Lockdowns are here or coming. Be ready to shelter in place, self-isolate, social distance, stay home, and quarantine yourself in style. It’s all to flatten the curve, keep our hospitals and healthcare staff running smoothly, and save lives. Here are a few ideas to help you stay healthy inside and out at the same time.
Sleep – Now is a great time to catch up on your sleep. Most of us don’t get the eight or more hours we should. This cuts down on our creativity, our immune system, and our ability to handle stress. Don’t feel guilty about a little extra sleep and naps, in moderation.
Exercise – You’re not getting out as much as you used to, and you probably don’t have access to a gym. There’s still plenty to do at home. Jumping jacks, pushups, and sit ups are a good start. You can also use water bottles as weights. If you can, take short walks too. Just remember to social distance while you do. Then there are endless exercise routines available online. Set one going on your phone, laptop, tablet, or tv, and get moving.
Eat Well – It’s tempting to eat more when you’re stuck at home, out of boredom and worry. Make sure you’re limiting your snacks, eating fresh fruits and veggies, and making healthy meals. Try to adjust your meals to fit your activity level. If you’re doing some major yoga, running on the treadmill, and beating all your friends at pushup challenges on Instagram, then eat more. If you’re laying on your couch all day, maybe cut your meals down by a third.
Cook New Things – Whether you’ve always been a great cook or you’re downright terrible, take advantage of the time available to get better, play with recipes, and add flare. You may have ended up with an odd assortment of supplies thanks to the stripped shelves at the grocery store, so look up new recipes online that include what you have. There are millions. Give it a go. We also naturally recommend trying some matcha recipes.
Soak Up Sunlight – Sunlight is essential to your circadian rhythms, healthy sleep, mood, and vitamin D3 stores. Make sure you’re a daily dose. Open your blinds during the day. Step out on your patio to enjoy the sunrise, sunset, or midday warmth. Walk around your back yard. Take a quick walk around your neighborhood if allowed. Bonus, sunlight kills viruses and bacteria, so let it in. You only need about 20 minutes of direct sunlight to boost your D3 levels, so no need to cook yourself.
Get Outside – Many cities and counties are allowing time outside to exercise. Take advantage of it. The fresh air, sunlight, and greenery will do you wonders. Nature lowers stress levels, blood pressure, and anxiety. It also offers great exercises in walks, hikes, runs, bike rides, and more. But you can also sit under a tree in the park for a moment to ground yourself and reset for another day indoors.
Learn a Language – Ever wanted to add a language to your arsenal of skills? Now is the time. There are many free apps and videos online that will get you conversational in the few weeks you’ll be spending isolated. Go for it.
Pick Up a Hobby – Not interested in a language? Now is also a great time to pick up any other hobby you’ve been thinking of getting started. Write a book, pick up guitar, practice woodworking, paint, paper mache, draw, build something in the garage, sculpt butter. The possibilities are literally endless. Do what you’ve always dreamed of doing.
Play a Game – Break out the card games and board games today! It’s the perfect way to keep everyone entertained. Even if you don’t live with someone else, there are games you can play alone and ways you can play many more with others. Start a video chat with a friend and sink their battleship. Play a game of war using separate decks. Get more people in a group chat and share one board on video, moving all the players for them.
Play a Video Game – That old shooter game been gathering dust since you bought it a year ago? Pick it up again and give it a go through. So many games have online collaborations now too, so you can run through a level or twenty with friends and family, in person or not.
Puzzle It Out – Pull that puzzle down from a shelf and put it together. It gives your mind and hands something to focus on when you might otherwise be worrying or eating. You’ll be surprised at how enjoyable it is to finish one too.
Clean and Organize – All this sudden free time can serve to better yourself and your environment. Use it to clean and organize your home, garage, attic, and life. It’s exercise that keeps body and mind occupied. You’ll feel calmer and happier in a clean environment as well.
Meditate – Meditation has a ton of benefits for mind and body. It releases stress, lowers blood pressure, lowers heart rate, eases tension, aids pain management, and helps sleep come easier. You could use a little more Zen stuck inside with your family members, roommates, or yourself. You don’t have to break out the gong and singing bowls, though you should if you have them. Take a moment to sit quietly, focusing on your breathing. Try a guided meditation on Youtube too. Try drinking a cup of matcha before meditation for extra focus and energy.
Chat with Friends – Set up video chats with your friends that you can’t get together with like you’re used to. Don’t have internet available, pick up the phone and call someone. We know, you normally text, but there’s something about hearing another human being’s voice that’s important. Social interaction should still happen when you’re social distancing.
Reach Out to Family – Family becomes important in times of stress too. Make sure you include them in video chats and phone calls too. Haven’t talked to your sister in months, do it today. Even if you argue, that’s social interaction your mind craves in isolation.
Build a Fort – Give the kids and the adults something fun and silly to do. Break out the sheets, blankets, and pillows, and build that living room fort of your dreams. Live alone? Do it for yourself and read a book inside. Allow yourself to be silly, childish, and fun. It’s good for brain elasticity and mental health.
Garden – Supplement your food stores and cooking endeavors with fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs from your garden. That’s extra vitamins, minerals, and immune boosting phytonutrients. It also gives you something to do that includes fresh air, sunlight, your mind, and your hands. You don’t need a massive plot of land either. A few pots on your porch is still worth doing. Even a small herb garden in a window will enhance your cooking, your days, and your life.
Read a Book – Digital, hardback, paperback, or audiobook, enrich your life and your mind with good books while you have the time to do so. You won’t have a better opportunity to catch up on your too be read pile than this. Indulge in some healthy escapism.
Movie Night – Pop some popcorn, set up a screen in the back yard, and rent or buy a new release. Many studios are kicking out digital versions early just for those stuck indoors during this coronavirus season. You can also curl up in a nest of pillows on your couch if you have no projector or yard. Just make it special however you can.