4 Thoughtful Ways to Combat the Blues During Coronavirus
The coronavirus has impacted everyone’s lives, all across the country. Being in the house for long periods can cause people to start feeling down- plus, the stress the pandemic puts on us financially and emotionally is extreme.
Are you looking for some thoughtful ways to help combat the blues? Here is what you can do today to improve your mental health little by little.
1. Create a Checklist or Schedule
If you are not used to working remotely or are feeling trapped in your home- a simple checklist can help greatly. You will want it to be a mix of your chores and work schedule, but also with at least one fun activity a day.
When at home for long periods, keeping a schedule is vital to keeping your mood up. You will also want to try to keep a consistent wake-up and bedtime, as this can give your day a feeling of structure. Here are a few example checklists for 2 different people that you can use to inspire your own:
Online College Student (19)
- 8:30 am: Wake up, eat breakfast, shower
- 10 am: Virtual class
- Noon: Lunch
- 12:30 pm: Study time
- 1:30 pm: Video chat with friends or family
- 3 pm: Finish paper for class
- 5 pm: Dinner
- 6 pm: Virtual Class
- 7 pm: Play video games online with friends
Remote Worker (44)
- 7:30 am: Wake up, eat breakfast, shower
- 8:30 am: Remote work
- 11 am: Virtual meeting
- 12:30 pm: Lunch
- 1:45 pm: Respond to emails and make calls
- 4 pm: Finish up work
- 6 pm: Dinner with family
- 7 pm: Chores
- 8 pm: Movie with family
- 10 pm: Read a favorite book
Now, you might be thinking that planning out every second of your day would be silly. However, experts have shown that having a structure to your day while at home helps keep your mental health boosted.
Think about it like this, when you stop going to the office every day, you are also losing out on a set schedule- creating your own can help you feel like you have control over your life again, therefore helping you fight the corona-virus blues.
If you have been feeling down lately, then try creating and sticking to a schedule for a week- you will start to notice improvements in your mood right away. Also, be sure to take note that each of the above fake schedules has fun activities on them too- it is not just about doing work.
You do not want to leave enjoyable activities out of your daily schedule, as you will start feeling down after awhile. Remember, you are not a robot! Be sure to take time for yourself too.
2. Exercise a Few Times a Week
Many of us are missing the gym right now. However, there are easy ways to exercise at home– plus, physical activity has been linked to fighting depression and anxiety, and overall boosting people’s moods.
This is because exercise releases endorphins, which is something that your brain is missing when you are feeling down. You might be thinking “I can’t exercise at home, I don’t have enough room- and I don’t know what to do by myself!” Well, we can help you with that- here is what you need to know.
There are plenty of exercise apps available to you on your phone’s app store. Simply download one, scoot the furniture out of the way in your living room (or find another open space), and you are all set to go!
Like apps, there are thousands of free YouTube videos to browse through. Just search for your favorite exercise, find a video that you think will work for you, and you are ready to work out. Once you find an exercise channel you like, it can help keep you motivated to participate over a longer-term.
And finally, you can always take a walk around the block. Walking is a wonderful way to stretch your legs after spending the day inside and getting sunshine has also been linked to preventing and aiding in depression and anxiety. Yoga and Tai Chi are forms of exercise that have strong evidence to suggest that they are great stress reducers- we recommend them as well. They also have been shown to improve mindfulness.
3. Start a New Hobby
Now that you find yourself with some extra time on your hands, why not pick up a new hobby? People have always loved to create, whether that be baking, knitting, or painting you will feel satisfaction in seeing the finished product.
Humans naturally enjoy creating things, it relaxes us, and finally seeing what we made at the end is an incredible mood booster. You might have noticed more baking blogs popping up recently or more people posing their art online- when bored, humans will start to create. It is a natural occurrence for us. And as a bonus, doing many of these creative activities can help distract you from stressors and release endorphins that make you feel happier.
4. Don’t be Afraid to Binge Media
Whether it be a video game you complete in one sitting or an entire series of a show on Netflix- do not be afraid to binge media. It can be hard to sit still, but sometimes we all need a day of escapism to help us feel calmer and prepare for the mental tasks we need to accomplish the following day.
In other words, allow yourself to take a break! Nowadays we have access to infinite media on the internet- so why not use it to watch one of your favorite TV shows? Do not worry about feeling like you “wasted a day”, that is never true when it comes to improving your mental health.
We need structure to help us feel like our lives are still normal, so making lists is a great way to boost your mood while at home. Exercising and finding fun new hobbies and media is also a pleasant way to keep you entertained during a lock down.