We find ourselves in a unique place. We are all trying to stay healthy by staying home. Yet, by staying home we are unable to do many of the things we normally do that keep us healthy. The good news is, there are a multitude of things you can do to maintain your wellness all in the comfort of your own home.
Since loneliness is a known to be as harmful to your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, let’s start with something that can improve your social wellness and keep you connected with others, even when we can’t be together. By working on having an “attitude of gratitude” you can focus on the good things in life and stay positive. Try some of these, or all of these, and you will feel better and may even brighten someone else’s day.
Write a letter to a friend or family member. Tell them what it is about them that makes you smile. Put a stamp on it and get it in the mail. Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!
Think of three things you are grateful for. These could be people, items around your house, technology, or services you use. Write them down, share them with a friend, or give thanks out loud for them.
Look through your belongings. Find something that was a gift. Consider why you kept this gift and consider the thoughtfulness of the giver. Thank them, either directly, or through thoughts and prayers for the gift.
Call a friend and spend some time reminiscing of all the good times you have had together. Share your gratitude for those great memories with them.
Send out thank-you notes to your local hospitals and clinics, letting them know their efforts are appreciated and you are grateful they are there, serving your community.
Breathing meditation is a way to get your physical and intellectual wellness needs met. The current stress that many people are feeling can lead to anxiety, health issues, feelings of frustration, and even depression. The good news is, there is very extensive research that shows that meditation can help reduce stress and blood pressure and increase a sense of wellbeing. Not only that, it is easy to learn, free, and can be done in the comfort of your own home. Try it, practice it to get more comfortable, and then make it part of your daily routine for the best impact.
With breathing meditation, the focus is simply kept on your breathing, in and out, for several minutes.
Comfortable clothing, your favorite chair, and a watch or clock is all you need.
Turn off all alerts from cell phones, the TV, radio or any other distractions.
Sit quietly, deeply breathing in and out.
Focus your mind on your breathing and only your breathing. If your mind wanders, just bring it back to the in-out, in-out, in-out of your breath. Feel your breath fill your lungs, then gently escape as you relax.
When you feel done, check how long you meditated. Then gently stretch your body, get up, have some water.
Repeat as often as you like, but daily is a great goal. Try to do at least 10 minutes.
Being involved in everyday activities, being out and about and experiencing life helps keep our minds active and brains sharp. In our current situation we are being advised to avoid many activities, but there are some fun things you can do at home on your own to keep your mind thinking quickly. Below are some easy games to play by yourself, but even more fun to challenge a friend (over the phone or via email). A little competition can make your brain work a little harder.
Do a word find or a “find-the-differences” puzzle as fast as you can. Then do another of the same difficulty and see if you can beat your own time.
Grab a pen and paper. Set your timer for 30 seconds. Write down all the items you can think of that start with the letter “P”. Try again with any letter and compare your score to see how you improve. Set a goal for how many words you can get in the time allotted.
Listen to a TED talk, a podcast, or the evening news and write questions down for the speaker during the talk. You can find TED talks at ted. com and podcasts are found at iHeart Radio or National Public Radio.
Speed read a newspaper article and then write down as many details as you can remember from what you read. Go back and check yourself for accuracy.
Name all (or as many as you can) of the states, the capitals, the presidents as fast as you can. Any category will do.
Keeping your mind, your spirit, and your body active during this unique time can help you stay healthy and ready for life when it returns to normal. Focusing on the positive things you can control, and activities that keep you going, can make a big difference! Click here to access the idea list on ways you can stay healthy at home and work your physical, social and intellectual wellness while doing it.