everyone’s life has been impacted by the pandemic. Health protocols designed to reduce the spread of the virus this winter can also exacerbate loneliness and frustration. Teens especially need to “run off some steam” and participate in activities that are both fun and safe.
With insights from our Sports Medicine and Performance team, who work with student athletes to get them ready to achieve their athletic goals, we put together this list of 25 things teens can do this winter that are both safe and fun. Here they are, in no particular order:
- Meet at a local field with your friends/teammates and play a socially-distanced game of soccer, baseball, Frisbee, etc.
- Go to your local library and browse the new books section. If your library is not open, visit the Smithsonian Institution online at www.si.edu and learn something new.
- Go for a run! Explore a new part of your neighborhood on foot and get some energy out along the way.
- Take up a new hobby! Perhaps you have more time on your hands with less activities going on. This might be the perfect time to take up guitar, juggling, photography, a new language, or anything else you find new and exciting.
- Play hide-and-go-seek or a new board game with your family. One day, you will miss all of the family time!
- Set a personal challenge each day among your friends! See who can do more push-ups, burpees, etc. over the course of the day.
- Choose a day to put all digital devices away (except for necessary school work)! You will be amazed what creative activities you come up with when you don’t have any digital device temptations.
- Get your sleds ready! True joy can be found sledding down a hill.
- Go for a bike ride! Even in the colder months, a bike can be a thrilling way to explore the outdoors.
- Practice mindfulness: Take two minutes to stop close your eyes and focus on your breathing, de-stress and put yourself first.
- Take a long walk to observe nature. Bonus: When you come home, experiment with different kinds of hot chocolate recipes!
- Draw a picture or find a coloring book: Creativity is key, and expressing yourself through coloring is a healthy outlet.
- Work together with a friend/family on a puzzle: Teamwork with obtainable success will keep you motivated to tackle the bigger challenges!
- Play a game of catch: Find your old baseball glove in the attic and dust it off.
- Drink two extra glasses of water a day. The recommended average daily fluid intake is 3.6 liters for men and 2.7 liters for women, make sure you are hydrated!
- Call a loved one. Stay in contact with friends and family — responsible social interaction is more important than ever!
- Volunteer with a local food pantry, the help is needed and appreciated!
- Stand up and walk around for 2-5 minutes every hour. Working from home leaves us more sedentary than normal, scheduled stretch breaks are important and foster creative productivity.
- Follow your passions and research a non-profit where you can volunteer safely in-person or remotely.
- Choose two teachers who have made a positive impact in your life and write them a card to let them know. They will appreciate it now, more than you will know.
- Decide on a theme and make dinner for your family based on the theme. In addition to food, the meal can include games, music, table settings, etc. that fit with the theme.
- Make greeting cards for local seniors — you can mail them to the local senior center or a nearby nursing home.
- If college is in your future, start putting a plan together to achieve your college admissions goals.
- Be a kind Yeti — remember the Boston Yeti? Pick a home in your neighborhood to shovel (or rake) that will make a difference to the people who live there.
- Read this list, make some notes, and come up with 25 other ideas of safe things to do. Then let us know what you come up with by tagging us on social @EmersonHospital.
Podcast: Supporting Youth in Achieving Digital Wellness - Part 1
Kelsey Magnuson, the community benefits coordinator with Emerson Hospital, and Adrienne Principe, founder and executive director of Turning Life On, discuss how digital devices and online activity are affecting youth today.
Subscribe to the Health Works Here Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and wherever podcasts can be heard.
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Thank you for reading our article on COVID-19 (coronavirus) symptoms. As a community hospital we rely on the support of our community to continue to provide our local health care needs. We welcome your help in fostering a healthy community. If this content has helped you in an way, please consider making an online gift to Emerson Hospital so that we can continue to support our community’s health needs.