If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything so far, it’s that life as we know it has changed for awhile. Schools are closed, gyms are closed and widely popular go-to locations are shut down as well. While this is certainly a time of closed doors, there are still many you can open for yourself to stay busy and active while you’re cooped up at home.
Boost the brain. Netflix is awesome, there’s no denying that. So are video games. However, there can be a psychological peak to these activities. Studies have shown that after an increased amount of dopamine is generated from pleasurable activities, like binge watching or video games, there can be a significant letdown, resulting in higher levels of stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms. So, if you’ve reached that final episode of Stranger Things and are feeling a little low, pick yourself back up with something stimulating like a 500-piece puzzle. Puzzles promote several benefits, for both your current stay-home schedule and your mind. Have a few extra coloring books? Doing a couple pages can even help sharpen your focus. Don’t let your mental capacity go to waste during this time.
Elevate Education. If you have children who are in school, this is an unprecedented time for learning. Most of it’s being done online and from home, with some parents even having to step in and be the teacher. While it can seem daunting, take this as an opportunity to do some mutual learning, and have some fun. Your little ones are probably missing music class, so find out ways to make your own band with common household items. If you have a high school senior that’s shipping off to college in the fall, why not take this time to teach them some life hacks and other home economics skills for when they’re taking on that new realm of life. Don’t have kids? No problem. This is also a perfect time for self-teaching. Check out apps like Duolingo and Busuu to pick up on that foreign language you always wanted to learn.
Get physical. The current pandemic can really throw those with fitness goals for a loop. Gyms are closed, and unless you have one in your home or have access to a Peloton subscription, options might seem limited. Think again. There are plenty of home workout options to do without the fancy equipment.
Go outside. One thing that should be demystified during this pandemic is the idea that outdoor exercise is not an option. Even if you are living in a community that’s under a “shelter-in-place” order, you can still run and walk outside, provided that you are following appropriate social distancing guidelines. During a time where there is urgency to stay indoors, know that there still are options for healthy activity and fresh air.
This is an unprecedented time, but there is always room for opportunity under uncertainty. Challenge yourself, try something new and continue to promote health and wellbeing from within—both your home and yourself.