It's really no surprise that in lieu of the recent Coronavirus pandemic, normal life is coming to a screeching halt. Businesses are closing, people are isolating, and the world is facing an invisible enemy for which we have never before seen the likes of. All of which can be completely stressful before adding the stay home orders.
While the idea of staying home seems relaxing at first it can get old rather quickly. When you are sitting in sweats on day three of an Antique Roadshow marathon, you start to question your sanity. So I give you a list of 5 Things to do While Self Isolating! The important thing to remember is you are not alone… we are all a little mad here!
#5 Arts and Crafts
With all the stress and anxiety the Coronavirus is causing, it may be a good time to break out the markers or paint and practice some art therapy. Proven to have many beneficial effects, Art can help reduce stress, lower anxiety, and even promote healthier relationships.
There are many different exercises you can find from resources online like Positive Psychology but one of my favorites is painting blindfolded or in the dark! This exercise helps by reducing negative self-talk; taking the pressure off of creating a high-quality piece while shifting focus to the creation itself which promotes creativity and motivation.
There are really cool infographics that were created by Josh Kale in 2011 that help explain the process, benefits and fundamentals.
#4 Movie Marathon
If you haven't already grown completely sick of the television and cursed its very existence, then maybe a Movie marathon is just the thing you need to cheer you up, therapists refer to this as cinema therapy.
�Cinema therapy allows us to use the effect of imagery, plot, music, etc. in films on our psyche for insight, inspiration, emotional release or relief and natural change.” - Birgit Wolz, PhD., MFT
I chose a Disney movie marathon because they have always been uplifting to me, as they remind me of when times were simple as a child. For the most part, they all have happy endings where the good guys prevail allowing them to live happily ever after. While you're at it, make a fun game out of your movie marathon with Movie Bingo!
#3 Game Night!
For many, the timeless tradition of family/friend game night was a staple of their childhood. I remember my parents getting together for Monopoly game nights with the neighbors as a child, which meant all of the kids got to participate in some good ol fashion fun. Plus there have been many studies on the benefits of not only playing but winning games. Winning a board game triggers the release of endorphins. Endorphins are known to cause the euphoric feeling associated with winning which in turn leads us to feel good about ourselves.
Today the physical part of getting together may not be ideal, but with technology advancements, it is quite possible to still have a game night. You don't even have to necessarily play board games. You could play video games, or play with apps such as Skype or FaceTime, charades and Pictionary are possible. It may take a bit of creativity and trial and error but that is all part of the fun. On the free site Board Game Arena, you can find over one hundred different board games and play against opponents all over the world. A couple of other favorites are Skribbl.io and Tabletop Simulator. Not to mention, a few hundred free to play multiplayer games on Steam.
Not sure what to play? Try spinning the wheel.
#2 Plan A Fake-Cation
While many of us are stuck inside, our minds and imagination are free to wonder. It may be nice to spend some time planning a fake-cation with family and friends, or even alone. A Fake-cation is when someone uses various photo editing programs and techniques to tell a story about their fictitious vacation; pictures included!
The nice thing about a fake-cation is you can travel anywhere in the world and get as creative with your story and pictures as you like. Plus it provides the opportunity to practice using different editing programs and imagination to expand your photo editing and content creation skills.
You can make a family fake-cation by sharing photos and allowing everyone to plan a piece of the story. This is a very fun opportunity to work together and allow your creativity to truly shine. Learn more about Fake-cations in this article from Articulate.
#1 Practice Self Care
One of the most important things to take into consideration is making sure you still take time for you. With the kids home and the office now in your living room, it can be easy to forget that you deserve time to practice self-care. Mental health is every bit as important as physical health because you can't care for others while neglecting yourself.
Take time to read a book you have been putting off, put on headphones and drown out the world around you, take a bath, or whatever it is that makes you, happy! Most importantly if you are feeling overwhelmed or having signs of anxiety and depression reach out for support from your mental health professional or a trusted friend. We are all in this together!
Here's a bonus bingo image with various activities that might help you decide what to do. If all else fails, let the wheel decide!