10 Things to Boost Mental Health During Quarantine….
To ensure people remain healthy and safe, social distancing is important during this trying time in our world. People don’t want to get loved ones sick and are forced to hunker down at home for what feels like the foreseeable future. It can get monotonous and depressing quite quickly.
Try these 10 things to keep your sanity and boost mental health while social distancing…..
1. Continue your normal routine….or start a better one.
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. If you loved your routine before this quarantine then continue with it, but if there were gaping holes in it then take this time to construct a better one. Get up the same time every day, try to eat your meals the same time each day, and go to bed at the same time every night. Does this thought make you anxious, feeling as though you will just add to the monotony you are trying escape? I felt the same way, but this structure will actually allow you to feel productive while also allowing you to fill the rest of your time with fun activities. Pick a good time to exercise, read, meditate, or do whatever brings you some joy and stress relief. If you don’t have clear-cut nonnegotiables, then the days will just run into each other even more than they are. This way you can give yourself some clarity to remember if the cake you baked was on Monday night or Tuesday morning.
2. Open Windows and Shades
With the shades closed you can’t tell the difference between Monday at 6am and Thursday at 3pm. Household lights and sunlight are not interchangeable. There’s something about sunshine beaming through the windows and on your face that makes you feel better. Fresh air also helps make the area feel cleaner. So open your shades and your windows, you won’t regret it!
3. Cook Something New/Different
Now is the time to try something new. What do you have to lose? Time? There seems to be an abundance of it recently, so take your newfound time and try that new recipe you’ve been wanting to, or experiment with a different cuisine. You may just find your new favorite food, or at least improve your cooking skills slightly.
4. Get Dressed at Least Once a Week
Not going anywhere day after day can cause you to justify wearing pajamas all day, or switching from pajamas to daily sweats each day, losing track of when you last changed your clothes, or even showered. I completely get it and justify it myself! I am the girl who didn’t care if she wore pajamas or sweats to class in college. Although I can convince myself there’s no need to wear “regular” clothes since I’m not going anywhere, I can’t deny the feeling after showering and getting dressed. Caring about your appearance can make you feel human again. I recommend it at least once a week! I’m not saying to shower once a week. I believe that should be done a little more often, but I am saying to care about your appearance at least once a week. It is something that is so simple, and sounds like a no-brainer, but it can give you a whole new perspective on life.
5. Take a Walk
Get out of your house!!!!! I can’t stress that enough. It should be done safely, with a mask and gloves and while maintaining social distancing as the CDC recommends, but it can be the turning point in your mental and physical health. Go for a walk whether it’s for 10 minutes, 20 minutes, or for an hour. It can help with Cabin Fever, restlessness, and brainstorming in the middle of the work day.
6. Call/Facetime Family and Friends
For those of us who are used to routinely visiting friends and family, this quarantine can be extremely isolating, but we can learn from those who are routinely across the country or even across the world from loved ones. When you aren’t in close proximity to family and friends you know how important phone calls and video chats can be. Even though you aren’t in the same room, it can make you feel pretty damn close. One benefit of technology that I think almost everyone would agree with, is that it allows you to connect with others who aren’t right next to you. Take advantage of it! Plan daily or weekly calls with loved ones. It doesn’t replace the benefits of face-to-face interaction, but it will without a doubt help.
7. Turn up the Music
For many, music is ingrained in their DNA. There’s no denying how it benefits your soul and uplifts your mood. It helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain, and can help improve memory, and mood. So turn up the music and even have a dance party, whether you are by yourself or with others.
8. Watch a Funny Movie
We’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine. This common phrase actually has scientific merit. In addition to producing endorphins, the act of laughing stimulates muscles, the heart, and the lungs. Laughter can decrease stress, improve the immune system, boost mood, and increase connection with others. What better way to help prevent this awful virus than to laugh.
9. Start a Home Project
A common excuse for not starting a new project is that there’s never enough time. Well, now we are faced with an excess of time. Take advantage of it and paint that room, refinish that table, clean that garage, or re-organize that junk room you’ve been meaning to. You will undoubtedly feel productive and accomplished, not to mention relieved.
10. Plan Something to do After the Quarantine is Lifted
It always helps me to have something to look forward to, whether it’s a weekend away, concert, or night out. This process can remove focus from the monotonous, daily grind and replace it with hope. We aren’t sure when things will go back to “normal” but we can at least make some plans to look forward to when they do. Research a local restaurant to go to that you’ve been wanting to try, or plan a small get together with friends. Start brainstorming and don’t worry about defining the details yet.