By now, most of us have become weary from being stuck at home.
Now that the novelty has worn off, we may be getting a bit restless and frustrated, anxious to return to our old lives.
But when will that be?
No doubt staying cooped up for so long can do a number on one’s mental health. Think about the many ways it has impacted us—feeling isolated and lonely, possibly dealing with a job loss, and feelings of anxiety and depression creeping in as we ponder the future.
Protecting our mental health should be a top priority as we slog through the pandemic. Mental health is directly connected to our physical well-being, so when one suffers, so does the other.
To maintain optimum health while spending so much time at home, consider some in-home activities to for our mental health.
8 Activities We Can Do at Home to Protect Our Mental Health
If you happen to be navigating the stay-at-home situation with young children, you may be at your wit’s end. Or, maybe you are single and riding out the lockdown alone, bored, and lonely. Whatever your particular situation is, by now most of us are feeling our spirits sinking.
So how can we muster up some renewed “can-do” attitude to make it through to the other side? Consider these eight ideas:
1. Rethink your living space.
Now that you have spent umpteen consecutive days in semi-seclusion, you are no doubt familiar with your living space. Identify a room or two that can be reimagined. It doesn’t have to be a grand redecorating project, just a freshening up that will elevate your mood.
Since large home improvement stores are open, it’s a perfect time to order up some paint and update a room or two. Home projects are great for lifting mood and remaining productive while in lockdown mode.
2. Comedy night.
We can all use an infusion of humor by now. Why not plan a comedy night where you stream some Netflix or Hulu comedy shows? Whip up some appetizers and special beverages and pretend you are at a comedy club.
3. Create an online fitness schedule.
Nothing is as powerful for protecting and improving mental health as exercise. During the pandemic, a plethora of online fitness studios have popped up.
Make getting in shape a priority, and schedule five fitness classes per week that you can do in your living room. You can stream Zumba classes, cross-fit classes, free weight workouts, calisthenics, and lots more.
4. Get crafty and creative.
Time to hit Pinterest for some DIY inspiration! Stoke your inner artist while improving your mood through creating. There is no limit to the number of media—painting, sewing, wood crafts, drawing, mixed media—the sky’s the limit.
If you are not particularly crafty, check out the beautiful coloring books for adults. Just spending time quietly coloring (colored pencils) these cool illustrations will put you in a peaceful state of mind.
5. Organize and deep clean.
Okay, so this sounds so boring, but there are excellent mental health benefits from putting one’s house in order. Take this rare opportunity to sort things out at home. Get Marie Kondo’s The Art of Tidying Up for inspiration and guidance. Do those home projects that are so easy to ignore all year, like cleaning out the garage or giving your appliances a deep cleaning. When your home is clean and orderly, your mind will thank you.
6. Keep a journal.
Come on, will we ever go through anything quite like this again? Why not start a digital journal to chronicle the unique experiences you and your family are going through during the coronavirus pandemic?
By keeping it as a Word document, you can add in photos of specific events that mark high and low points of the lockdown. Just update the journal once a week, noting your emotions, fears, hope, and triumphs.
Journaling is immensely healing, as it allows you to process and work through difficult feelings. Even if you never re-read it, what a great keepsake this will become for future generations to read what you went through in the spring of 2020.
7. Pamper yourself.
Pick one day a week to pile on the pampering. Heaven knows that all of us who are living with so much strife, grief, or frustration are well deserving of some special self-care.
Don’t just take a bath—take an amazing bath by sprinkling in some aromatherapy bath salts, setting up an essential oil diffuser, lighting some candles, and putting on your favorite relaxing music. Follow that with a clay or gel face mask, and a foot scrub/soak, and bask in self-pampering glory.
8. Relaxation practices.
With so many streaming videos and apps available, there is no reason why you cannot enjoy a deeply relaxing meditative experience right there at home.
Yoga classes offer different levels of expertise and styles, so experiment to find the best fit. Meditation apps or downloads can transport your mind step-by-step into an imaginary landscape, some even feature nature sounds to further enhance the experience. Use this technology to create a calm sense of serenity.
Even though we are “over it” and ready to return to our normal lives, the reality is that it might take some time, at least in the large population centers, to get there. In the meantime, make the most of this time at home with these eight in-home activities to do specifically for your mental health.