Staying home, limiting trips outside and not interacting socially means we have far more time on our hands than ever before. So why not use this time to learn a new skill, try a new hobby, or find an interest outside of Netflix? Keeping busy both mentally and physically helps us feel happy, active and healthy. Before cabin fever sets in, try some of these ways to keep busy while at home.
Soak up some sun and boost your Vitamin D
As we head into winter, the shorter days and less sunlight can make getting enough vitamin D – or “sunshine vitamin” - a challenge. An important nutrient essential for bone health, Vitamin D also helps prevent colds or the flu. Short stretches in the sun – around 30 minutes of sun exposure between 10am and 3pm at least twice a week - not only helps your body produce vitamin D, it can also have a big impact on your overall mental wellbeing.
Aim for some structure
Having a routine during the day can be really helpful, especially if you have kids at home and you’re juggling working from home, home schooling and housework. Create a schedule with a little structure to help keep a sense of normality and to give you a sense of purpose each day. Slot in time for meals, activities, work and school, and outside exercise like a walk, a cycle or a run. Remember to include relaxation time too and try not to stress if the kids end up watching too much TV or have more screen time than usual. It’s a tricky time for all of us!
Connect with your friends and family
Technology has made it super-easy for us to stay in touch with friends and family no matter how far across the globe we’re spread. Just because you can’t physically be with friends and family, doesn’t mean you can’t connect with them. Video chats like Zoom, WhatsApp and FaceTime, phone calls and emails, or letters mailed out are all ways you can stay in touch with friends and family at this time. Remember also to check in on your neighbours – especially those who are elderly – to ensure they’re getting the support they need.
Make time for self-care
It’s not unusual to feel a bit stressed out or anxious if you’re stuck at home, so be sure to make some time to focus on your own personal needs. Practice breathing, mindfulness or relaxation techniques, meditate or pray, re-read a favourite book, listen to music, or go for a walk on your own – whatever it is, prioritise “me” time to help reduce any anxiety you may be feeling.
Get the kids involved
If you have young (or even older) children at home, why not include them in your daily tasks like planning and preparing meals, cleaning up, doing the laundry or unpacking the dishwasher. Baking is a great way to practice measuring and counting (maths), learn about ingredients (science), and of course sampling at the end (food technology)!
Assigning children age-appropriate chores around the home teaches them life skills, responsibility, and self-reliance. It’s also another chance to do things together as a family while getting the job done.
Now, more than ever, is the time to create small moments of happiness and build up our energy stores to help us cope with the more challenging aspects of each day. Stay safe!
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