Updated: May 26
With so much going on in the world, and report after report about the COVID-19 outbreak playing on television and social media, it’s easy for anxiety to set in while we are self-quarantining. Remember that it’s good to take time for yourself to give your brain a chance to process emotions and reset. To help you do that, we’ve put together a list of things to do while you’re social distancing.
Give yourself a break from social media. Whether it’s the news, social media platforms, or emails, stop consuming excessive content that adds to your fear, stress, and anxiety. There’s a fine line between staying informed and over consuming the news.
Practice mindfulness and meditation. A great way to calm your mind and anxiety is to meditate. Even if the outside world is crazy, you can work to stay grounded and peaceful in your inner world. Add breathing exercises.
Start your day with music. Switch your alarm clock for your favourite radio station or soothing playlist.
Clean & organize your space. We all have a miscellaneous junk drawer somewhere in the house and some closet space that's untidy... When the world outside feels out of control, focus on the things you can control. You can control how your space feels. If your space feels tidy and fresh, your mind will feel more calm as well.
Get lost in a good book. It could be something practical or something entirely impractical. It really doesn’t matter as long as you enjoy it.
Everyday can be Spa Day! Relax in a luxurious bubble bath, use a body scrub, face mask, light a scented candle, glass of wine with your favourite music or book. No bath? No problem! Give your feet some love with a hot lavender salt soak, light some candles, face mask on, wine in hand (optional) and movie on the TV. Don't forget the hair mask!
Spend quality time with family (if you are together). Get to know really know them. Their past, their dreams. If you aren't with family members, plan regular virtual catch-ups with them.
Learn a new language. The internet is filled with great language lessons, learning apps and online courses. What better time than now to start your Spanish...!
Find a new hobby or engage in an old hobby. Anything you used to do that you loved but gave up because you had no time?
Keep a diary. Journaling is an amazing tool for working through your thoughts and emotions, which can be incredibly helpful during chaotic times like this. Don't forget to make a list of things you’re grateful for.
Plan your next trip. We all love to plan a vacation! Rather than stressing about when it will happen, focus on researching new cities & new cultures.
Take a virtual museum tour. We are fortunate that so many museums are now hosting virtual tours of their galleries and exhibitions. Explore Egyptian relics at the Louvre, the famous spiral staircase at the Guggenheim, and the masterpieces at the Van Gogh Museum... all from the comfort of your couch! And, thanks to Google’s Arts & Culture project, the ROM’s Blue Whale exhibit, as well as hundreds more around the world, can all be viewed crowd-free from your home.
Discover new delicious flavours! Try a new recipe or cook an old favourite. Youtube is filled with great, easy recipes from all over the world.
Learn to bake homemade bread. There is no smell better than fresh bread baking but it can feel daunting for beginner bakers who don't know what "proofing yeast" even means, much less how to do it. Plus, who has the time to sit around rising, kneading, and then baking dough? You do, now! If you're already a pro, take this opportunity to learn how to bake a new type of bread, like sourdough.
Plant a container garden. Just because you have to stay indoors doesn't mean you can't get started on your spring gardening. Bring the outdoors in by sprouting seeds or planting a mini container garden. Bonus: You can use your fresh herbs in your amazing healthy dishes you're learning to cook (basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary).
Go for a walk or run. In most places, unless you are under a strict stay-indoors mandate, you are still allowed to go outside for exercise while still following self-quarantining rules. (Not in groups and while staying at least 2 meters away from others, of course.) This is something you should take advantage of daily as exercise and sunshine are two of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health. Nature is one of the wonderful things that will never be cancelled.
Talk to a therapist. Feeling too stressed and anxious? Try online therapy. You can arrange online sessions that allow you to video chat, call, or text with a therapist without ever leaving your house.
Stretch and strengthen with yoga. With so many amateur yoga videos now online, it is very important to search for qualified yoga instructors to get the best out of your sessions. Your body will thank you for doing yoga!
Dance, dance, dance! Whether its free dancing in your pijamas or taking online classes, starting a totally new dance or training a dance style you already do, dancing makes everyone feel good!
Stand up comedy. Youtube and Netflix are filled with some very funny stand up comedy to fill your evenings with laughter.
Talk to people regularly. Call a friend or a family member. Set up virtual drinks, brunch or dinner with 2 or 3 friends. Alternatively, of course, you can stick to texts, messages or a classic phone call; it’s up to you. But however you do it, make sure you do. It’s more important than ever to check in on each other emotionally and provide support, encouragement, and distraction during this stressful time.
Make art. Not sure how or where to start? Look up Paint by Numbers, a fantastic way to paint incredible paintings that keeps your mind busy while you enjoy some lovely art.
Watch your favourite films, educate yourself with history documentaries, discovery our wonderful world on National Geographic or our beautiful nature with Planet Earth, or start a new funny series.
Tell the people you love, that you love them.
Find a way to help others. Look up a local charity or contact your local council to see how you can help your neighbours.
Follow you heart: You don’t need to feel obligated to make a list, get into a full program of activities to keep busy during your staycation. What if you were to do nothing? Do nothing. Take a little time out for yourself and rest your mind and body. Not only is it good for the spirit, but it increases productivity for those days when you have to drudge yourself from the bed to the couch.
Remember you are not alone. Even though we all have different situations, we are all in this together, one way or another. :)
I hope this has inspired you or given some fresh ideas :)
Sending you my warmest wishes,
PS. If you ever need someone to talk to, both Leandro and I are always available to chat :)