Do you have a plan to keep busy during the COVID-19 Quarantine? Remaining mentally stimulated is key to surviving this experience we are facing. It’s vital to find some stress-reducing activities that will also keep you busy while quarantined at home.
Everyday reality has changed dramatically for everyone in the last year.
It’s vitally important that we seek out ways to not just survive but to thrive in the face of chaos and overwhelm.
We need to take extra care of ourselves, not just physically, but emotionally and mentally, too.
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Keep an Active Mind While Staying at Home
In this strange and unprecedented time of quarantine, we are all settling into our “new normal” of living mostly inside our own four walls. Many of us (perhaps all of us, at some point in time) will find ourselves giving in to our frustration or depression.
We may end up spending far too many hours on the couch staring at HGTV reruns or randomly surfing the internet.
Keeping an active mind has been vital to my survival, as has been maintaining a sense of humor.Stephen Hawking
While an occasional day of couch surfing is understandable (and perfectly ok!), making a habit of it is neither appropriate nor healthy. We need to find ways to challenge ourselves mentally while coping with the physical restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fortunately, times have never been better to seek out mental challenge, particularly given that the vast majority of us have easy internet access.
We also have a treasure trove of resources within our homes, things we have ignored or overlooked during our busy, “normal” lives.
I myself have at least a dozen books on the bookshelves upstairs that I have never even read! They hadn’t been at the forefront of my priorities before, but now that my life has slowed and gotten more confined, I am looking forward to the opportunity to read them all.
Yes, we want to keep our minds active – at the same time, we want activities that will help counteract this insidious stress we all feel.
What kinds of things can you do at home, on your own, to keep your mind stimulated and not fall into the black hole of tv syndication?
Stress-Reducing Activities to Keep Busy During the COVID-19 Quarantine
As I’ve already mentioned, reading is a fantastic way to keep your brain active. Plus, it has the added bonus of transporting you mentally to another world, far from your home.
I tend to divide books into two categories – easy, fast reads (usually fiction – the kind of books you can pick up and put down over many days without losing your place or forgetting details), and more complex reads that require a bit more mental focus (non-fiction, historical novels, etc.)
Need some suggestions? Here’s a list of some of my all-time favorite novels.
It’s likely we will have longer blocks of time for reading, so it may be the perfect opportunity to read some of those more complex books you wouldn’t normally crack open.
For an added incentive to do some reading, as you complete each book you read, decide – right then – if it’s something you will want to reread in the future. If the answer is no, place that book in your donation box, not back on the shelf. Now you are decluttering as you read!
What are some topics that interest you, but you haven’t had time to really learn about it?
Perhaps this is the time you’d like to educate yourself on zero waste living, capsule wardrobes, personal finance, square foot gardening – you name it, there are blogs and online communities out there about your topic.
Google the subject that interests you and the word “blog”, and see what comes up. You’ll not only learn about your topic, but you’ll make connections with new friends as well.
Take an Online Course or Webinar
Blogspot.com has compiled a list of 60 free online courses for whatever you want to learn.
Choose from over 100,000 online video courses at Udemy.com.
Or fulfill your dreams of becoming an Ivy Leaguer and take classes from Harvard University!
Visit a Museum (Virtually, of course)
Do you think you can’t go to museums, zoos, or cultural sites because everything has closed down? Do a virtual tour!
Hellogiggles.com has a list of museums providing virtual tours.
CNNStyle goes a step farther to include all the virtual concerts, plays, museums and other cultural events you can enjoy from home.
The online database FilmedonStage.com offers professionally filmed Broadway and West End theater productions.
Practice Yoga and Meditation
You may categorize yoga as exercise, but there is a very definite mental component to it, as well. Commune.com is launching a free virtual yoga and meditation studio that will enable you to keep your practice going (or get started) and connect with a global community of like-minded people featuring daily all-level yoga practices, daily meditation, breathwork and tapping sessions.
Write in a Journal
Perhaps you are already a consistent journaler, or maybe you’ve just considered giving it a try. Now is a perfect time to journal. It’ll naturally improve your writing skills and give you the opportunity to express yourself emotionally. A journal is just for you – so use it however you wish.
Experiment with a New Hobby, Craft, or Recipe
Learning something new is a wonderful way to stimulate your brain, and it is also proven to help alleviate depression.
Is there a hobby or craft you’ve been meaning to try, but it hasn’t fit into your busy life? Explore your options on Amazon.com or Etsy.com, or get ideas from Pinterest. You can have everything you need delivered to your doorstep.
This fun macrame kit arrived at my house yesterday, and I am excited to learn a new skill set as well as add a new decor piece to my home.
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”Albert Einstein
Play Games and Do Puzzles
Crosswords, solitaire, Trivial Pursuit – absolutely anything involving games and puzzles will stimulate your brain. Many can be done solo, or you can engage family members for a fun way to pass the time.
My all-time favorite game that can be played solo OR as a group of any size is Bananagrams – I’m warning you, it’s addictive!
Stimulate the right side of your brain with a dose of creativity. You can revert back to childhood fun by printing out some free coloring pages, grabbing crayons or colored pencils, and coloring. It’s a relaxing activity that will also light your brain up.
Read More About Managing Stress:
- 7 Fast Ways to Reduce Your Stress
- How to Recognize Your Stress Triggers
- How to Manage Stress with a Healthy Lifestyle
Final Thoughts on 9 Everyday Activities That Increase Happiness and Reduce Stress
By no means is this a complete list of mentally stimulating activities. I certainly hope it gives you some ideas of things you can do to keep your mind active during this unusual time we are experiencing. If you have additional suggestions, please let me know in the comments!