photo by Kieren Garner
As quarantine seems to stretch on, it isn’t strange to find ourselves down while stuck indoors. With no school to keep us busy, boredom strikes fast. But, it doesn’t have to be that way, there are plenty of healthy things to do to keep yourself entertained during these strange times.
While working out might not seem like the most fun thing in the world, working out for even thirty minutes a day has so many benefits to keep spirits up during isolation.
According to Genesis Fitness, getting half an hour of exercise a day reduces stress by increasing the amount of norepinephrine in your body, the chemical that can moderate our brain’s response to stress and stressful situations. By doing this for yourself, you can boost your ability to deal with existing mental tension. Something as simple as taking a leisurely walk around your neighborhood can increase your productivity. With a clear mind and less tension, you will stay on top of your schoolwork.
Another activity to do during this time is to start an art project. Painting, drawing, calligraphy and photography are only a few forms of art to try at. By dedicating some time every time to art, you are pushing boredom away and taking time for yourself that isn’t staring blankly at your phone screen. But even more importantly, it’s been proven that art has mental health benefits.
National Republic Radio said that creating art helps people process their emotions. Making art decreases anxiety and allows you to connect with your own creativity, which in turn hones one’s coping skills when it comes to anxiety or stress or any negative emotion. If you don’t feel like you are the most artsy person out there, don’t worry, even simply coloring inside the lines of a coloring book creates a boost in mood. NPR said that coloring inside a mandala reduces anxiety to a greater degree compared to coloring in a plaid design or a plain sheet of paper.
One other healthy activity to avoid boredom is to curl up with a good book and read. Whether that’s in the comfort of your own room or outside, reading for even thirty minutes a day has many benefits. A few great books I’ve had the chance to read and highly recommend are “I’ll Give You The Sun” by Jandy Nelson, “A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas and “Circe” by Madeline Miller.
According to Business Insider, reading improves memory, empathy and even makes us feel more positive as well. Science has shown that reading also helps with depression, cutting stress and reducing the chances of developing Alzheimer’s later in life. Reading has been proven to bring neural pathways in the brain to life and it helps the brain itself remain active and elastic.
An activity that is sure to stabilize you during tough moments and bring you peace during your day is meditation. Even taking thirty minutes to allow yourself to calm down and breathe and meditate is important and has many other proven good elements to it.
According to Healthline, meditation translates to less anxiety. It also reduced symptoms of anxiety disorders, such as phobias, social anxiety, paranoid thoughts and obsessive-compulsive behaviors. Practicing meditation can also lead to an improved self-image and more positive outlook on life. Two studies of meditation have even found decreased depression in over 4,600 adults.
One more activity to do while under quarantine is simply going outside, whether that’s your back yard or maybe even taking a walk around the neighborhood. Put your phone down and just breathe in the world around you.
Business Insider said that being outdoors helps fight fatigue, fight depression and anxiety and improves your ability to focus. Being indoors all day, unable to really get out of our own neighborhood can certainly make one feel tired, sad and unfocused, so by just going outside you get to push all of those things inside and enjoy the natural world.
By doing each of these activities daily, you are giving yourself so many health benefits that will keep you distracted from the boredom that keeps creeping in while we are isolated to our own homes. Don’t let yourself get down, get up and do something that will bring some goodness into your life.