Staying healthy is the top priority on everyone’s mind this winter with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to rear its ugly head. Getting creative with virtual gatherings, outdoor sports and socially distanced activities will help banish boredom during the colder months — while still keeping your family safe. We’ve got some great out-of-the-box tips from Hancock Health to help you stay healthy while not missing out on all the fun that a Midwest winter has to offer. 

Make Wearing a Mask Fun

As we all know, mask-wearing is an effective and simple way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by providing a barrier for respiratory droplets. After more than six months of government recommendations and/or mandates for mask-wearing in public, most of us are already used to grabbing a mask along with our keys when we walk out the door. 

But wearing a mask doesn’t have to be a hassle… you can use your mask to showcase your personality or rep a favorite character/team/anything! Or why not rock a custom holiday mask to celebrate the season, and find some fun prints as stocking stuffers for the family? Making masks stylish and fun will make us all more likely to stay vigilant about wearing them. 

Spend More Time Outside

As the weather gets colder, we usually prefer to stay indoors. But this year is a great opportunity to invest in a good winter coat and get outdoors to take a break from Zoom calls, screens and virtual school. Indoor gatherings with those beyond your immediate family or “bubble” are pretty much out of the question right now, so get creative with socially distanced outdoor activities.

Geocaching is a great way to explore new places in your own community, and even just a walk around the neighborhood can give you a much-needed brain break. Once snow comes to the Midwest, the real fun can start, with skiing, sledding and snow angels. Outdoor workouts are going to be the choice of trainers everywhere for 2021, but if physical activity isn’t your idea of fun, why not make a DIY fleece blanket and take it outside with a good book?

Find Creative Ways to Connect 

The holiday season and winter months can be a tough time to stay away from loved ones. Seek out new ways that you can connect virtually with friends and family and you’ll find staying at home will feel much less lonely. 

Look for board games that easily translate to playing over Facetime and have a virtual game night. Teach grandparents how to use Zoom and ask them to tell their grandkids stories about their childhood. Mail a care package with indoor activity supplies to friends. Use Netflix or Disney+ to watch a movie in real time with someone across the street or across the world. You’ll be surprised by the amount of virtual ways there are to connect with loved ones. 

Staying safe and smart this winter will mean your family is more likely to stay healthy too. And if you do get sick, Hancock Health is here with home quarantine tips, virtual visit options, emergency care and more to get you feeling better quickly.