12 Ways to Stay Well While Staying In
The coronavirus pandemic has most of us all staying in these days, but how do you stay well during all this disruption? To keep some balance in your life, try these tips:
#1 - Discover new books or rediscover old books you loved. Most libraries have electronic books you can check out to your phone, tablet or e-reader. You can also listen to audiobooks while you do something else. Visit Maryland's Digital eLibrary.
#2 - Not into reading? Find a new show/documentary/movie to watch. There's cable, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and many others. Pick a show to watch with friends or family at the same time, then discuss after.
#3 - Play video games! Become a professional athlete or discover a new, non-pandemic world.
#4 - Listen to podcasts or even just the old-fashioned radio.
#6 - Take deep breaths, meditate, stretch, do yoga or other mindfulness activities.
#7 - Unplug from technology for a few hours a day. This allows you to turn away from potential triggers in the news.
#8 - Get balanced sleep and maintain as much routine as possible. If you usually wake up at 7 am, keep doing it. Change your clothes and brush your teeth every day.
#9 - Call or video chat with a friend or a group of friends. It's not the same as seeing them in person, but it's still a way of staying connected with others. Remember, it's "physical distancing" that's required, not emotional or social separation.
#10 - Start a new hobby like painting, coloring, puzzles, scrapbooking, sewing, writing songs or poetry, gardening or more. Enjoy your hobby with someone else in your household if possible. Even travel can be your hobby if you try these virtual travel tips.
#11 - Cook or bake a new dish once a week. It's important to eat healthy. Choose something simple and comforting, or complex and exciting.
#12 - Get organized. Clean out that closet, room or drawer that you've been meaning to get to. For an added bonus, clean while also doing numbers 1, 4, 6, 7 or 9 above.
And remember, if feeling cooped up starts to affect your overall mental health or is preventing you from taking care of yourself and/or your loved ones, there are professionals you can talk to.
If you start having thoughts that life isn't worth living, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, go to your nearest emergency room or call 911. Also see these mental health resources for more options.