COVID Survival Guide

By April Loyle, Co-owner of Shore Shooters Beach Photography and Mountain Escape Photography


I grew up in the 90’s, right before the internet and technology really made it big. I’m part of the last generation that would wait for my mom to call my name from the front porch as it was getting dark outside. No matter where I was in my neighborhood, I could hear her voice and I knew it was time to come home. 

During our orders to shelter in place, nostalgia of a simpler time has flooded my thoughts. So just in case you’re reading this and you are finding it difficult to stay home or you are letting technology consume your every waking hour, here is a list of the things that brought me so much joy as a 90’s kid. I never dreamed these silly things I took for granted (and maybe even complained of boredom a time or two) would make it to some futuristic digital list on screens that we would all be staring at instead of doing said things on the list but here it is.  

* Ride a bike Ride a bike for a long time without digital interruption. Challenge yourself to leave behind the Apple Watch, the phone and even air pods, because riding a bike with nothing attached to you is freeing. You’ll find it strange that you didn’t measure your distance or calorie burning, but hey, live a little!

* Read a book Read a book and don’t take a photo of yourself doing it. In fact, find a place to read that also has no disrupting digital device. This means you want to read the paper kind of book by the way. Get lost in the pages and don’t watch the time. 

* Climb a tree Climb a tree. I dare you! If you don’t have trees near you, (I’m so sorry if that’s your situation) try it next time you see one. Also be safe, don’t fall blah blah blah. 

* Meditate Meditation is HARD. I used to swing on my swingset for hours when I was a kid and the only person around was my dog Butch. (Yes, he was my favorite person.) It would be soooo quiet and I had no idea that stilling my racing mind would be something I would have to practice in my adult life. Try without an app, but for sure, reach for the app if you find 5 minutes of meditation difficult. 

* Try a garden I was not born with my mother’s green thumb, so I recommend starting small in containers where you can control the soil. Plant whatever you regularly buy in the market, produce or flowers you can grow instead. Do your research! There is plenty of it out there and I’m not it. 

* Lay in a hammock Seriously! Awkwardly thrust yourself on your back and lay there. Seeing the world from this position is insanely relaxing. Good luck getting out. Also. Again, no technology. Unless you can’t find the quiet you’re searching for in which case I’d play some super relaxing tunes. 

* Have a picnic in your yard Yeah, your yard. No matter how small or how ugly, grab a blanket and some yummies (I prefer wine always) and eat outside. Ahh what the hell, snap a photo for the gram. Preferably using the filters that make everything look better. 

I don’t have little kids at home, just a 3/4 grown woman child that’s all of 16, but I think if we were going through this when she was younger we’d probably do some of this:

* Create a scavenger hunt for your kids You know like Easter egg hunting, but not eggs. Maybe include a map and some prizes. Kids need a little motivation to explore.  

* Make up a song with the family Like, mom sings a sentence or two and hands it over for dad or kiddo to add a line. Keep it going. It’s hilarious! No? I think it is. 

* Write a play and have your kids act it out. Or even better, have your kids write a play and mom and dad act it out. I mean curtains and sheets as the stage backdrop, DIY costumes with cardboard swords, get wild with it. 

* Make dinner together. All of you. Share the time cooking, eating and cleaning afterwards. A total group effort! B and I loved homemade pizza night. We started when she was in a high chair so it’s been a long transition. 

I suppose this crazy virus that’s keeping us apart is somehow healing our land, and if we let it, our relationships. I think like most things in life, it’s how we respond to the stress in front of us that will determine our fate. In some way, we control our joy. I’m praying daily for our nation, our world and its people. Stay safe out there, humans. 

Also, I pinned some favorite images of people in solitude if you want to look for inspiration and motivation for your own new normal.