5 activities for liberated parents to enjoy while the kids are back at school

With kids back to school, parents can decompress and find themselves again. Here are five activities to make the most of newly-acquired, week-day me-time. 

Lunch like a pro

With restaurants finding a new equilibrium, in terms of social distancing measures, while maintaining an atmosphere conducive to happy dining, it is possible to lunch like a pro once again.

Some restaurants have gone so far as to invest in their alfresco offering, giving diners the even safer option to dine en plein air, and in lockdown times that is pretty much your only option. Alternatively, dust off the picnic basket and meet pals in the park.



Helen Cammock

Discover art and history

Most, if not all, of the museums and galleries are back open (outside counties under lockdown) and there is much to take in. Even those museums in counties under lockdown – I'm looking at you, Dublin – still often have online exhibits to enjoy from the comfort of your own sofa/bed/toilet. For instance, check out IMMA Screen #5, where Turner Prize shortlistee, Helen Cammock's, above, The Long Note, is on view. Meanwhile, also on view, onsite, are IMMA's beautiful gardens for footloose and fancy-free punters to ramble through and enjoy.



Become a book-worm again

We spend way too much time on our phones. That's probably the least damaging aspect of living in a digital world the recent Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma revealed. So now is a very good time to spark your own imagination again and put the device down. Dublin libraries are operating a Call & Collect service, so you can call in – use the landline! – order your chosen tome and pop in and pick it up. Most open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm.


All images pexels.com, except Helen Cammock, above

Walk the walk


When the original lockdown lifted, many of us – me, for one – slunk back into a sedentary lifestyle. Whereas the parameters of the lockdown encouraged daily exercise – and who doesn't live a good walk to blow away the cobwebs – the lifting of restrictions took away that well-developed routine many of us had begun to revel in. Getting back into walking just requires willpower and a little imagination when it comes to where to do it. Choose somewhere scenic and not too arduous, hill walks are ideal. And make an arrangement to meet a friend, much harder to slink out of that way!


Take a dive

Fierce trendy altogether these days, sea swimming – or at least dunking – is supposed to bestow multitude benefits, both mental and physical on the dunkee. The country is blessed with beautiful, and generally safe – although do check in advance – bathing spots in which to jolt oneself back into joyful exuberance for life! Well, almost ...



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