Summer came and went like waking up from a collective fever dream we’re still yearning for. Because of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, summertime activities such as going to the beach with friends were canceled, in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. 

There are still tons of safe beach activities after lockdown you can do while still practicing social distancing, even if the April heat that makes dipping into the sapphire waters of local beaches such as Boracay worth it is gone.

Read this guide for ideas about safe beach activities you can do while staying safe from the novel coronavirus. Summer may be over, but you can do the following activities while at the beach:

1. Hone your photography skills 

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The Philippines is blessed with the breathtaking wonders of nature, especially with its pristine jewels of beaches found in places such as El Nido in Puerto Princesa, and Boracay. These picturesque seascapes are natural oeuvres ready for photography enthusiasts to capture with their camera’s lenses. 

Photography provides beachgoers with a solitary yet fun and safe beach activity. Now that the novel coronavirus has decongested the volume of tourists in local beaches, make the most out of your visit by practicing beach photography tricks that bring out the best in your destination. 

There are various subjects you may take pictures of such as the Philippines ’ endemic flora and fauna. Take advantage of the different lighting throughout the day, and see how this affects your photographs. 

You may also consider creating a photo essay a-la Times magazine or a photo diary by uploading your shots on a personal blog. Meticulously select the best pictures you’ve shot and curate them with captions on your blog, that detail your experiences and reflections at the beach.

2. Meditate and connect to your body and being 

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The novel coronavirus forced everyone to self isolate in their own homes. Being home alone, however, doesn’t necessarily make it easy to connect with your own individuality, especially if your body is used to the hustle and bustle of the outside. In fact, there are reports of depression and anxiety becoming more rampant as a result of the sudden changes brought about by the pandemic.

A stroll along the beach is a safe activity you can do to reconnect with your sense of self. Practice meditation techniques with the help of slow-paced exercises such as yoga. 

Creating your own Boracay yoga retreat attunes and reactivates your body by encouraging you to explore your own limitations. Breathing exercises are one of the many perks of yoga. Try matching each inhales and exhales with the sound of the rolling waves of the ocean, as it gently kisses the shore. Connecting with your sense of self is also, after all, a return to nature. 

If yoga doesn’t suit you, another safe meditative beach activity you can do is to simply revel in the beauty of the beach you visited. Build sandcastles; listen to the waves of the sea; watch seabirds in flight on the horizon; collect pails of small stones and seashells, and stargaze under the mantle of the night sky.

3. Support local livelihoods near beaches

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The closure of beaches throughout the Philippines jeopardized small livelihoods and establishments dependent on the presence of its tourists. One example, as reported by the Inquirer, is Kenwalt Talorong—a former chef from the Station 1 restaurant in Boracay. Talorong lost his job and is now selling barbecues to support himself and his partner. 

Talorong is one of many Filipinos who lost their jobs because of the pandemic. Now that quarantine measures throughout the country have started to ease, consider supporting local livelihoods near and along beaches, to help revive the local economy.

Just remember the dos and don'ts in Boracay to keep yourself safe in the new normal. Restaurants, for example, encourage their patrons to dine out instead of lingering in their establishments.

Aside from local restaurants and hotels, you may also support individual vendors working along the beach such as those selling trinkets and memorabilia. Don’t be shy to chat up tour guides about the impact of the virus on their economic life; and don’t forget to tip them generously. 

Enjoying the beach while helping others around you recover from the pandemic makes each visit more fulfilling. Just remember to practice social distancing!

4. Celebrate by the beach with a significant person 

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There are celebrations and milestones that many people have missed because of the quarantine measures enforced, in response to the novel coronavirus. There are a variety of safe beach activities you can do to celebrate these achievements, even if the date has already passed.

Plan a staycation getaway by the beach for your significant other or best friend, and don’t miss out on surprising and treating them with mini party ideas that will show how valuable they are to you. 

There is plenty of premiere and Boracay hotels where you could celebrate missed milestones such as anniversaries and graduation blasts with someone. 

Going on a quaint picnic for two may also be a good idea if you want to keep your celebration more personalized and private. Picture yourself with your partner drinking wine and eating food you cooked, as you watch the sun sink beyond the horizon.

Celebrating with a large number of people may not be a good idea yet; so it’s best to enjoy the beach with one special person, for now, to make sure both of you will stay safe.

5. Stroll along the beach with your pets

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Humans aren’t the only ones who had to deal with the drudgery of staying at home all day because of the lockdown. Pets were also unable to go outside and take daily walks since their owners may run the risk of catching the virus on the streets.

If human companions aren’t allowed at the beach for safety reasons, why not enjoy the scenery with your beloved pet? Let them run with you along the shore; so they, too, can experience frolicking in the sea.

You can also exercise with them by playing catch using their favorite toys such as balls and frisbees. This is a good alternative, now that most water sport activities and facilities are closed because of quarantine measures. Your beloved animal companions can definitely run freely along the shore.

Always remember, though, to be a responsible pet owner. Clean up after them to make sure that others who are planning to visit the beach get to enjoy it without getting irked by the mess you and your pet left behind. 

6. Pick up litter and support organizations at the beach 

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The tourist ban in Boracay was lifted on July 23, 2020; and beachgoers from Western Visayas aged 21 to 60 and above can now visit the world-famous beach once again. With the return of tourists, litter and trash threaten to abound anew. 

If you’re running out of ideas to do at the beach, why not collect litter during your walks, to help preserve the beauty of the Philippines’ local beaches? 

Nature cannot heal on its own. It needs responsible individuals to help repair the damage people inflicted on it. Collecting garbage along beaches is indeed a fruitful safe activity which you can do on your own.

You may also consider helping non-profit organizations that assist local beaches nearby to recover from the impact of tourists whom it endured over the years. Something as simple as helping out in clean-up drives provides a great impact in letting beaches recuperate from the damages caused by irresponsible tourists.

Going to the beach is not just about seeking escape from the summer heat or the boredom of home, but it may also prove to be a fulfilling experience that happens to help the environment.

These are some safe beach activities you could do, even if the Philippines is still facing the rampage of the novel coronavirus. Going to the beach may remain a solitary affair for now, but it could also serve a chance to rediscover yourself and help out locals who were stricken by the effects of the quarantine. 

Don’t be afraid to enjoy your visit to the beach while staying safe from the virus with the help of this guide.