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Things to Do at Home While Self-Isolating

The global pandemic has forced countless people around the world to stay indoors out of fear of contracting the life-threatening COVID-19. It’s normal that confinement of self-isolation might feel constricting and frustrating to some people. However, if you’re finding yourself using recreational drugs or alcohol more often than ever before, or tempted by boredom and your substance use disorder to start using again, it’s important to keep yourself busy.

In this article, we’ve come up with inspiring things to do at home when you start to get bored. Try your best to tick off everything on the list to keep your mind and body busy while waiting for the world to get back to “normal.”

Let’s get started!

1. Declutter Your Home

Man fixing closet space

There’s a reason why cleaning and decluttering make it onto every online article sharing a list of things to do at home while in quarantine. There are several proven positive psychological and physical health effects in organizing your personal space.

First of all, it gives you peace of mind that your home is sanitized and free from disease-causing germs, bacteria, and viruses—which is of utmost importance given our current predicament with the Coronavirus pandemic. You’ll also get rid of dust and dirt that could trigger severe allergic reactions, which puts your immune system in compromise. You cannot afford to be sick at the moment.

On the other hand, the mere act of decluttering is linked to reducing stress and anxiety. The series of quick decisions involved in selecting which items to keep, donate, or throw out can have the power to recharge you emotionally and boost your self-confidence. It gives you that positive feeling of being in control amidst uncertainties. It’s a practical and productive way to keep your mind occupied, instead of constantly worrying and wandering to drugs or alcohol.

If you find yourself getting pressured and resorting to procrastination because of how daunting of a task decluttering seems to be, it’s okay. Do it whenever you’re ready. Take it slowly by tackling one room or one closet at a time. Little by little, you wouldn’t even notice how much time has passed, and you’re done with your entire home. Once you’re finished, you’ll be happy and proud of what you’ve accomplished, and you’ll be instantly rewarded with a lighter feeling and a much clearer headspace.

2. Focus on Your Fitness and Health

Woman practicing yoga at home

When you’re bored at home, it can be challenging to muster up the willpower to workout on some days. When you’re in the zone watching too much television and working from home all day, it’s effortless to fall into the traps of a sedentary life, which can drastically affect your physical and emotional well-being negatively.

Although staying fit and active won’t make you invincible against the Coronavirus, it is proven to provide the following benefits:

  • Strengthening your immune system
  • Enhancing your overall mood
  • Keeping depression and anxiety at bay
  • Improving your sleep quality at night
  • Preventing you from getting burned out at work

Exercise also produces endorphins, the chemical in the body that brings a sense of euphoria and eases pain and stress. Because of these effects in the body, people committed to working out are less likely to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as alcohol abuse or exploring recreational drugs like marijuana, when the going gets tough.

If you miss doing yoga in your local gym, inquire if they offer virtual yoga classes online. If they don’t, there are now instructors uploading courses on YouTube, Zoom, or Facebook Live. There’s a plethora of at-home workout videos and tutorials available for free on the Internet that you can explore. Instagram influencers and celebrities are also sharing their workout regimen to their followers.

Whether it’s Zumba, Pilates, kickboxing, strength training, you’ll surely find whatever floats your boat on the Internet. Don’t overthink and overwhelm yourself. Even a quick 10-minute workout in the morning to get you off your bed, moving, and sweating it out counts.

3. Bake! Bake! Bake!

Close up shot hand holding a freshly baked cupcake

Did you know that baking has therapeutic benefits? It’s no wonder there’s a growing trend on Instagram of people baking when boredom strikes and uploading snaps of their picture-perfect baked goodies on their feed.

Julie Ohana, the creator of Culinary Art Therapy, has turned to the art of baking to manage her anxiety and depression. “I believe that focusing on a specific task or skill, forcing someone to ‘get out of their own head’… can really be helpful to quiet one’s inner dialogue where the anxiety stems from,” she explains.

Several scientific studies support Ohana’s claim and connect baking and other creative hobbies to promoting mental health and emotional wellness. According to associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at Boston University, Dr. Donna Pincus, the methodical nature of baking makes it a perfect destressing activity.

“You have to measure, focus physically on rolling out dough. If you’re focusing on smell and taste, on being present with what you’re creating, that act of mindfulness in that present moment can also have a result in stress reduction,” she tells HuffPost. Aside from being a sweet stress-reliever and an outlet to express yourself creatively, baking can also be instrumental in helping communicate their feelings of love, appreciation, or sympathy towards other people.

If you’re clueless about baking, don’t fret. The Internet is teeming with a multitude of baking recipes to get you through quarantine, regardless of your skill level or what you have in your pantry. You’ll be thrilled to discover three-ingredient cookie recipes or toaster oven baking recipes as well. Bake your own sourdough bread or oatmeal cookies from scratch. Have fun and fill your kitchen with the delicious smell of your baking every day.

4. Start a Quarantine Garden

Another fruitful endeavour that you can take on when you get bored at home is gardening. Starting your own quarantine garden, either by growing edible plants in your backyard or maintaining a crew of indoor plants at home, have many therapeutic benefits.

Horticultural therapy can soothe the mind, body, and soul. It takes your mind off of things while filling it with the sight of beautiful plants and flowers. It effectively calms down anxiety and inspires you to be optimistic.

It’s an enjoyable activity with little chores that you can incorporate into your quarantine routine and lessen your time spent on social media platforms, which can be unbearably toxic during these times and trigger depression. The mere act of walking to your garden every morning, watering the plants, moving the pots, pruning the leaves, or picking fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables already encourage you to move and do a wide range of motion. It’s one of the many fantastic things you can do when you’re bored at home that will yield excellent results.

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