For the moment, Coronavirus is here to stay, and terms such as ‘social distancing,’ ‘self-isolation’ and ‘self-quarantine’ are everywhere. This is a huge challenge for mental health and wellbeing. We have to get creative in finding ways to boost our wellbeing when in self-isolation.
I’ve put together some practical ideas to combat the potential negative effects of self-isolation can have on our wellbeing. I hope you find them useful but remember that this is just the beginning of the conversation!
Please share this post with others and leave your comments with your own creative ideas.
I’ve never been more grateful to live an age that has the internet! It gives us a whole avenue to come together as a community and support each other. Imagine just how different Coronavirus in pre-internet times would have been.
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Here are 13 creative ways you could boost your wellbeing if you’re in self-isolation
1. Make Greeting Cards for the Year
Why not get ahead with your greeting cards for the year? If you’re anything like me, you love the idea of making cards from home and have always meant to give it a go.
In reality I swing by a store on my way to a party and I grab the least awful overpriced card available from the limited last-minute selection.
So why not plan out the birthday and anniversary cards you will need for the year? You could even do Christmas cards if you don’t mind feeling festive out of season!
Why not get started with an ultimate DIY card-making kit?
Also check out this Guide to Card Making and other Youtube tutorials for inspiration and instructions.
I guarantee you’ll feel incredibly organised and much less stressed for the rest of the year as you proudly distribute your beautiful, funky, and very personalized greetings cards!
2. Organise your Wardrobe
Self-isolation can be a good opportunity to reorganize and rework your wardrobe.
My favorite place to find ideas for fashion is Pinterest- I pin outfits that fit the kind of style I like and want to try- it’s almost like a fashion vision board. Have a look through Pinterest or magazines and see what kind of style inspires you. Make your own vision board of what you want your style to be- the personality in your outfits and the message you want to convey.
Then, start by pulling out all the clothes you own. That takes a lot of courage, I know!
We all have those articles of clothing that we love but never wear- usually because it’s too difficult to match it with something else or to pull together a full outfit.
This is a great opportunity! Take your time and try on different combinations until you find ones you love. Make sure it’s in line with your ‘fashion vision board’ and is the kind of style that you want to have.
Take a photo and save it into a folder on your phone. You could have categories such as: work, dates, casual. Alternatively, put a tag on the hanger that lists all the other items of clothing that this item looks good with.
Next time you’re feeling stuck for what to wear, simply have a look at the folder on your phone for instant inspiration, or read the tag to see what you can pair your item with. You could even be more organized than that and plan out your outfits for each week.
This is also a good time to cull unneeded clothing. Be honest with yourself- which clothes have you not worn in the last 6 months? Are they in line with your vision? Do they match with other things in the wardrobe? Make a decision and donate the items you haven’t worn and that don’t work with the rest of the clothing you own.
3. Have a Digital Clear-out
It’s usually obvious when we need a physical space clearout- but what about our digital spaces? How many emails do you have? How many photos have you taken that you will never use?
A digital clear-out could be as simple as going through your phone and computer files, re-organizing and deleting what you no longer want or need. You could go through your downloads and the files saved to your desktop and reorganize everything into the right folders. Another step is to save attachments from emails to the right place and then delete the email if you no longer need it.
If you want to be very thorough, you could follow this 13 Step Digital Declutter.
4. Make a Photo Book
Following on from your digital clear-out, self-isolation and lockdown can be a good chance to actually do something with the photos you’ve been taking. We print photos less and less these days, but it is usually something we mean to do more often! I still find printed photos more social to share with others, and it’s something I love to have but rarely get around to printing.
You can get 40 free photo prints from PrinterPix using the link below. They also have very cool photo books and other products available.
5. Join an Online Community
Link up with other people who are also looking for creative ways to boost their wellbeing while in self-isolation. A huge number of people are in lockdown, quarantine or are self-isolating and more and more things are popping up online in response.
An Online Community is not the same thing as Social Media! An Online Community brings together a diverse group of people around a similar interest or for a similar purpose.
A very cool example of an online community is this online choir, The Sofa Singers. They have met together as a singing group via the internet ‘to spark joy and togetherness amid the Covid-19 outbreak.’
For me personally, I’m a huge Jane Austen fan. I’ve been aware of and interested in The Republic of Pemberley for a long time. I’ve never joined because I was worried I didn’t have enough time to contribute as much as I’d want. Maybe self-isolation and lockdown is the excuse I need!
For more ideas, have a look at these 15 Examples of Thriving Online Communities. Think of something you’re interested in and in all likelihood there’ll be an online community waiting for you!
6. Read a Classic
Everyone has that list- the books they will read one day. But we never do! Usually, life gets in the way with all it’s bustle and busyness.
Reading is a huge boost to wellbeing and if self-isolation and lockdown isn’t the excuse you need to curl up with that classic, then what is?
It can still be easier to put on Netflix than tackle something like this, but just think how well read you’ll be when we come out the other side! You might even be able to slip in a literary quote or two…
7. Get on Top of Cleaning
I was more than a little reluctant to add cleaning to a wellbeing list- cleaning is NOT something that I consider fun or relaxing in any way! However, I need to admit that I love it when it’s done, and a clean and organised house does give a massive boost to my wellbeing, especially in self-isolation when I’m in the house all the time. Yet again, self-isolation and lockdown might be just the push you need.
For a manageable cleaning goal everyday, I recommend following the Fly Lady schedule. For anyone who’s intimated by this, you might be reassured to know that you start off as just a Fly Baby and build from there. She focuses on a different area each day and gives tasks that will take only about 15 minutes. By following her schedule, you will never overlook or miss an area of your house again!
Fly Lady says she helps to ‘establish simple cleaning routines.’ Ideally, this time in lockdown will create a new cleaning habit that will stay with me for life… but let’s just see how it goes!
8. Make Money Online
We’ve all heard the rumors of these amazing online success stories- the internet millionaires. While this is most certainly the exception instead of the rule, the internet is actually an amazing place to make at the least some extra cash and it is also very viable to have a full-time career that is internet-based. This is perfect in a time of lockdown and self-isolation, but it is also perfect if working from home is something that appeals to you longer-term.
Check out these 11 Ways to Make Money Online When You’re in Lockdown. If you have a little extra time and you’re interested, it could be well worth a shot to see if it’s right for you!
9. Create Exercise Routines
The internet has a wealth of resources to help you to get fit from home. Now that so many of us are in lockdown or self-isolation, the importance of exercise to boost wellbeing is even more important… we just need to be creative about how we do it!
Have a look at Move it Mondays 7 Ways to Get Fit Without a Gym. My favorite idea is to use the stairs as exercise equipment- at the moment I run up and down 20 times and it gets me puffing, but I’d like to build this up. Cleaning is also suggested as a great get-fit activity to do at home.
I also love Mad Fit’s follow-along videos and inspiring at-home workouts. She explains everything so well but my favorite part is the timer that counts down and shows me how many more seconds I need to keep it up for!
When it’s safe and possible for you, physically getting outside is a much needed boost for wellbeing, especially when you’re so isolated. Be creative with how you do it- maybe you can only step into the garden. Fresh air is so vital for wellbeing and will noticeably lift your mood.
10. Learn Something New
As I’ve already said a lot in this post, the internet is an amazing resource. You could get to a degree standard in any subject you choose if you have the patience. Whether it’s learning a language, a musical instrument, or origami, your options are endless.
You can also choose the medium that works best for you. Do you like structured online courses, YouTube videos, apps, instructional blogs, articles, or something else?
Learning something new has so many benefits for your brain which will create new neural pathways… and it also gives you a new topic to discuss when we’re finally out of lockdown!
11. Sort your Recipes
Groceries might be in short supply, but you could use the time in lockdown to organize recipes and meal plans so you are feeling organized and less stressed when life gets back into the normal swing.
Recipe binders like this one are a fantastic way to sort your recipes.
Organize My House has some great ideas for organizing your favorite recipes.
Having this sorted can massively boost your wellbeing and to be honest nothing short of a lockdown would prompt me to actually get this job done!
Journaling can lead to lots of positive outcomes. As well as improving your mood and providing emotional release, it is an opportunity for you to practice mindfulness, positive self-talk and develop a growth mindset. It can help you to track goals and take note of successes. And it also improves your communication skills and confidence.
With this incredible list of benefits, it seems like journaling is something we should all be doing. Grab a gorgeous journal and get ideas here for how to make journaling part of your everyday routine.
13. Set Goals
You probably have lots and lots of dreams for your life. You can make your dream into a goal when you sit down and get specific about how you will achieve it. Lockdown can be a fantastic opportunity to stop and re-evaluate your dreams and turn them into actual goals.
You might want to set goals around who you want to become, what you want to achieve, or where you want to go- a goal can be anything you like!
Goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound have a much better chance of being achieved. Creating, working towards and achieving goals even in a time of lockdown and self-isolation can massively boost your wellbeing.
Use a unique planner or make your own template to capture your goals, both short-term and long-term.
Make sure you check out these 7 Surefire Tips for Setting Goals You Will Actually Achieve.
So that’s it!
These are 13 creative ways to use the time of lockdown to boost your wellbeing. Social distancing may be a necessity, but it’s also vital that we use the means we have available to us to boost our wellbeing and minimize self-isolation’s impact on your mental health.
Community is the key- whether it’s online or via technology, we need to figure out how we can still be there for each other.
I’d love to hear of any creative ideas you have. Please share this in the comments for others!