In the UK we are now well into week three of the coronavirus lockdown, so it’s safe to say that you may be experiencing severe boredom.
And whilst our key workers are out there on the frontline saving the day, you’re sat wondering whether you have a magnetic force inside of you which keeps attracting you to the fridge.
But there’s no judgment here, us stay at homers are all doing are bit for society by binging Netlix series and baking cakes.
However there is only so much TV you can watch before feeling dissatisfied and there’s only so many cakes you can eat without making yourself ill.
So I thought I would make a list of ideas you may not have thought of. This list is designed with your mental wellbeing in mind.
1. Candle making
If you had to think of an image which screams wellbeing, chance are you’d think of a lit candle. I know I would, that and a slim woman doing yoga in front of a waterfall. But as you know we’re on lockdown, so no waterfalls for now, but feel free to do yoga – inside of course!
Now if you like candles as much as me, then you could try making your own. There are a number of candle making kits you can purchase online.
If you need any more convincing that this could be good for your mental wellbeing then just take a look at the science of smells below.
Smells travel through the brain’s limbic system which helps control emotions and feelings. There is a theory that by smelling nice scents the brain will trigger positive feelings. Japanese scientists also reported that that inhaling certain fragrances alter gene activity and blood chemistry in ways that can reduce stress levels.
It’s so easy for me to write meditation and for you to roll your eyes and think, yeah I’ve heard of that one before. Because truth be told meditation is hard. It takes years of practise to be able to just switch off your brain. I struggle to do it and I certainly don’t do it as frequently as I probably should.
However I recommend trying guided meditation. You can download apps on your phone such as Headspace and Calm which will help you to reach a nice level of relaxation.
When I do meditate it is usually before bed and it sends me off into a nice deep sleep.
3. mindful colouring in
Believe it or not, colouring in can actually be a form of meditation. The repetitive motion of colouring without distractions can clear the mind. It also ‘engages parts of the cerebral cortex while relaxing the amygdala, the brain’s fear centre.’ Ooh I hit you right away with science.
So why not give it ago? Worst case scenario you make a nice picture.
4. learn a dance
You don’t need me to tell you the mental health benefits of exercise, but we’re not all into 5 mile runs and endless squatting. So I thought instead you could get your exercise by learning a fun dance.
If you try this dance, please send me your videos!
5. paint a picture
When I was younger I used to find doing any form or art therapeutic. My Grandma is an artist and I used to use her watercolour paint to make landscape pictures. This is an activity I would definitely recommend.
I have ordered some oil paints, and will be picking up a paintbrush once again.
6. LEARN A NEW RECIPE
Unless you really are a terrible cook, you can’t go too badly wrong following a recipe. So why not try cooking you and whoever you are in isolation with, a nice new meal? If nothing else you get to feel quietly smug.
7. write a journal
When I feel particularly anxious I often write in a journal. Being in lockdown can make even the most laid-back person feel anxious so this activity might be helpful for you, when you start to feel overwhelmed.
8. use the houseparty app to call friends & family
I didn’t know the Houseparty app existed before the coronavirus separated us from our loved ones. I really like this app because if you just want to call someone for company but don’t have much to say, you can play games with them instead on this app.
Try it, it is very easy to use!
9. DO A 30 MINUTE JOE WICKS WORKOUT
OK so you’ll definitely have heard of this idea, because Joe Wicks is on a serious mission to help people get fit and stay mentally and physically healthy, including our little ones.
I have been doing Joe Wick’s workouts and after I feel really good about myself. I struggled the first time I tried, but after roping in my boyfriend we have been doing them together.
The 30 minutes go so quickly and after factoring in your rest breaks, you are only technically working out for 15 minutes.
10. write a letter to a friend or family member
We live in a technological age where we are only a phone call or FaceTime away from our friends and family, it’s so easy. And lets face it we are all so grateful for this at the minute. But it doesn’t mean we can’t still put pen to paper and reach out to the people we love in our lives. It takes more effort and I can almost guarantee whoever you write to will appreciate the gesture.
If you have any more suggestions please let me know so I can expand my list. Stay safe, beans.