The result of staying indoors during this quarantine can have a real effect on our state of body and mind. Some are dealing with it better than others, but with lockdown pending further and further, and patience growing thinner, finding new ways to help keep your cool when staying in the great indoors, might be just what you need.
Staying Mentally and Physically Active:
Since there it is no longer an option to spend an hour or two at the gym, a lot of us are looking for ways to keep fit. It doesn’t require a set of weights, a treadmill, or even a fancy yoga mat. Just getting your heart rate up with a few sets of burpees or lifting a heavy jug of milk up and down, even dancing in your room to a good playlist does just the trick. YouTube and Instagram have a world of inspiration to grab for at-home workouts, and thankfully for free as well.
Working out from home can save money and intimidating glances from your local gym. Ignoring your physical body for days on end will only worsen your motivation, even if you feel like you don’t have any. Building the habit is the most difficult part, but once it is set, you won’t need to worry about lack of motivation. Your body will start feeling good again, and the rest will take care of itself.
Not only are physical activities important, but having any kind of mental stimulus is also necessary. Find the section in your local paper with quirky games to fill out, pick up some drawing utensils and re-create a dream from last night, or pick up a new language. Read, engage with colors, or try checking out what is buzzing in the stock market.
The balance we are looking for here, is between achieving something through mental strain and creativity, and achieving a Netflix series in under a week. Building confidence through exercises that both express yourself and feel comfortable with by making it achievable can be fun as well! Watching Netflix can actually make us feel more exhausted and less inclined to work hard, but can stimulate us through laughter and other forms of art through film. It is nice to take a break when you’re having “those days” nonetheless.
It’s recommended you have at least 20 minutes of physical exercise a day to keep you fit, but that’s a recommendation that is seen as an “at least” and not a limit. Also keeping your mind engaged is as important as your physical wellbeing, so finding some fun activities that require a bit of persistence in the mind really helps keep everything functioning at its best.
On Lowering Tense Feelings:
Being stuck inside with family or roommates, can really infringe on personal space and test your patience with each other, and let’s face it; arguments happen. So let’s talk about some mental exercises to help calm you down if ever one were to occur.
When tension starts to build-up, our logical brain really starts to fail, and we become driven to think under unstable conditions commonly known as “fight or flight mode.” This can be great for real-life situations and threats, but when dealing with another human, it is best not to exaggerate these high emotions, but to learn how to regulate them.
Before anything rises and you feel compelled, some guidance to practice before, during, and even after an argument:
Where you are right now, focus on one part of your body. So maybe your head, your hands or your feet, and recite everything you feel. Name how the ground feels on your feet, the feeling of the clothes on your shoulders, or if there’s a breeze from the AC. And if you run out of things to say, move to another part of your body. So from your feet to your lower legs or from your hands to your forearm. This makes you more aware of yourself and less on attacking the other person. Once you feel centered in your own skin, it’s easier to breathe and form stronger insight on situations.
Literally start naming things you find in the room. Very much like the body scan, recruit the colors of the objects, maybe walk up to something and feel the texture. Recognize it for what it is, and how it makes you feel or what it’s used for.
Think of a specific color and look around the room for it. It really helps if it’s a lesser used color like a bright purple or a deep orange. Keep looking for colors that make you feel happy or invoke something inside you.
When in Doubt, Walk it Out:
Going out for a walk can also help. Of course take the necessary safety precautions and stay safe in general, but just going for a short walk through your neighborhood can help a lot in a tense situation. Removing yourself from a rougher situation really helps clear your head, the fresh air never hurts and seeing new scenery from the walls and doors you see all the time is really calming. So when in doubt, walk it out.
This is a stressful time. We have a million and one things to worry about and that was before the whole COVID-19 situation blew up. So finding small things to do to keep you sane and active can really make the difference between a calm environment and a battlezone inside your own home and even mind.