Get Creative With Your Exercises and Socialization
Just because we have to distance socially doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to socialize still. We just have to be a bit more creative and think outside the box. This idea will not only help your physical health but, most likely, your mental health as well. We can get creative by doing things “together” virtually when we can’t be together physically. When we make an effort to do things together, it gives us a feeling of being connected, which is excellent for our mental health. Encouraging each other to do exercises together virtually is an excellent motivator for everyone.
Schedule a time with your friend or family member for a walk and talk, and you can both do it simultaneously. If you can walk in the garden, you can show them what you are seeing, so it feels like you are experiencing the walk together. Alternatively, if there is a great walking path with a view of the lake – show your friend or family member what you’re seeing! A great way to incorporate exercise and socialize, especially if you both live in different areas, could experience coast to coast views.
If you live on your own, communicating with people is essential. You can start to feel isolated if you are unable to see people, which can take a toll on your mental health, which will affect everything else in your life. If you have neighbors, you can check in on them because maybe they don’t have anyone in their lives. You can still social distance while checking in – it could go a long way for that other person, and it helps your mental wellbeing as well. Maybe you could offer to help pick anything up if you feel it’s safe to do so – like getting something from the grocery store for them.
Also, you should include socializing in your daily routine so that you have something to look forward to. You could make a time slot during your lunch break to call someone different each day and check in on how they are doing. Not only does this help with your own routine, but it helps others. If there are people you know who don’t speak to their family, you could reach out to them as well. It doesn’t hurt to check in, and when you check in on others, others may start to check in on you as well, which is a nice feeling.
Make an extra effort with your loved ones during this time because you never know who might be feeling lonely, and your phone call could make a big difference. Talking to others will help you to maintain cognition as well as keep your mood up. If you give them the steps over the phone, you could even have group calls and video calls with your loved ones. You could take your old routine of having Sunday dinner together and do it virtually! You can also play games virtually or just catch up and check in with them.
If you have older people in your family, make sure that you are keeping in contact as they will have been isolated for a lot longer than you. Check in once a day over the phone or message them throughout the day. Not only is it something for you to look forward to and put into your routine, but it’s also something for your loved one to look forward to as well. Be patient if you are trying to teach them how to do something virtually over the phone – it may be something completely new and intimidating.
Besides keeping physically active, you need to stay healthy in your mind, which means keeping mentally active. There are so many unique activities you can do – you could even binge a quiz-based program! Try and answer the questions that are being asked – it will be a lot of fun. If you live alone or don’t have friends and family who can visit, keeping your mind active is vital and will keep you happier at home. If you’re not into game shows, try to find a fascinating documentary to watch or listen to an educational podcast.
Think of keeping your mind healthy the same as exercising your body. You need to exercise your brain as well because it’s a muscle. It can be a lot of fun and done in many different ways. You could take a new online course, learn a new skill, or try downloading an app like Duolingo and learning a new language! That not only exercises the mind but can also be super beneficial in your daily life. Learning a new skill or language could help you land a new or better job, or can make your everyday life easier as well.
A great tip to have a healthy isolation period is maintaining the hobbies you used to do before it or maybe even taking up a new one. Hobbies are a great way to lift your spirit and make you feel like your life is somewhat expected. You can even block times for your hobbies as well, so that way you’re making a routine for your day. That can be beneficial to not feel like your “wasting away” your day and also have a feeling of structure. Give yourself hour blocks of time to work with throughout the day.
Knitting is an excellent activity for you to do. This activity is suitable for people with arthritis and also helps to improve your dexterity. It will help loosen your joints, and it serves as something to keep you busy as well. You can knit while listening to a podcast – get two things done at once: knitting and learning by catching up on a podcast! Many people also watch TV while knitting too, though this can take a bit more practice for beginners. Knitted items make great gifts, give us something to look forward to, and make us feel good.
If you aren’t a fan of knitting, there are loads of other activities you might enjoy doing. You could sew, crochet, or feel adventurous, try to restore and recover some furniture that could use an update. Another hobby many people find therapeutic is coloring. You can find adult coloring books that are beautiful and range from simple designs to intricate art pieces. Doing any kind of art is therapeutic and is ideal for times in isolation. If needlework isn’t in your wheelhouse, you could follow some online origami tutorials or try your hand at baking.
Find a recipe that you have always wanted to try out and do it. The best thing is if you’re isolated on your own, you can have your cake and eat it. A great thing about baking is that there are steps to follow, which is not an artistic type that might be more satisfying and therapeutic for you. There are many simple baking that you can do that only require a few ingredients or take on a more significant challenge and go for a more complicated recipe. You get to reap the benefits of your baking afterward, too!
If you have found that you are struggling with anxiety during this period, you can do things to relieve yourself. Something that might be helpful to practice in isolation is your breathwork and meditation. Both of these will help you to work through those feelings and get you to a better headspace. These activities will help train your mind to enjoy a state of mental clarity and help you relax and have a moment of peace. This movement will then reduce your anxiety and help you cope with stress and become less stressed overall.
When you reflect on how you felt when you had high anxiety moments, you can learn the triggers you have for yourself. Maybe thinking about our country’s state for too long is a trigger, or having the news on for too long. Would just reading the information you need be better than watching an entire broadcast about it? Once you reflect and think about what was happening when these triggers affected you, you will better realize when high anxiety is coming. Then, you can either stop it from happening or lessen the anxious feelings because you’ll be more prepared.
If you aren’t sure where to start, there are so many meditation resources available online. Yoga practice goes hand in hand with this, and a combination of the two activities could prove beneficial to you in isolation. It is a great workout and can be great for beginners and people with more experience working out. Did you know that it is about really listening to your body and focusing on your breathing? That is a primary focus for meditation. There are many free resources on YouTube as far as yoga routines, and it may take several videos before you find one you like.
There are even apps you can download, such as Headspace. This app is currently the world’s biggest meditation platform. It has lots of different content for you, and you can tailor-make your mediation experience, and you will be guided through it. There are meditations for your morning and evening routine, and there are meditations for when you have those anxious feelings as well. You can download the app for android or apple devices, and it is free to download. Get started with it today and become familiar with the app so you can use it whenever you need to.
An app like Headspace will help you to understand anxiety-inducing thoughts as well as storylines. The mediation will help you learn a new perspective, and with this, your relationship with anxiety will begin to change. You can learn your triggers and what you can do to prevent or lessen the anxious thoughts and feelings. Doing these exercises now can help in the future when you are in a situation where you can’t stop and meditate. You’ll be able to deal with real-world scenarios much more effectively, reducing anxiety and stress in your day-to-day life.
Meditation helps bring awareness to our minds and bodies and provides you with techniques that you can use whenever you start to feel that awful feeling of anxiety, making its way into your mind. Taking time to practice these techniques is essential, and an app like Headspace makes it so much easier. You can use it multiple times a day if you want – and you can use it alongside other stress reducers like journaling or physical exercise. Headspace is available on both Android and Apple devices so that you can get it on your phone or tablet.
Then you can turn your attention to the movement of your body. See how your chest, ribs, and belly are moving. Focus on your breath without feeling the need to control how fast you breathe or how intense you are breathing. You can start with a five-count breath in, hold for one second, then a five-count breath out. As long as your breathing is steady and even, you should start to feel calmer and notice how your body feels better with more oxygen going into your blood – flowing through your body from head to toe.
If you find that your mind is starting to wander or get distracted by things surrounding you, bring your attention back to your breath. Your breath is your safe space when you are meditating. It is okay if you need to count again; five seconds in, one-second pause, five seconds out. You can change this to any variation you need, but it is good to pause for a moment at the top of your inhale. Do this for two to three minutes, or however long you need. Meditation is not actual practice, so you can tailor it however you want to.
If you are having a hard time, make sure you are getting a good night’s sleep. Sleep is a natural way to help your mental health. It is important to make sleep a priority in your life as it’s hard to face a new day if you are tired and stressed. Stick to your usual bedtime routine in isolation and maybe try and include some extra relaxation time for yourself to ensure that you are getting the best chance at a good night’s sleep. This opportunity would be a great time to meditate as well.
An excellent way to start getting a good night’s sleep is to establish a nighttime routine. Nighttime routines can begin with having a shower and doing your skincare routine – there are many simple nighttime skincare routines on YouTube to get you started. Nighttime is a good time to journal as well – write down how you are feeling, then follow up with mediation and reflect on what you wrote down. You can end the night in bed with some reading as well. It’s not a bad idea to set the alarm for the morning if you oversleep as well – too much sleep can be just as inadequate as too little sleep. Eating these late-night snacks and foods improves sleep quality.
If you live with other people, you can live a better life in isolation or during lockdown to do your best to avoid conflicts. Everyone is stressed out at the moment, and it could cause unnecessary fights or arguments. If you find you are getting irritated or annoyed, try to remove yourself from the situation and take some time out and relax. When you feel calmer, try to discuss any issues in a relaxed way while returning to the group or person. Keep healthy, and you’ll make it through isolation a better person!
It’s not only about keeping healthy physically, but mentally as well. Find things that help calm you down – finding a new hobby like painting, listening to calm music, gardening or going for a walk are excellent ways to destress. Once you start practicing these things, you can handle conflict better and be calmer in the situation. When you’re calm, it will help the people around you be calm as well. It’s okay to take breaks during arguments if things are getting too heated – take 10 minutes to reflect, then come back. The conversation should be easier after doing that.