With a lot more of us spending time at home, we’re going to need some ways to pass the time! Here are just a few suggestions on ways to de-stress, protect your mental health and pass the time:
1. Set yourself a routine
A lot of people will struggle with the absence of structure so one of the most important things you can do is set yourself a regular routine. This will bring some sense of normality to your day. Whether that be waking up a little earlier than you would at the weekend, having a shower, doing some light exercise, before reading/doing some art/working on a project, try and put something in place. It will allow you to have a productive day while still appreciating the additional time on your hands. You don’t need to plan it down to the last second, keep some flexibility in there but have a rough idea of what you’d like to accomplish each day.
2. Try out that product in your collection you’ve always been meaning to try
We all have that 1 product (or a few of them) that we purchase and then never really get round to using. Maybe it’s a brighter palette than you’d usually wear everyday, maybe you’d need to master a new technique to make the most of it. Well, there’s no time like the present! You have the perfect opportunity to have a fantastic play with makeup and it not matter who sees it. Of course if it goes right, feel free to take loads of selfies, but if it goes wrong, it’s totally fine too, no one will know! 🙂
3. Try some yoga or pilates
Taking some time out of your day to stretch and get moving in a gentle way can be really positive for your physical as well as mental health. I personally practice pilates for back health and have found some favourites for stress release that I recommend trying*:
- Lay on your back with your legs on the floor. Lift your arms straight above your head slowly with your hands together, then slowly separate your hands and draw a big circle until your hands meet again over your tummy. Repeat this a few times. You should feel a nice stretch once your begin to separate your hands across the top of your back/shoulders.
- Lay on your back. Bring both your knees into your chest. Stay here for a few deep breaths, as many as you’d like.
- Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Put your arms out to one side. Slowly move your knees over to the right side of your body, keeping your left foot stacked on top of your right foot. Turn your head to the left. Take a breath and return to the middle. Repeat for the other side.
- Child’s pose – come on to all fours. Sit back onto your heels, keeping your hands on the floor. Lower your chest and extend your arms. Relax your shoulders and take some deep breaths.
* I am NOT an expert in the slightest. Please do not do any of the above if it causes you any pain. The idea is to take some nice deep breaths and feel a nice stretch.
4. Binge watch some old (or new!) favourites
Whether Netflix is your thing or you have a pile of box sets, consider revisiting some old favourites. Some programs that I absolutely loved (on and off Netflix) are Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girl, 90210, Umbrella Academy, Love is Blind, Love Island, Ru Paul’s Drag Race, Cheer, Queer Eye, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, 60 Days In, Peaky Blinders, Derry Girls, Sex Education, Gavin and Stacey, Gilmore Girls, Cheapest Weddings. You will find the majority of these on Netflix (Desperate Housewives and 90210 being the exceptions) and *most* are light hearted and funny.
5. Read that book you’ve been meaning to read for a year
Again, everyone has one. Time so often escapes us when it comes to reading regularly. Maybe not for everyone, but it does for me at least. If you’re looking for some great books, I thoroughly recommend the Crazy Rich Asian series, you will NOT put it down! I also love the Dan Brown books and the Khaled Hosseini books (though those are pretty heavy). I’ve been meaning to read the Michelle Obama autobiography since Christmas 2018, so who knows maybe I’ll finally get round to reading it!
6. Spring clean your house
It’s basically spring time now anyway and being in the same surrounding everyday really makes you notice every little thing that is out of place (is it just me?) Consider sorting your wardrobe, dusting high and low, pulling out the sofa. I mean maybe you’re a Hincher and you do this already, but I’ll be having a sort through (if you don’t know what that is, look up who Mrs Hinch is).
7. Get artistic!
This will come in different forms for everyone. For me, it’s photography so I’ll be trying to get the best texture shots I can! But if you’re a painter, a drawer, a doodler, a musician, a cook – make the most of this additional time. Whether it be to work on a piece you’ve been long putting off, practising a new technique you’ve been longing to do for a while but have lacked the time or just playing around!
8. Go for a walk and appreciate nature
If you’re able to get out of the house, take a stroll and just take some time to breathe in some fresh air, feel the sun (if you’re lucky) on your skin and look at the plants starting to come back to life. Whenever I feel down I always like to look at nature and just feel so much lighter for it. The blossom is starting to come out, little flowers are starting to pop up and buds are starting to appear on branches. Going for walks/runs is absolutely fine and encouraged (at least by the UK government), just be sure to keep your distance from others.
9. Stay in touch with friends and family
Everyone is in the same boat, so stay in touch with everyone! Just because you are at home and (potentially) isolating, doesn’t mean you should be isolated! Text your family and friends more often – personally my group chats have been going off for once because everyone is at home! Up the number of calls/facetimes to people, I’m sure they’d be more than happy to see your little face pop up! Check in with each other regularly and try not to talk about the current situation all the time.
Need I say more? Disney+ launches in the UK on the 24th March here in the UK and it could not come soon enough. Is anyone else super excited!? I cannot wait to binge watch all my favourite Disney films and all the ones I’ve never seen before. I’m actually buzzing particularly to see Recess: School’s Out – did anyone else love it as a kid!?
11. Keep up your usual self care routine (and consider upping it)
If your routine is to mask once a week, maybe consider upping it to twice a week! With all this extra time on our hands, we can take so much more time to take care of ourselves. All of the points above could easily come under self care, but specifically take time out to mask, to do your skincare or to take a bath. Specifically spend time on YOU.
12. Play the Sims
YES I SAID IT! For any Sims lover, now is the time to revisit the game of our childhood! This is definitely one I am planning on doing this weekend! I was even sat listening to the music from the Sims 2 today hehe.
13. Create a playlist of happy music
There are a few good ones going around, but compile all the songs that make you feel good and have good memories attached to them. Play it whenever you need a bit of a boost. Faves for me include Good as Hell by Lizzo, Downtown by Macklemore, That Don’t Impress Me Much by Shania Twain and Foundations by Kate Nash (Yes it is quite the mix).
OR if you feel you want to just do nothing, do whatever you feel you need to do.
If you feel that things are starting to take a toll on your mental health, unplug. Turn off the news, delete social media apps that are causing anxiety and try to keep your mind busy. If you feel your thoughts starting to spiral, one good tip that has always worked for me is focus on your senses. Think of 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can feel, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. By the time you are onto the things you can hear, your thoughts will have melted away.
This list is by no means definitive and they are just some ideas to get you started. If you have any other ideas that work for you, please leave them in the comments below.
Stay safe and take care of yourselves!
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