Ways to Improve Your Mental Health During a Pandemic

There are so many changes in lifestyles, work environments, and the economy that it can be hard to find time for yourself. That said, it’s more important now than ever to take note of your mental health and make sure you’re dedicating some time to your self-care. Here are a few ways to improve your mental health during a pandemic:

  1. Take a Break

With the constant changes and updates in the world’s regulations and news in regards to the coronavirus outbreak, it’s important in many aspects to take a break. In general, you should take regular breaks throughout the day. Whether you’re working from home, homeschooling, etc., be sure to take a few minutes for yourself multiple times a day.

Additionally, you should be prepared to take a full day off when you really need it most. Quarantine burn out is a world-wide occurrence and it’s important that employees and employers take note of mental health.

Lastly, it’s important to take a break from the news. Between social media, online news updates, and constant television news, it’s easy to oversaturate yourself in media right now. Pandemic media coverage is not always good news and can quickly turn your mood. So, turn off your phone, scroll past social media updates, and watch a heart-warming Netflix show instead.

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  1. Create a Healthy Routine

Routine is easier when you’re not at home all day. If you are used to commuting to work, your daily routine has likely been uprooted in a major way. With that in mind, creating some sort of routine is a great way to ease your mental stress.

While many WFH tips out there advise that you get up and get ready for work every day, you don’t necessarily have to do that. If you’re comfortable and productive in jeans and a t-shirt – or even a cute pair of pajamas – don’t stress about getting dressed up. That said there are some other ways to create a unique, healthy routine.

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. You’ve probably heard that saying hundreds of times – and for good reason. Eating breakfast can improve your energy and boost your mood from square one. Plus, starting off the day eating something healthy and delicious is a great thing to look forward to every day.

Another healthy addition to your daily routine is an outdoor walk. If you’re able to, it’s important to get some fresh air at least once a day. During this time, it’s easy to stay cooped up inside and skip your daily dose of Vitamin D (sunshine). There are many benefits of sunlight including:

– Increased serotonin

– Strengthens bones

– Improves skin conditions (always wear sunscreen!)

 

  1. Add in Simple, Healthy Exercises

It might be hard to pack in a full work out right now, but a few simple stretches can really help ease your mind and reduce body tension. Meditation is one of the best mental exercises; plus, it’s not necessarily a time-consuming activity. Just a few minutes of daily meditation has a long list of health benefits including:

  • Improved sleep
  • Weight loss
  • Stress reduction
  • Improved brain function and ability to focus

While your gym might be closed, there are plenty of other options to get in your daily workout as well. Consider searching for yoga or HIIT classes on YouTube. Or, get a breath of fresh air and take a walk around the block.

  1. Treat Yourself to an At-home Spa Day

Chances are, your local spas and beauty salons are closed and you could use a bit of revitalizing self-care. Consider dedicating a night to maintaining your hair, nails, and skin. Grab your favorite bottle of nail polish, some bath bombs, a hair mask and let the relaxation begin.

This is also a great way to spend some social-distanced time with your friends or family. Set up a time to video chat while you paint your nails or do facials. It’s like a day at the spa in the comfort of your own home!

Your mental health is the most important facet of your life, so don’t take these tips lightly. If you need a day off, make sure to express that to your peers or colleagues, you’re not alone

 

 

Image credits:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/582934745494199119/

https://www.theoutlandishblog.com

Six Activities to Enjoy Indoors

Chances are, the coronavirus pandemic has caused some changes in your day-to-day life. You might be spending more time indoors than out, and you’re almost certainly not out in stores shopping. That said, there are many ways to enjoy your time indoors! With the availability of technology to help, here are 6 indoor activities for you, your friends, and your family to enjoy!

Screenings with Your Friends

Many new TV shows have paused filming in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but you can still stream plenty of content online! Facebook has a new “Watch with Friends” feature that you can use to watch the same video with your friends in the exact same time. Plus, you’ll be able to chat directly on site. It’s not quite the same as sharing a couch, but it’ll definitely feel like you’re as close as you can get!

If social streaming isn’t an option, set up a video chat and push “play” on your favorite show at the same time. You can see and chat with your friends while watching the latest Netflix, Hulu, or HBO series.

Break Out the Baking

While you might not be able to find toilet paper, hopefully you have plenty of flour, sugar, and butter on hand. Preheat the oven and let your sweet tooth go wild! Challenge your friends to a cake baking competition and schedule a time to display your masterpieces.

With the extra time we are all spending at home, preheat your oven, break out your mixer and get to baking!

Puzzle Yourself

Challenge your mind with a brand-new puzzle! When’s the last time you cleared the dining room table to make room for a puzzle? Not only is this a mind-stimulating activity, but a large enough puzzle is guaranteed to keep you and the family busy for days!

One of the highlights of this particular indoor activity is that you don’t have to leave the house to get one! There are plenty on online order options for puzzles, so hop online and have it shipped! Plus, everyone could use a screen break right now.

Settle in with a Good Book

Especially if the weather is still cool for you, it’s the perfect opportunity to cuddle up with a good book and hot cup of tea. Audio books are great alternatives to your traditional paperback if you need a chance to close your eyes and relax.

The New York Times and even Amazon have weekly reading recommendations. That said, if trendy isn’t usually your first choice, opt for a classic!

Engage in Online Classes

With most indoor gyms shut down, you’ll still the opportunity for some physical and mental stimulation. Get you daily dose of both by exploring the variety of online classes available! Not only are you able to find free workout videos like yoga and barre, you can also find various online courses for all your current or future interests.

While they might not be led by your usual instructor, you can find just about any kind of fitness class on YouTube. It’s a great way to get a work out in with family and friends too! Or, challenge your friends and family to a mental challenge by getting some sort of certification online!

Utilize Your Stationary

Your older relatives or family friends might also be feeling lonely while social distancing. Brighten their day by sending them a hand-written card or note. If you have the materials and the time, consider adding a personal touch by using or creating some custom stationary.

If you don’t have custom stationary on hand, break out your colored pencils and get creative! Your loved ones will certainly appreciate the thoughtful gesture, and who knows, you might end up with a new pen pal!

Dust Off Your Old School Games

The classics, like Scrabble and Monopoly, are all great time-passing games. While they might be buried in your closet, now is a great time to dust them off and bring them out for a brain-stimulating activity. Also, if your children are out of school, games like these give them the opportunity to practice reading and counting. Start a game tournament and keep a tally of the winners on a nightly or weekly basis! There’s never been a better time for some friendly competition.

While you might be spending more time than usual at home, there’s no reason you can’t make the most of your space and time. With technology allowing you to connect with distant friends and family, you can gather your group to spend time together like you’re in the same room! Plus, it’s a great time to start that scrapbooking project you swore you’d get to. Stay in and stay healthy!

Images resources:

https://www.retailmenot.com/blog/21-diy-dessert-recipes.html

https://br.pinterest.com/pin/368732288234151315/?

 

Give Your Closet a New-Year Refresh

New year, new you…right? Well, that’s how the old maxim goes anyway, so start small when it comes to your New Year reinvention by clearing out your closet. Not only could you make some cash selling off your old stuff, but you’ll also start the year on a high note of productivity. Read on for our closet decluttering tips and tricks.

Empty your closet

Before you can give your closet a new year refresh, you need to empty that sucker out. You won’t make any progress when it comes to sorting your stuff unless you take stock of what you already have. So…tidy your room, make your bed and start hauling everything from the depths of your wardrobe. Yes, everything! You need to see exactly what space you’re working with. Allow yourself a good couple of hours for this step, because—depending how much stuff you own—it could take a while.

Organize and Categorize

Once you’ve emptied your closet, then it’s time to start sorting. You can approach the sorting step in several different ways. Perhaps you want to work by category (e.g. jeans, jackets, tops, trousers, etc.) or perhaps you’d rather go by ‘area’ of the closet, starting with stuff from the shelves, then clothes on the rack. Either way, choose an order of business and stick to it! You’ll need to separate everything into three piles: keep, donate, throw. Remember: be hard on yourself. If you really want to make an improvement in your closet situation, you have to rid yourself of the old.

Donate, throw away and craft

By now, you should have things organized into three categories: keep, donate, throw. Start with the throw pile, disposing of everything as ethically as possible and recycling where necessary. Then move onto the donate pile, and start taking your old clothes and accessories to neighbor charity shops or shelters.

Finally, it’s time to address the stuff you want to keep, including those old t-shirts that you can’t bear to part with but know you’ll never wear again. Instead of letting them clutter up your closet, consider getting crafty with them. Cut out the logos or designs into squares and sew them together to make a blanket or turn them into makeshift cushion covers. Basically, do something useful with the stuff you love but won’t wear!

Arrange by season

As for the non-crafty attire, it’s time to arrange by season. As we move out of winter fashion, start putting thick jumpers, long-sleeved shirts, and bulky coats into storage. You can use vacuum bags to shrink them down if you’re short on space, before tucking them away in some decorative storage bins until it’s time to get them out again. When fall fashion trends roll around, do it again with the summer wardrobe! This way, you’ll always have exactly what you most need front and center in your closet.

Color coordinate your stuff

You’ve now got just the clothes you want to keep and need for the season. But how should you arrange them? There are many schools of thought about just that. Some say you should separate your clothes into color groups, perhaps keeping red with red, grey with grey and white with white, for example. Of course, this only makes sense if you wear lots of colors!

You can also sort by category, keeping shirts and tees to the left of your closet rail, while shifting pants and trousers to the right. Or, put your longest items (dresses, trousers) to one side, and your shortest items (tops, tees) to the other.

Because we are talking about a complete closet refresh, now might be a good time to give your space a good cleaning and a fresh coat of paint. When your clothes are hanging, and shelves are stacked high, it’s hard to dust and vacuum the whole space. After you clean it, consider a new paint job! FYI: Pantone’s color of the year is Living Coral.

Hire a professional to do it all for you

Are you exhausted just reading all this? Skip literally every aforementioned step—except, maybe, Step 2—and hire a professional organizer to do the hard work for you. Yes, closet organizers are a thing and they’ll have your space neat and tidy in no time! Of course, you’ll have to pay for this service, but if you’ve got some spare cash it might make for a worthwhile investment.

Replenish your closet with some on-trend items and classics

Your closet is tidier and full of opportunity, so it’s time to stock up on some new classics and trendy pieces that will tie your looks together. After all, you need to fill in the gaps left by everything you threw away and donated! You can never go wrong with a cute crossbody or a statement jacket.

Hopefully, you feel more confident to tackle that closet refresh you’ve been putting off for ages. It might seem like a mammoth task to start, but remember that there’s no time like the present to get your life—and closet—in order!

Photo credits: realsimple.com, The Container Store & ambinityblog.com