By Abbie Cornett
The 4th of July is nearly here. At my house, this has always meant a pool party that, as twilight approaches, moves in mass to our local park to watch a fabulous firework display and listen to a live concert. One of the worst parts of the pandemic last year was the isolation from my community and friends during the holidays, including the 4th of July. My kids and I sat at home all evening and did nothing except feel sorry for ourselves.
This year, things have started to return to normal. We have several families coming over during the day to swim, and we are all planning to attend the fireworks together. Ironically, I am feeling anxious. All the families involved are planning to follow social distancing guildelines, and they are all vaccinated. Further, everyone in our group is planning to wear a mask at the fireworks display. But, that doesn't change how I feel!
Because I know I can't be the only one who is nervous about celebrating publicly, I researched alternative ways to celebrate that can reduce anxiety and still be fun for the whole family.
Instead of fireworks, parades and large groups of people, consider having just family members over and grilling out or going on a picnic at a local park or the beach. Or, consider camping out, even if it's in your backyard. Camping out can be a great way to watch fireworks from a distance and still feel like you have celebrated the holiday! If you want to do something out of the house but still socially distance, consider going on a hike or to the beach.
If you do decide to stay home, make it memorable for the kids by setting up a sprinkler and letting them play in the water, and setting up a portable projector and making it a movie night. The important thing is making if fun and stress-free for everyone!