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Social Active Leisure During the COVID-19 Pandemic Nightmare

Last week I shared some research regarding wealthy people and how active leisure activities play a role in their lives.

You’re more than welcome (and encouraged!) to go check it out: The 3 Types of Active Leisure (& How They Can Help Your Mental Health). I discuss the study and talk about the three types of active leisure and give some examples of each.

To catch up those of you who don’t have time to take in another post, active leisure activities:

  • Involve engaging your physical or mental energy, tend to overlap with recreational activities, and most often happen outside your home and with other people (like volunteering, hobbies, and exercise).
  • Are different from passive leisure activities, which involve little or no mental or physical energy and are usually done alone (like watching television).
  • Are comprised of three types: social, physical, and cognitive.

Then, I gave some examples of those three types.

One reader, Karen, questioned whether the article was written pre-pandemic; specifically, the social active leisure activity suggestions as most of them involved physically being around other people or in establishments. It wasn’t; most of these suggestions are things my area has opened back up (with social distancing and masks, of course).

Still, it’s definitely my bad for not considering that other states maybe haven’t opened up as much as we have yet, or that some people are still quarantining regardless of what their states are doing.

So for Karen and other readers who might not be able to — or want to — take advantage of some of those examples during the global pandemic, let’s come up with some different ideas for social active leisure activities!

Social Active Leisure During the COVID-19 Pandemic Nightmare

Up front, let’s be real: a lot of these are going to involved Zoom, Facetime, Google Duo, or whatever face-to-face calling platform.

However, there still are some social activities that respect social distancing*! Let’s look at those first:

  • I stand by looking for volunteer opportunities. If your local animal shelter is open and allowing people to volunteer for tasks like walking the dogs, go for it! Hey, socializing with a pooch counts.
  • Check your local city and state parks. Many are opening back up and a nice easy hike (you don’t want to get too out of breath while wearing a mask!) is perfect for you and your partner and, if you have them, your kids, to get outside while maintaining a safe distance from others. Who says socializing with your family doesn’t count? Not I.
  • Organize a neighborhood cleanup. Or, if you’re not feeling that ambitious (that would definitely take time), a block cleanup. You can contact your neighbors via phone or email, everyone can provide their own masks, gloves, and trash bags (I mean, it’s only a block — not the whole city), and all agree on a Saturday morning to beautify your block while staying six feet apart.

* Remember to follow CDC guidelines, which involve wearing a mask and staying six feet apart.

You can easily get involved — and get your friends and distant family involved — in the following activities using Zoom, FaceTime, Google Duo, or other platform:

  • The obvious group hangout. Think dinner dates, happy hours, and even virtual game nights. Thrillist lists a ton of virtual games you can play with a group using Apple or Android platforms.
  • Host book club meetings. If you don’t have a book club, start one!
  • Go live on Instagram or Facebook. During quarantine, you might have noticed a lot of celebrities started doing going live on social media, whether it was just conversations with fellow celebs or talking to fans. Why can’t you do the same? My hubs went live a few weeks ago with just his guitar and set list of around half an hour. Lots of our friends tuned in and it was fun! You could play an instrument, sing, dabble in slam poetry, reenact the cold open from The Office‘s “Stress Relief” episode — sky’s the limit here.
  • Use Zoom or Facebook or Instagram live to teach something. What are you good at?
  • Challenge your squad to see who can create the funniest TikTok. Come on, you knew I’d go there.

Once again, shout out to Karen for the nudge to come up with more social distant social leisure!

Anything else? Chime in below with your ideas!

Photo by Edward Jenner from Pexels.

Social Active Leisure During the COVID-19 Pandemic Nightmare

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind, Unleash Your Creativity, and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2020). Social Active Leisure During the COVID-19 Pandemic Nightmare. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 20, 2020, from


Last updated: 30 Jun 2020
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