With so much going on in the world with the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s easy for anxiety to set in while you’re self-quarantining. Remember that it’s good to take time for yourself to give your brain a chance to process emotions and reset. To help you do that, here’s a list of things to do while you’re social distancing.
At-Home Self Care Ideas for Stress Relief
Self-care is not only about the one off moments that you get to take care of your self, it is more of a daily practice. Not a practice of luxury bubble baths, but rather asking yourself each day, “what do I need right now?” and then following through.
Sometimes, our body is asking us to get moving, to do some yoga or go for a run. Other times, our body is asking for us to slow down and sleep a bit more. Here are some self care ideas that can help relieve stress while you’re stuck at home.
1. Cook a special or new meal
Cook something you love to eat or try experimenting with a new recipe. Cooking is another form of creativity and it can be very therapeutic and rewarding, especially if you also have people to cook for.
2. Play a video or computer game
With the coronavirus pandemic creating tons of stress for everyone who has a soul, some people have been turning to video games a lot lately. If you’re all frazzled and unable to sit still long enough for a movie or TV show, games require more focus and thus often work better at keeping people chill. You can try to play again computer games from your childhood, like Sims for example!
3. Sing and dance to your favorite songs
Choose your favorite tunes and host an online dance party with your friends—or join one of the many group dances that have popped up. Or if you prefer, do it alone instead, and have fun without no one judging you!
4. Call a loved one or friend
While social distancing is good for our physical health and strained healthcare system, it’s not great for folks who are desperate for their daily dose of social connections, or anyone who is feeling really lonely during the quarantine. Try to do a video chat with a friend while you both meal prep for the week ahead, or organize a remote game night with your family. It’s important to keep in touch with your loved ones!
5. Practice breathwork – Pranayama
Before this pandemic, we were living a sedentary and stressful lifestyle, where most of us live on a shallow and quick breath, using only a fraction of our total lung capacity and living on just enough energy supply for the body to function. This way of breathing limits our vitality and our resistance to diseases, and potentially starves our brain of essential oxygen, creating tiredness, irritability, and disturbed sleep. Take 5 minutes of your day for Pranayama – you can find some breathing techniques here.
6. Do a guided meditation
Meditation is one of the best things you can do right now to relieve stress and improve your wellbeing. If you’re like the rest of us, you sit down, try to “quiet” your mind… and then say “Well, now what?”, read this post about meditation to learn some techniques.
7. Explore who you are
One of the things that help me explore who I am, and what I want to do is read. I’ve been reading a lot of motivational, self-development books during this quarantine, which have been very inspiring! Another thing is to listen to podcasts from coaches or motivational speakers. They will help to overcome this situation and deal with stress.
8. Try a DIY facial or face mask
Give your skin some extra love. As you wash your face, imagine washing all the dirt and negativity away. As you replenish your skin with hydration and vitamins, think of how you’re giving back to yourself, nourishing and loving yourself.
9. Try a new craft
Hobbies and crafts are usually things we push to the bottom of our priority list, but they actually do so much for our happiness! After all this, you might just be able to make time for this hobby in your weekly routine, to make time for something that brings you joy.
10. Create a Pinterest vision board
Setting goals and various to-dos (not just for the new year, but all year round!) is an excellent way to keep yourself focused on the things you want to do and accomplish. Create an album with your buck list items, an album with your dream house, or an album with your favorite motivational quotes. The creative power is unlimited!
11. Order in food and do nothing all evening
Even though you shouldn’t make it a habit, sometimes it is nice to just do nothing and relax right? Order take away food and watch Netflix. There are a lot of movies and documentaries that can actually make you learn something while you ‘do nothing’, so it’s a win-win situation!
12. Try an at-home workout
Since it’s not ideal to go to gyms, find a new exercise routine at home that’s fun to do. You can find workout videos on YouTube, or just follow some of the exercises I mentioned here.
13. Make a fancy drink or cocktail
Whipping up a green juice may be too much work on a normal morning but what is normal anymore? These days it’s more important than ever to support your immune system and your waistline with plenty of fresh or frozen fruits and veggies. Check out some smoothies recipes here. If you prefer a nice hot drink, why don’t you try to prepare Golden Milk? You can find the recipe here.
14. Make a dessert and enjoy it
Make yourself and your quarantine buddies a delicious treat—plus get a feel-good boost from accomplishing something fun. If your cupboards are a little bare, try one of these simple recipes that can be made from ingredients you likely still have at home, like this banana bread.
15. Write down on your gratitude journal or do journaling
Sitting at home binge watching Tiger King on Netflix may not feel like you’re doing much, but you’re actually living through a major historical event that people will learn and talk about for generations after this is all over. Writing a journal will help you not just preserve your memories but will also help you process your feelings about this time that manages to feel simultaneously terrifying and immensely boring. Consider making it a gratitude journal, or start doing journaling, by answering daily deep questions about yourself.
16. Clean out your wardrobe
Start by emptying all the items in your wardrobe. Once you’ve got everything out of the closet, start separating all the items—clothing, lingerie, jewelry, bags, footwear, outerwear and other accessories like belts, hats, etc. While making a pile for all, simultaneously decide what you plan to keep, donate, and discard. I did it twice already and donated the clothes I didn’t want to keep to a Charity Shop next to my place.
17. Re-arrange something in your home decor
When the world outside feels out of control, focus on the things you can control. You can control how your space feels—if your space feels tidy and fresh, your mind will feel calmer as well. Feng shui your home! The energy of your space is really important. Change up the decoration, light up some candles, use your aroma diffuser… those small things make a difference!
19. Draw or color
Channel your feelings by doing something creative. Painting or drawing are great ways to express yourself, learn a new skill, and help you see ordinary things (like everything in your house you’ve been staring at for weeks) in a whole new way.
20. Play with a pet
As you might know, if you read my blog, I’ve recently adopted a cute stray cat and even wrote the whole story here. Whenever I want to take a break, even when I’m working remotely, I play with Pinky for a bit. He makes me feel calm and relaxed!
21. Do a gentle yoga class
Since we are spending so much time sitting at home, we need to stretch! Yoga is perfect for that. You can do it by yourself, just following some asanas or sun salutation poses, like the ones I have prepared here, or you can actually do online classes. I personally like to watch videos on YouTube from this channel: Yoga with Adriene. Her classes range from stress-relieving breathing exercises to popular yoga poses to regular flows—no prior experience (or flexibility!) required. Your body will thank you for doing yoga!
22. Sit in the sun
Many people might not have been getting much sunlight lately as they are shut up inside their homes to avoid the COVID-19 contagion. Moreover, having a window that opens to the outside air is a luxury in many rooming houses in densely populated areas as these rarely provide windows in their rooms to maximize the space to host more people. However, if you do get the chance to sit in the sun, do it. Let’s get some Vitamin D!