The new year has begun, and with quarantine rules relaxing, people are itching to socialise and have fun. But the steady rise in cases in the US after the holidays may have some people reluctant about going out and meeting with their friends. Visiting each other’s houses is no longer an option, and the role of outdoor areas have taken a more central position in our lives: restaurants rely on outdoor dining aside from takeout to keep their restaurants running, corporate workplaces are using their terraces our courtyards for meetings, and households are using their backyards for small gatherings.
But how can you make sure that your outdoor space is a safe venue for you, your friends, and your family? Here are a few ways you can take advantage of your outdoor space without sacrificing safety.
Being close to nature has a significant effect on our physical and mental well-being. Even viewing it can positively affect you, reducing stress levels and other negative feelings while increasing your overall mood. Depending on how much time you have in a day, having plants and taking care of them can enhance your outdoor space and help you fight pandemic fatigue, all while eliminating toxins from the air. Even just taking a step outside for a short while after spending most of your time indoors can be a good break from any pent-up anxiety and stress you might be experiencing.
Ventilation is an important factor in preventing the spread of any virus. Make sure your outdoor space is also an open space that does not allow any re-circulation of air. This is why open areas if accompanied by social distancing, are generally safer compared to indoor areas. This is because viruses spread from person-to-person who are in close contact with each other, and if there is a lack of ventilation, droplets can stay in the air longer. When you are outside in an open area, the area is constantly moving, so there is a lesser chance of you inhaling the droplets.
Fans can provide ventilation, but if you are going to have visitors from different households, open-air is still the best and safest option. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you’re completely safe from contracting the virus; following the proper health regulations like washing your hands regularly, social distancing, mask-wearing, and avoiding crowds.
Make Your Outdoor Space Usable Year-Round
You don’t want your space to be a seasonal one. Make the space one that you can use at any time of the year by adding the following:
Staying outside might not be as pleasant during the colder months. Adding a heat source near your seating areas like a fire pit or an outdoor heater can add to the ambiance of your outdoor living area while warming you up at the same time.
Days get shorter during the fall, so even if you choose to host a daytime gathering, some of your outdoor time will end up taking place during the dark. There are many options to choose from when picking light fixtures for your patio, like walkway lights, string lights, or floodlamps, some of which are solar-powered to save you on electricity. Candles can also provide a relaxing mood to your space, but be careful about where you plan on placing them unless you want your relaxation time to end in disaster.
One way to make sure you can use your outdoor space all year round is by having furniture that can withstand all the elements. If you have extra furniture in your home, use that. But if you’re planning on going shopping, furniture items made from polyresin wicker, powder-coated steel, and teak can withstand different weather conditions and will keep your patio furniture in tip-top shape for a long time.
If you own a gazebo, consider getting a louvered roof that allows you the option of opening them or closing them. They serve as another layer of protection for your furniture when closed, but when open, they allow natural light into your patio on days when you want to relax and soak up the sun.
Social Distance (Your Furniture)
If you’re planning a small get-together, especially with people who don’t live with you, it’s imperative to maintain social distancing. This doesn’t just apply to the people, but your furniture as well. Arrange your furniture to allow for social distancing, and let people from the same household group together. Only groups of people from different households need to be 6 feet away from each other.
With these helpful tips, accompanied by following the health standards and regulations, keeping yourself and your family safe won’t get in the way of having some fun during the pandemic.