Sharon Horning of Evans Mills, New York, was looking forward to attending two concerts and a big car show this summer. But she had to revamp her plans when the pandemic made travel nearly impossible. Instead, she’s building a massive two-story playhouse for her kids.
Like Sharon, many people canceled, rearranged or reinvented their summer plans because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A few members of the pulmonary hypertension (PH) community share ideas to make the most of summer and fall despite physical distancing and stay-at-home recommendations.
1. Host a weekly family movie night. Dawn Taylor’s family in Greenbelt, Maryland, takes turns choosing a movie. But be prepared for a scary movie if your teenager chooses the movie, she says. On your own? Consider a virtual movie night with friends or family from afar, where everyone watches the same film on their own devices.
2. Embrace nesting. Try new recipes, take on home improvement projects or get organized, recommends Mary Hale of Dayton, Ohio. Or take advantage of the time you can spend playing with pets, reading, journaling and gardening, she says.
3. Play games. Schedule a game night at home with family or virtually with friends. Janessa Curnow of Grand Rapids, Michigan, organizes a weekly game night with friends via Zoom.
4. Commune with nature. Consider camping, walking, biking or picnicking. If your health and the weather permit, and you have access to water, try swimming. Tracy Leonard of Virginia Beach, Virginia, enjoys spending time in her pool.
5. Find your sewing machine. Lynn Bastian of Chicago suggests picking up sewing projects, such as making masks for yourself, friend, family or charitable/health care organizations.
6. Strengthen relationships. Many PHers are connecting or re-connecting with friends, family and others through letter writing, video chats or phone calls.
7. Discover a new hobby or skill. PH community members say they’re reading more, journaling, learning new languages or instruments, taking online classes, painting, crafting and volunteering. Susan Zimmerman of Maryland just finished writing a novel.
8. Consider a road trip. Linda Morgan of Savannah, Georgia, had planned a trip to San Diego this summer. Instead, she and her husband are heading to a cabin in the mountains in October with their kids and pets.
9. Create a seasonal “bucket list.” Deborah Webster of Woodstock, Illinois, is checking off camping, paddle boarding, finding a tiny house, hiking with a picnic, visiting three parks she’s never been to and playing a new game.
10. Join a virtual support group. Meet other people with PH who live in your area or anywhere in the United States. Find an upcoming virtual support group meeting on PHA’s support group calendar.