Stuck Inside: Youth Edition, Episode 2

Check out these ideas and activities for kids of all ages to stay engaged while also staying home and safe from our youth staff! This week we are focusing on ways to keep our spirits up when we’re feeling in a funk.
Danielle Leitao Danielle Leitao
Associate Youth Programs Manager
April 05, 2020

Welcome back! Each week, our youth team is sharing ideas and activities for kids of all ages to stay engaged while also staying home and safe. In our first Stuck Inside, we presented our best ideas for fun ways to bring the outdoors in. This week, we’re focusing on ways to keep our spirits up when we’re in a funk. 

I don't know about you, but I feel like this week has been a roller coaster of emotions, and I am in desperate need of ways to reconnect. For this edition of Stuck Inside, I want to focus on ways to feel better about the current situation by coming up with creative solutions to recreate how I feel after a few trail miles on my way to a beautiful lakeside campsite destination. Though I can't go on that specific adventure this week, I have been thinking about ways to calm my mind, body and lift my spirit while staying at home with only my partner and my plants. (If you’re wondering, my plants are doing great! They haven't had this much attention maybe ever and they are thriving!)

Calm the mind

  • Use this time to help out others! Focus on one kind activity a day, because studies show doing a kindness for someone else will help you feel better too. Use this calendar as inspiration. 
  • Focus on being creative with nature. Use natural things collected outside and around your neighborhood for your creative outlet. Try and use things on the ground, rather than living things. Make plant people and tell us their story.
  • Listen to a podcast. Sometimes a distraction is a great way to recenter. There are about a million podcasts out there but here are a couple to help you travel to a different headspace. Try Story Pirates or Peace Out, a youth-focused mindfulness show or Saturday Morning Theatre, based off those amazing old radio shows of the past.
  • Read something that sparks your interest! Especially something that connects you to the natural world! Might I suggest Ranger Rick Magazine? The popular magazine is offering its current issues free until the end of June virtually. Thanks y’all! 
  • A good laugh! Q: What’s a squirrel's favorite way to spend a day indoors? A: watching Nut-Flix. Q: Why are fish so smart? A: Because they live in schools. Here is a giant list if you need a few more chuckles or better yet, make up your own! We would love to hear them.

Calm the body

  • Yoga is a favorite! Try this class from our friends at the YMCA. 
  • Find focus. Find new things to focus on everyday. Observe something that lives near you, maybe a bird at a feeder and try your best to draw it. Here is some inspiration on how to draw a bird
  • DAILY. DANCE. PARTIES. I don't think I can say this loudly enough! Most of the time this is the ticket to a joyful smile. Make a family playlist on Spotify. Dance along with folks on the internet. Call all your friends virtually and dance to a couple of songs together. Have fun and be creative with it. Maybe even dress up? Share your pictures and challenge your friends to a costume contest or dance-off! 

Lift the spirits

    • Look at cute animal photos on the internet. We love following @weratedogs on Instagram or check out these puppies who competed in the puppy bowl. 
    • Write letters to friends and family. Start a birthday calendar! 5 years ago I wrote down every important person’s birthday in a year-long calendar and I have been copying it over every year since. It helps me to remember to send out cards a week before friends and family’s special days and remind them how important they are to me
    • Make a photo book of your last year. Sort through all those digital photos on the computer and on your phone, pick out the best ones or the memories you will cherish forever, and put them all in a coffee table book you can look back on.  

I am so grateful for everyone who has thought outside the box, become flexible and creative, and has been sharing their art and skills this week! The highlight of my week so far has been a DanceChurch class I took on Wednesday. It was amazing to have something to look forward to all day and, better yet, something that I looked forward to previously when I was allowed to hang out in a room with 100 strangers. The class was the most joyful I have felt in weeks and I cannot wait to live stream the next one and dance along with my family on the east coast.

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Danielle LEADING A HIKE WITH YWE. pHOTO BY bRI VANDERLINDEN.

 

I hope this inspires you to stop whatever you're doing and dance to your favorite song right now! Turn it up loud, I promise you won’t regret it.

Thanks for tuning in to Stuck Inside! We are really missing getting outside with you, but it’s been fun finding creative ways to stay connected with our community. If you try any of these activities, let us know how it went! Reach out on social media or in the comments. We would love to dance it out with you, or repost your creative ventures, especially those plant people.

Stay safe, have fun, be joyful. See you next week!

Mtn_workshop_JohnMuirRestorationCheasty_COBrien (3).jpgPhoto courtesy of Mountaineers Youth Programs.

ABOUT YOUTH PROGRAMS

The Mountaineers is committed to bringing outdoor experiences to today’s youth through our outdoor youth and family programs. We introduce young people to the benefits of outdoor experiences: a healthy lifestyle, outdoor recreation skills, perseverance, self-confidence, self-reliance, an appreciation for the natural world, and a commitment to protecting the outdoor experience. We offer year-round clubs, break and summer camps, outreach programs through Mountain Workshops, a youth gear lending library and even programs for our smallest members: Mini Mountaineers. Learn more about the programs we offer.

Learn more about Danielle and your outreach programs on this page

Main IMAGE BY bRI vanderlinden.

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