Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, 95% of Americans are currently under some type of “stay-at-home” order. Restaurants across the country have been forced to either close or offer only delivery/curbside service. Schools have shut down, leaving millions of children at home for the rest of the school year and through the summer.
Needless to say, these are uncertain, stressful, and even crazy times. Though many people are working remotely and children are participating in e-learning, staying at home 24/7 can take its toll on anyone. The craziness of the virus itself can contribute to stress and anxiety, too, especially if you tend to get your information from whatever your great aunt might be posting on Facebook.
So what can you do to break out of the “stay at home” routine and stay sane while staying inside? What happens when you’ve already finished the first season of Tiger King and you’re starting to get tempted to try something from The Great British Bakeoff?
Step away from the oven, Mary Berry. There are plenty of things you can do on your own or with your family to keep from going stir-crazy while quarantined. Let’s take a look at some ideas that can keep you happy, healthy, and entertained.
It’s Okay to Binge Watch
We might joke about it, but binge-watching your favorite show(s) or something new isn’t necessarily a bad thing. What better time to catch up with everything in your queue than when you’re stuck at home? If you have a smart TV, you have access to just about any streaming service imaginable, from Amazon Prime to Netflix.
Because of this pandemic, some services are offering extended free trials or discounts:
- Sundance Now
Watching shows or movies can also be a great way to stay connected with people and feel less isolated. Over 500,000 people now use Netflix Party, a program that allows you to watch a show or movie with your friends and family from different places. You all stream the movie together, and there is a chat feature you can use to talk about it while you’re watching. In these crazy times, it’s the closest thing you might have to going to the movies with your friends, but it can actually be a lot of fun.
Spend Time Outside
Thankfully, there are few rules and regulations against spending time outside as long as you remain at a safe social distance. In fact, participating in outdoor activities in your yard or walking around your neighborhood can be beneficial for both your physical and mental health.
Studies have shown that spending time in nature can help you to feel restorative and increase your sense of well-being. In times like these, we could all use a little boost in our sense of well-being!
You can also get creative outside by planting your own garden. Even if you’ve never had a green thumb, now is a great time to look into creating your own raised garden bed and planting beautiful flowers or even your own vegetables. It’s also a perfect opportunity to get kids interested in the concept of farming and growing their own food, organically. You can get a summer garden started easily by planning ahead, finding the right location with plenty of sunlight, and purchasing the right supplies.
Develop Healthy Habits Now
With so much uncertainty going on in the world and changes happening every day, it’s easy to develop unhealthy habits as you’re stuck at home. You might try to find comfort in sleeping as much as possible, eating junk food, and well . . . not moving.
But if you make a commitment to developing healthy habits now, you can actually combat your stress levels, fight off depression, feel better physically, and create a lasting routine that you can stick with even when things get back to normal. Take the time to improve both your mental and physical health with small changes every day. For example, to improve your mental health each day, try things like:
- Setting a sleep routine
- Doing something kind for someone
You can also give your mental health a boost by connecting with people you care about every day. While you may not be able to do that in person right now, using programs like FaceTime or Zoom can help you to stay connected with friends and family members, and fight off the negative mental health issues of isolation.
Your physical health is just as important, and while we talked briefly about the positive effects of being outside, you can be just as physically active inside, too. If you’re looking for a project while you’re quarantined at home, consider building a home gym. Find the right space and renovate it to your liking. Your gym can include as much or as little equipment as you need, but some of the most common pieces of machinery typically include:
- A treadmill
- Indoor bike
Even if you only have weights, a balance ball, or resistance bands, you can still get in great home workouts and start to develop a fitness routine that can improve your health, reduce your stress, and give you more energy.
If you’re already feeling a little stir crazy, don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to things to do at home. Play games, make up stories, write, play music, throw a family dance party, etc. Anything that can help you to release some stress will be beneficial, and let’s face it – everyone deserves to dance it out right about now.
About The Author: Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics but lifestyle and home improvement topics are his favorite. When he isn’t writing you can find him traveling, hiking, or gaming.
Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash
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