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How to boost your wellbeing while staying indoors. It’s natural for our emotions to feel very up and down in these uncertain times. And you may be worried in the long-term how this will affect you. We’ve come up with lots of practical tips and ideas to help you manage your mental health, and stay entertained, while we’re advised to stay inside. Globally, many people are struggling financially as they endure pay cuts or lose their jobs, while many are finding it difficult to manage the anxiety they feel as the world is crumbling around them. Never has it been more important for us to pay attention to our mental health. Make your mental health a priority. Pick one thing that resonates with you and try it. Then try something else. Slowly putting in place routines, habits and regular patterns will help you feel better through gradual change.

As new COVID-19 cases continue to emerge around the world, many healthy individuals are being requested to stay at home in self-quarantine. In some countries, fitness centres and other locations where individuals are normally active will remain temporarily closed. Staying at home for prolonged periods of time can pose a significant challenge for remaining physically active. Sedentary behaviour and low levels of physical activity can have negative effects on the health, well-being and quality of life of individuals. Self-quarantine can also cause additional stress and challenge the mental health of citizens. Physical activity and relaxation techniques can be valuable tools to help you remain calm and continue to protect your health during this time.

1. Learn new skills

Research shows that learning new skills can improve your mental wellbeing. Learning a new skill can improve our self-confidence and help connect us to others. There are many of skills you can learn online. Crafts such as knitting and crochet, drawing and painting all help us to be more focused on the moment. Which has been shown to help with our mental wellbeing. Talk to your friends. Do any of them have a skill that you would like to learn? By getting a group of you to learn together, this can be a brilliant way of connecting.

Not only will you learn a new skill, but you will have lots of fun! Or think about all those DIY jobs you have in the house but don’t know how to tackle. There’s a YouTube video online that will show you!

2. Keep Your Mind Active

The current situation can make us feel quite anxious and stressed, and it’s easy to allow our thoughts to spiral into thinking about ‘what if’s’. Physical exercise can certainly help take our minds off these thoughts. But it’s important to keep mentally active as well. Board games are a good way of keeping mentally active. Many of us have family favorites which can be used to keep children entertained. But there has been an explosion in board games for adults over recent years. Games like Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan and Scrabble are making a comeback! Many of these games are also good for children. Or maybe learn a new card game? Most of us have a pack of cards at home. And there are lots of websites which teach you how to play games like canasta and crazy eights.

If you have children at home, you can also help them with their work for your own benefit too. There are lots of resources being posted online to help parents. Many parents would be grateful for a bit of help, and this can always be done via apps like Skype or WhatsApp. Read, write, play games, do crossword puzzles, sudokus, jigsaws or drawing and painting. Find something that works for you. Do things you enjoy: Focussing on your favourite hobby, learning something new or simply taking time to relax indoors should give you some relief from anxious thoughts and feelings and can boost your mood.

3. Choose one simple task to achieve

Many of us believe that now we’re at home, we’ll get so much more achieved, but that often isn’t the case. We need to be honest with ourselves about what we can realistically do in a day, especially when we might be feeling more anxious than usual. Many of us wake up daily with a long and endless list of tasks. While you are at home, we may develop a false sense of being able to conquer the day and get all our tasks done. Be mindful of what you intend to do and set small achievable goals.

These can and should include non-task-oriented items, such as connecting with loved ones. Setting goals and achieving them gives a sense of control and purpose. Think about things you want or need to do that you can still do at home. Think about your new routine. Life is changing for us all for a while. Think about how you can adapt and create positive new routines. Try to engage in useful activities (such as cleaning, cooking or exercise) or meaningful activities (such as reading or calling a friend).

4. Stay Active

Our physical and mental health and undeniably linked, so it’s important to stay active, even if we don’t feel like it! If you are lucky enough to have outdoor space, you can use it as a gym. There are lots of YouTube videos that you can use to help you exercise either in the home or in your garden. Many yoga and fitness classes are now being run online. You could go to a ‘virtual class’ with your friends.

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