- Decrease screen time: Since a lot of us are now doing schoolwork or working from home, our screen time has already skyrocketed. Unfortunately, increased screen time is associated with increased anxiety, weight gain, depression and insomnia. Also, the media has stoked fear and anxiety about Covid 19 even further. Turning off the constant barrage of projections and modeling may help decrease the anxiety related to this novel virus.
- Getting Outside: Spending time outside whether it be exercise (running, cycling, etc. especially as all the gyms are closed) or yardwork or other activities is really important because it helps expose the skin to sunlight maintaining healthy vitamin D levels, which in turn decreases the chance of seasonal depression and keeps us healthy. Exercise also releases natural endorphins. Endorphins have been shown in studies to be just as effective at combating depression as antidepression medication. Exercise will also help combat weight gain that is bound to happen by being stuck indoors and feeling the pressure to eat your way through your coronavirus food stash before it expires (anyone know what to do with 2 dozen brown bananas?!)
- Spring Cleaning and organizing can be therapeutic for some especially when you’re stuck indoors all day. It will give us an opportunity to channel our inner Marie Kondo and have a fresh start when everything opens back up.
- Explore new hobbies. Whether it be cooking or doing puzzles or sewing masks, exploring new hobbies will help deflect energy towards something positive.
- Take up meditation. Even if you’ve never done it before, there are a number of easily accessible apps to guide you through the process. Meditation can reduce anxiety and stress, lengthen attention, improve sleep and lower blood pressure while also providing a more positive outlook on life and even making you a kinder person. That last benefit may prove extra beneficial when cooped up with someone who may be getting on your last nerve!
- Read a book. While for some, bad reality TV provides a temporary escape from daily stressors, reading can expand vocabulary and knowledge, improve memory, decrease depression and stress, and even improve sleep (especially with some boring nonfiction!). In all seriousness, though, a book can be an oasis from the worries of your day without the baggage of screen time.