If you’re working or studying from home right now, you may be starting to experience symptoms of cabin fever – restlessness, lethargy, irritability, depression, and difficulty concentrating, to name a few.
During this stressful and uncertain time, it’s important to maintain your individual mental and emotional health, so we’ve put together this list of a few ideas for ways to boost at-home wellness.
Keep in touch with friends and relatives
Following social distancing guidelines responsibly means that you can’t throw a party, but it doesn’t prevent you from staying socially engaged. Use conference calls [over the phone or online] messaging platforms, and even the postal service to stay connected with the people you care about.
Stress-inducing circumstances like the ones we’re experiencing now aren’t made better by loneliness, so if you’re feeling down, try holding a virtual dinner, watching a movie with friends from a distance, or even just hanging out on a phone or video call while you go about your day.
Go outside regularly
As long as you’re able to stay at least six feet away from people who don’t live in your household, it’s currently fine – and even beneficial – to spend time outdoors. Take a walk around your neighborhood or a local park to get a break from remote work or school.
If you have a backyard or porch where there’s wireless connectivity, try working outside or scheduling some designated outdoor breaks each day.
Have fun with household activities
If you’re living with family members or roommates, create a gathering spot in a common area by starting a puzzle or scheduling a weekly game night. If everyone’s living at home, create a chore wheel or other system to divide up the work fairly and pair it with an activity-suggestion wall where people can put post-it notes with ideas for things to do together.
Don’t overdo it on the news
It’s good to be informed, but it’s not so good to feel overwhelmed by a constant deluge of headlines.
If you have a smartphone, consider muting your news notifications if you’re feeling stressed, and rather than reading headlines and social media or watching cable news, pick one or two in-depth stories to read each day. Then, if you find reading about current events is still stressful, try switching to a nonfiction book on a topic you’re interested in the current social, political, or medical landscape.
Find a new hobby
Many stores classed as “nonessential” under the most recent round of closures will deliver goods straight to your doorstep, so why not start a new project to do in your free time? Call your local craft, book, or garden store to see if they deliver, and get going on learning a new skill. Some easy hobbies to start with are knitting, origami, and taking care of a potted plant or succulent.
If you’d rather not have anything delivered, you can learn a skill that can be taught online, like coding [try codeacademy.org for some great free lessons] or studying a new language through an online service [for example, Duolingo is a free, highly rated app with tons of language options].