I've spent just about every week since COVID-19 made its dramatic entrance inside my house; every once in a while, I see my friends via video chat, go on walks with my mom, and I've even picked up painting again. But I have to admit, I'm starting to feel the onset of cabin fever while staying in the same place, not to mention I've lost all sense of time at this point (by the way, what day is it…?). My mom and I had been talking about what we could do to get out of the house while still being careful in the given situation. Visiting the beach was brought into the conversation, as we hadn't been to the beach in about four years, but we started to put it to the back of our minds since we didn't really know how safe it actually was. Then she talked to a friend from work who had just been recently, and it eased our minds.
We decided to go to the beach, and I am so happy we did.
1. It cleared my head.Giphy
My mom's colleague had just been to the beach not too long ago and explained how unwinding it was for them, plus they said that other people at the beach were pretty spaced out and conscientious about where they put their umbrellas and beach chairs. My mom and I decided to go for it - we really needed the change in scenery. When we got there, we were actually able to find a parking spot right away (yes, right away!). Everyone was spaced out, and no one stepped on anyone. We found a spot where we weren't close to the parties of people on either side of us. After we got our stuff situated, my mom and I just sat in the chairs, I laid down to tan, and we just began to relax. I listened to the seagulls, the waves, music coming from a nearby radio, and I placed myself in the moment. I let go of the things that were pressing at the time: the virus, school starting back up, how things will change or when things will go back to normal.
2. I felt the breeze and basked in the sun.Giphy
Letting go of all of those worries and stress allowed me to fully relax. I breathed in the salty air and felt my muscles soften. Everyone always talks about the breeze of sea salt air and how it's so refreshing, and they are definitely right. It was the change in setting my senses needed, instead of being cooped up inside the house all the time. Breathing in such different air was what I needed in order to reset and refresh myself; and really, what better air to breathe in Florida than the sea salt breeze? But in all seriousness, it felt like a weight was lifted from my chest. I was so drained from the sun, but I found myself so at peace that the heat became comforting.
3. It was something good in the bad.Giphy
I understand that we are all still in a time of uncertainty and that we should still be wary about what is going on around us. However, staying inside for the entirety of the pandemic and never going out when we don't know how long the remainder of this will be, will hurt us. My mom and I were still able to practice social distancing, and we even brought our masks just in case we found ourselves in an instance where we needed them. We were also prepared to turn around in case we didn't feel safe. It gave my mom and I a moment where we could be stress-free for a few hours, creating a lasting memory in the middle of a gloomy situation. It gave us something to look forward to rather than wonder if we would be able to do that again.
This trip to the beach gave us a moment where we could feel like not everything was about the pandemic; there were no news stories, no people fighting about wearing or not wearing a mask - it was just people trying to live their lives, trying to settle in and find some sort of normality among everything. 2020 has been such an upside down and memorable year. It's been a dark time for so many of us, but when we're experiencing little moments of good, I hope we hold them close to our hearts - whether they're as small as smiling and waving to a kid or hugging your loved ones tight.