Giving Yourself a Break: Top Ways to Spend Your Me-Time

This has been a difficult year for many of us. Alongside the usual stresses of day to day life, almost all of us have had to deal with the consequences of a worldwide pandemic. Back in January, who could have anticipated that we’d spend the majority of this year battling against the effects of a potentially deadly virus. Coronavirus and Covid-19 have posed a huge health threat, have caused the implementation of social isolation and social distancing (posing a threat to our mental health and emotional wellbeing) and have also ravaged the economy, causing countless companies to collapse and countless consequent job losses around the world. We’ve all had a lot on our plate. On top of this, many of us have faced around the clock childcare alongside trying to take care of everything else, as many schools have been closed for months on end. It’s not all too surprising that your stress levels may be pretty high right now. If this is the case, it really is important to take some me-time and schedule it into your calendar. Sure, you want to put everyone else’s needs foremost and you can. But also make sure to schedule some time in for yourself where you can kick back and relax for a while. Here are some good ways to spend your me-time.

Go For a Walk

You’d be amazed what going for a simple walk can do for your wellbeing. This activity goes above and beyond the physical benefits of getting out, stretching your legs and getting some mild aerobic exercise in. It gives you time to think and reflect. Plus, being out in nature can be pretty calming in and of itself too. While the majority of us don’t live next to sprawling and stunning scenery and landscapes, think of a local nature spot you can visit to just see something nice in the quiet and calm.

Game

So many of us enjoy gaming. It gives you an outlet where you can escape from the real world and live a fantasy for a while. Plus, you can game safely from the comfort of your own home without having to come into contact with others to communicate with them. Whatever games you’re into, whether that’s Animal Crossing, casino games with an Online Casino Guide or anything else, make sure to play responsibly and don’t get too immersed. You still need to keep up with your other commitments. This should just be an occasional release.

Bake

Lots of people have really got into baking over the past few months. There’s probably been a point where local stores have experienced a lack of baking essentials like flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and more. But this is because baking is relaxing, fun, engaging and you get some sort of (hopefully) delicious treat at the end! Try a few recipes to see how you get along.

These are just a few different activities you might want to try out when you take a little break and incorporate some me-time into your schedule! Hopefully, you’ll find some fun!

Go Skateboarding Day is June 21st!

Mark your calendars and grab your board because June 21st is Go Skateboarding Day!!! You don’t need to go to a skate park specifically, maybe it’s just a parking lot near your house, or your sidewalk or patio. Just watch out for those pesky no skateboarding signs!

Our little family isn’t the best skateboarders. We try and fail a lot, but ya know what, that’s okay. At least we are trying and just having fun and I think that is what ultimately skateboarding is about. Just having fun, especially with the people you love.

I would list the various skate parks here in the St. Louis area but I have no idea which ones are closed still due to covid-19 or which ones have opened up. So I will leave that up to you to decide on where you are gonna skate. I know the park near us is still closed, so we will be checking out some other spots. Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram to find out where we will be skating and if you are up for it, join us!

A Little Family Camping

With everything going on in the world right now we had to get away for a night. So my wife called around and we got a campsite, packed our bags, loaded up the van and took a drive south.

We typically go camping in larger groups, family, friends, people we barely know… But this would be our first time camping with just us, no extra people, nobody else is responsible for bringing anything extra, we had to make sure we packed it all and had a plan for everything.

I would say we were pretty successful for our first camping trip with just our little family. We even brought our little Pork Chop with us and that pup was amazing as can be! I’ll admit I was a little worried about how he would behave and if we would be needing to hold his leash the entire trip, but nope, he was a very good boy and had the time of his life.

Swimming, smores, and so much fun kept this St. Louis family sane during our little family camping trip. I am still amazed at how well we all worked together in making sure this little trip turned out to be successful. From the small things like saying please and thank you, to playing a few rounds of Mario Party, which I was winning until mom somehow mysteriously glitched the game.

All in all it was a fantastic camping trip that I cannot wait to do again. Sometimes you just need to disconnect to reconnect once in a while to get yourself back to where you need to be. After being on lock down for a several weeks and now the protests, we just needed a break from the real world, and this break delivered a sense of renewed energy in our family. I cannot ask for more, except if we can do it again, maybe for Father’s Day. I guess we will just have to see what the world has planned for us and of course if there are any camp sites available.

St. Louis Aquarium and St. Louis Wheel Re-Opening Today!!!

If you haven’t seen the news then here’s to some good news! The aquarium and the wheel down in Union Station is re-opening today!!!

Of course there are a few guidelines to be aware of when arriving. Check out the press release below!

The Aquarium reopens at 9 a.m. and the St. Louis Wheel reopens at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 8.

CHANGES: Guests will notice a variety of new animals and activities at the reopened St. Louis Aquarium, including “Annie,” a four-year-old Tamandua, or Lesser Anteater. Other new animals include Zebra Sharks and Bonnethead Sharks, one of the smaller Hammerheads.

A new Dive Show will take place three times a day — at 11 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 4 p.m. — in the Shark Canyon exhibit. Guests will be able to ask questions of the Aquarium’s divers who will be wearing special communications masks during the 20-minute shows.

Colorful murals also have been added to wall spaces throughout the Aquarium.

DETAILS: The indoor and outdoor attractions at St. Louis Union Station will reopen on June 8, 2020 after receiving clearance from the City of St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS AQUARIUM: The St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station will resume regular hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

New physical distancing protocols will be in place along with enhanced sanitation measures and extensive team member training to ensure the health and safety of guests and workers.
 
The St. Louis Aquarium and other St. Louis Union Station attractions have been closed in accordance with Missouri and St. Louis City COVID-19 regulations. 

Aquarium Ticketing Changes: All guests, including annual pass holders, will be required to reserve timed tickets in advance to keep within City of St. Louis regulations for significantly reduced capacity in the Aquarium.
 
Advance reservations will guarantee guests’ admission on the day of their visit. No tickets will be available for same day visits at the ticket counter and no guests will be admitted to the Aquarium prior to their reservation time. 

Guests who are feeling unwell on the day of their visit can contact the Aquarium and have their tickets exchanged for another date.
 
Aquarium Safety Protocols Added: The health and safety of guests and team members is the highest priority of the St. Louis Aquarium and St. Louis Union Station. Enhanced safety and sanitizing procedures have been enacted for the Aquarium reopening, including:

— All team members will wear masks and guests over the age of 9 are required to wear masks at the direction of the St. Louis City Department of Health. Guests with pre-existing health conditions unable to wear a mask for medical reasons are exempt. Guests may remove or lower their masks when they are able to stay six feet or more away from others or when eating or drinking.

— A one-way flow has been established through the Aquarium to help with social distancing. 

— The Aquarium is maintaining its existing high standards of cleanliness and all high-touch surfaces such as windows, doors, railings, restrooms, and elevators will be cleaned continuously by the Aquarium’s Clean Team. Hard surfaces will be sanitized throughout the attraction, lobby and restrooms continuously. 

— Additional hand sanitizer stations will be found throughout the Aquarium including at the entry, exit and in the restrooms.

–Employees will be screened daily to verify that they do not have fevers or other COVID-19 symptoms. Guests will walk through an infrared scanner at the entrance to verify their temperatures and will take a survey to confirm their health. Those with temperatures of more than 100 degrees will be asked to return on another day.

— Guest services associates will refer guests to signs listing COVID-19 symptoms to verify that everyone in their party is symptom free.

–Floor decals have been added throughout the queue lines and inside the aquarium to help guests maintain six feet of separation from others. At touch pools and interactive areas, guests can step up and enjoy the experience when floor decal spaces are open.

— The Aquarium’s touch pools, Otter Chat and animal presentations will continue to be available along with a new dive show at Shark Canyon. 

— For now, the Fish ID touchscreens, Scavenger Hunt touchscreens, the Train Experience and the Virtual Reality Sandbox are not available due to their high touch nature and the difficulty in maintaining adequate social distancing during their use. 

— No cash payments will be accepted at attractions and restaurants throughout St. Louis Union Station; all major credit cards will be accepted.
 
St. Louis Ropes Course and Mirror Maze: The indoor attractions at Union Station also will reopen on June 8. Queue markers will help guests at the St. Louis Ropes Course and the Mirror Maze maintain their distance from each other to at least six feet. Gloves will be offered to guests and the areas will be continuously sanitized throughout the day.

More Information: Guests will finds an FAQ at www.stlouisaquarium.com and can ask questions by emailing info@stlouisaquarium.com

Follow the St. Louis Aquarium on social media @aquariumstl.

UNION STATION RESTAURANTS AND RETAIL: The Aquarium gift shop and Wheel retail kiosk will be open but will limit the number of guests allowed inside at any time. Guests will be asked to touch only what they intend to purchase. 

No cash payments will be accepted at this time. Plexiglass barriers have been erected to separate guests and team members at Aquarium gift shop checkout counters. 

Restaurants Trainshed and 1894 Cafe also will reopen to the public at reduced capacity and with enhanced sanitizing and health checks for regular hours on June 8. 

Soda Fountain reopened at reduced capacity and with added sanitizing, health checks and social distancing on May 18, 2020. 

THE ST. LOUIS WHEEL: The St. Louis Wheel at Union Station also reopens to the public on Monday, June 8, 2020.

With physical distancing protocols, enhanced sanitizing and extensive team member training in place, the St. Louis Wheel will welcome riders with a resumption of regular hours, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily. 

The Wheel has been closed in accordance with Missouri and St. Louis City COVID-19 regulations. 

Wheel Safety Protocols Added: The health and safety of guests and team members is the highest priority of the St. Louis Wheel and St. Louis Union Station. Enhanced safety and sanitizing procedures have been enacted for the Wheel Park reopening, including:

— Team members will wear masks and guests are encouraged to do the same. 

— Employees will be screened daily to verify that they do not have fevers or other COVID-19 symptoms. 

— Guests will take a survey to confirm their health.

— Signs in the Wheel Park will list COVID-19 symptoms and guests also will be asked to confirm their health statuses in person. 

— Pavement markers will placed to guide guests to stay at least six feet apart to maintain social distancing. 

— Gondola loading and unloading cycles will be spaced to allow physical distancing between guests and between cleaning cycles. 

— The Wheel’s gondolas will be sanitized between groups. Clean Team members will continuously sanitize surfaces on and around the Wheel, in the Wheel Park and at the other attractions. 

— All team members will be required to wash and sanitize their hands frequently. Hand sanitizing stations will be in place throughout the Wheel Park.

UNION STATION’S OUTDOOR ATTRACTIONS: The Mini-Golf course and St. Louis Carousel in the Wheel Park at Union Station also will open for guests on June 8, 2020. 

Golf equipment will be cleaned between guest uses. Signs will be placed to remind guests to continue social distancing. Entry to the golf course will be regulated to keep the appropriate number of players on the course. Golf pencils and scoring pads will be disposable. 

At the Carousel, queue lines are marked to allow for social distancing. Attendants will use visual checks from a distance to ensure safety compliance and verbal instructions will be given from a distance to explain how to properly fasten the seat belt. Chaperones will be required to fasten the lap belts of younger guests and assist them off and on to the carousel animals. Each animal will be thoroughly disinfected after each use and the amount of riders will be limited to allow for proper social distancing and spacing.

The Wheel Park playground will not be open at this time.

Tables in the Wheel Park and chairs surrounding the Union Station Lake will be spaced to allow for proper social distancing. The Lake Fire and Light Show will resume on June 8.

More information is available at www.thestlouiswheel.com.