With everything so topsy-turvy, it’s only natural to feel a bit down, uncertain, and a little bit glum from time to time. Regardless of what’s happening in the outside world, it’s up to each and every one of us to look out for #1. By taking a few simple measures to stay connected to those we care about, as well as trying something new and exciting, you can make the most of these strange times and have the best chance of getting through the next few months feeling happy, healthy, and engaged with your new reality.
Here are some simple tips we have compiled to keep on top of that mental health and a few exciting ways to share experiences with those close to you, no matter how far away they may be!
Give yourself structure
Whether you’re working from home or trying to find ways to fill the day, structure is key. It is not enough to just wake up at normal times and wearing normal clothes. Get a notebook of any kind and, every morning, date a new page. Write a list of all the things you hope to achieve that day, regardless of how insignificant the task may seem. Whether its “Call Mary’ or “Go for a walk”, be specific and jot everything down. Ticking these off your list will give you a sense of achievement and give your day meaning and purpose. Just try it!
Take Some Time for Yourself
With everyone spending so much time at home, our private spaces have suddenly become much more crowded! Make sure you take a little T.O. and give yourself some breathing room. Go for a walk alone, watch some telly, listen to music, garden– whatever you do to relax. Give yourself those few minutes every day for headspace and processing how you feel.
On the other hand, stay connected to those you care about and keep those who are out of sight on our minds! With very little news, the idea of a video call with others can seem a little daunting. However, the internet has countless ways to connect with others and share experiences that are sure to get everyone involved and excited!
Kahoot! – This is a priceless free resource for creating quizzes. With its multiple-choice structure, speed points bonus and simple set up, it’s a great way to get everyone involved in a good general knowledge head to head, no matter where they are. It can be used in conjunction with the share screen function on Zoom to play with those near and far!
Elfster Letter Exchange: Getting an unexpected post is always a treat, no matter your age. This idea is so simple and provides the same joy for kids and adults alike. Using Elfster, put a list of friends/relatives names into a “hat”, and whatever name you are given, you must write them a card or a letter. The rules for this can be customized however you like eg make a handmade card, include a recipe/photograph, unusual item. Little ones will burst with the excitement of keeping their new penpal a secret, while you yourself might find yourself watching the postbox intently, waiting for your fanmail to arrive!
Book Club/Movie Club
Ok, not the most original idea in the tank but it will give you something COVID-19 free to talk about. Choose a series/Movie on Netflix or another streaming site and decide a time and date with a bunch of friends or family members to discuss their thoughts on it over a virtual coffee. It might not make up for not being able to watch it together but it will give you a shared experience to discuss!
Arts and Crafts do not have an age limit. There is nothing more rewarding than creating something from nothing. Whether it’s resurrecting an old photo frame with a lick of new paint, finally trying that bread recipe or repurposing some old fabric, there are countless ways to engage your brain in little projects that will save you money as well as filling you with a sense of childlike pride you didn’t think was possible. Check out Pinterest for lots of easy, nifty, and thrifty ideas. For anyone looking for some crafty projects to keep little ones busy, there are plenty of Arts and Craft blogs with easy ideas to get you started!
Hopefully, this article has provided you with some innovative ways to pass your day, and make the very best of the “new normal”. Stay safe, stay sane, stay connected, and be kind to yourself.