Lockdown activities to reduce anxiety
If your community is in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be wondering how to occupy yourself through the days and weeks ahead. Being stuck at home can be a challenging experience, if you have nothing to do.
Boredom, restlessness and frustration can quickly set in, unless you have plenty of enjoyable pastimes to help you through. Here are ten great activities to keep you busy and cheerful inside your four walls. Pick your favorites from the list and see how far you can take them before the time comes to step outside again.
One of the best things you can do for mental health is to incorporate meditation into your daily ritual. Not only will this help you remain calm, it may help to boost your immune system. We know from clinical research that regular meditation helps to lower cortisol levels, a hormone that when overly active can lower immunity.
If you a newbie to meditation, consider downloading an app such as Calm, Headspace or Simple Habit. You can also do a quick search on YouTube to find something that resonates with you. Self-hypnosis can also be extremely helpful.
Consider listening to this short autogenic training recording that is designed to reduce anxiety and stress.
2. Catch up with friends
Pick up the phone and get chatting with friends in lockdown like you. Find out how they’re coping in the circumstances and catch up with each other’s news generally. For once in your life you have ample time to socialize, so why not look up old acquaintances from the past, too, and rekindle faded friendships?
Check on your relatives as well, especially elderly ones and those living alone; they’d be especially glad to hear from you.
3. Play games
Dig out all your old board games or card packs and get playing. If you’re on your own, you can pick games for one, like “Solitaire” or “Patience”, or play against an imaginary opponent, taking both parts by turn. Better still, join an online club to play the game of your choice with real, live opponents. You can also play against an automated opponent, if you prefer.
Writing games such as “Consequences”, and word challenges like making short words out of a longer one, are also fun and absorbing to do. If you want more physical activity, set an obstacle course around your furniture or, if possible, outside, and kick a softball along the route, then spice up the game by racing against the clock.
If you have any gym accessories, such as a bar, hoop or skipping rope, they’ll provide recreation, too.
Fix yourself some tasty meals and treats during your time at home. Your normal lifestyle may not allow for much cooking, but now you have all the time you need for mixing and baking. If you have any old packets or cans of food at the back of your cupboards, see if you can use them up in a stir-fry, casserole or cake mixture.
Serve some wholesome meals with freshly prepared vegetables or salad, and bake some sweet treats to enjoy with your coffee. You could be a top-notch chef by the time the lockdown is over.
5. Do home improvements
Everyone likes their home to be smart and comfortable but finding the time to work on it can be difficult, in normal circumstances. But now, at last, you can focus on improving your home without interruption.
While you may not be able to carry out major works at the moment, you can at least rearrange the furniture, swap your pictures around and tidy up your drawers and closets. If you have access to paint, wallpaper or varnish, you can also do some decorating. It can be fun and therapeutic to spruce up a room, especially with no commitments in the way.
6. Learn a language
Have you ever wanted to learn a new language? If so, now is the ideal time to start. Alternatively, you could polish up a language you already have some grounding in. When you’ve chosen your language, go online and scroll through the lists of organizations and individuals offering relevant tutoring.
Before contacting any tutor, check out their profile, reviews and prices to ensure a suitable choice. If you feel like having a break from the computer, you can learn your chosen language from books, newspapers and radio or TV shows.
If you’re an avid reader, you can open a book – real or virtual – and escape to the world of fiction. For a more factual read, there’s a wealth of non-fiction publications to explore, from “How to” guides and subject-specializing books to biographies and true stories.
Many people find poetry helpful in challenging situations, with its soothing rhythm and flow, and for something lighter, search for jokes, cartoons and humorous novels. You’ll find plenty to choose from on the Internet, and perhaps on your shelves as well.
If you would rather listen to something, now might be a good time to start a subscription to Audio Books from Amazon.
8. Be creative
Many people dream of having time to write a book, so if you’re one of them, now is the time to get cracking. But you may have more of a leaning towards fine art, music or another creative genre. Whatever your particular creative streak, make the most of it.
You might decide to write a symphony, plan a dance routine or piece together a collage, for instance. If you’re a keen gardener, and have access to some outdoor space or indoor plants, why not cultivate a riot of color for your home? You might also like to make a video of your time in isolation, to share online afterwards.
9. Get fit
Push your furniture back and use your space as a gym. Then you can exercise every day, keeping strong, fit and supple through the lockdown period. You’ll need a mat or some cushions for floor exercises, and ideally some props, such as a ball, beanbag or set of weights, for added scope and enjoyment.
If you have a blood pressure monitor, take readings before and after each session, so you can track your increasing fitness through the days and weeks.
10. Earn money online
Your physical movements may be severely restricted, but you’re free as the air online. You can do pretty well anything, within reason, including making money. If you’re interested in enhancing your income, browse the listings for recommended earning routes, then look into your preferred options more closely for an informed choice.
If you have a website, you may be able to make money directly from that. Perhaps offer a product or service or monetize your site to earn through clicks. Many people succeed in earning pocket-money or much more online.
With this exciting array of activities to enjoy, your time at home will sail by before you know it. These ideas are sure to inspire more, too, but don’t forget to step out again when the restrictions are over.