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FDN Life Magazine - May to June 2020 Issue 7 - Keeping Sane During Lockdown > Top 9 Mental Health Activities You Can Do At Home

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Keeping Sane During Lockdown – Top 9 Mental Health Activities You Can Do At Home

HEALTH & WELLNESS >

The Corona quarantine is an introvert’s heaven and an extrovert’s hell. 

Or is it really? What can be more fun than lounging around the pool, watching movies all day or eating as much as you like whenever you want. When the novelty wears off though, the fun goes away.

You can only watch so many movies or series episodes without getting bored, and cooking your own food day in and day out can get tedious.

Some people have the luxury of working from home, thus keeping some sense of normality. Others are on an extended break from work.

Lockdown has distorted our understanding of reality. Life is restricted to the comforts of your home and or yard.

If you stay in a house, you have the privilege of a tiny garden you can retreat to. In an apartment, you only have the four walls to keep you company.

Anxiety, loneliness, and depression are struggles people are faced with – even the introverts. We are restricted to as and when we are allowed to venture into the great outdoors.

But fear not, there are a few things that can be done to keep the mind from going either to waste or total insanity: 

Puzzles – These are awesome to help with focus and concentration. And very rewarding if you eventually get the puzzle completed. If you haven’t built a puzzle in a long time, rather start with a 500-piece puzzle instead of the ambitious 5000-piece projects. 

Reading – A comment was once made that if you read the news headlines every day, you will always have something to talk about to anyone. That said, not everyone is a fan of reading. Luckily there are so many options available, from novels, comic strips, newspapers to the local tabloid paper. And with audiobooks and the internet, numerous resources are at hand. 

Crosswords / Sudoku – Apparently, this helps to improve long term memory function as well? As stated before, the internet has an endless supply of these available.

Games – Not the type of games you play in a park or on a field, more controlled like chess, checkers, or even card games. 

  •  It might not be advisable to try and teach your children poker, but a fun game of “Go Fish” is always lovely. 
  • Chess is more of a strategic game. 
  •  And if strategy is your thing, old school “Battleships” can also provide hours of fun and entertainment for the family.

Getting Creative – Not all of us are as creative as Picasso or Michelangelo, but it is always good to get the creative juices going. Try drawing, doodling, or even finger painting or paint by numbers. You don’t need to end with the Mona Lisa, but any abstract picture will also be nice. Even if none of these appeals to you, try painting a room or an unfinished building project.  

Writing – Back in the day, it used to be so much fun to write and receive letters from friends and family- especially waiting eagerly at the post office for the postman. Nowadays, we mostly send and receive letters via email or on social media platforms such as WhatsApp or Facebook messenger. These are all okay as they still encourage a form of written communication between people. 

Music – Whether you are playing an instrument, singing, or simply enjoy listening to music, this always improves the spirit. 

  •  And what can be more entertaining than going through your old music collection and reminiscing about days gone past?

Lifelong Learning – quarantine has caught the world at the correct digital age. Online learning is very common and widely accessible to almost anyone with internet facilities. Utilize the time wisely and complete those courses you never have time for or always longed to do. Just think how impressed your boss will be with your newly acquired knowledge you gained at this time.   

Skype / Zoom: Social distancing has taken away an integral part of our being – human contact. Texting or sending an email is not quite the same as being able to see someone’s facial expression or hear them laugh. Skype and Zoom have brought the world to our doorstep. Try and add a weekly Skype chat or two with loved ones to your routine. It will be good for the soul.

Are you still feeling under the weather? Try to stick to a routine. I know this may sound mundane, but it might give you some purpose in the day. Incorporate the above activities into a structured daily routine to create some sense of a new normal.

We are not able to control the effects that this quarantine might have or still will have on us, but we can try and manage it as sensibly as possible.   

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