As many Americans (as well as many others around the world) begin to settle in to a new rhythm of life due to the Coronavirus, it may be time to asses our mental health. “Social distancing,” as it is called, may be good to help slow or stop the spread of the virus, social isolation – on the other hand – may not be good for a person’s mental health.
So how do we find strength in tough times?
1. Hobbies. There may not be a better time to find a new hobby. With many people stuck indoors or working from home, there are plenty of things to do inside. Cooking, learning a musical instrument, or reading are but a few (and cheap) things to do inside. Many people tend to complain that they never have enough time to pursue their interests . . . but now might be a better time than ever to get started.
2. Exercise (Indoors). Although many gyms are now closed due to the CORVID-19 virus pandemic, if your aim to is stay fit and healthy, working out inside might be an option. You don’t need to send thousands (or even hundreds of dollars) on equipment either. Doing calisthenics, or exercises that use your own body weight as resistance, can be done with no equipment at all. Also, although most restaurants and bars are closed, it might be worth talking a walk outside. (As long as you keep your distance from others.) If you feel frigidity, get some fresh air outside.
3. Social Networks. Electronic communication and smart phones have made it easier than ever to stay in touch with friends and family during this period of social distancing. This almost goes without saying, but it is indeed worth mentioning. We may not be able to go to the movies or dine out with friends right now, but there are a plethora of apps and devices that allow us to stay in touch. If this pandemic happened 25 years ago, for instance, we might all feel a little more lonelier due to the lack of technology.
4. Reading. Reading never gets old. Engrossing yourself in one good book can keep your mind focused, distract us from the negativity that may surround us, and allow us to learn. Although it has been said that people’s attention spans are not what they used to be, this comment may be trite and superficial. Of course, screens demand more of our time, books are here to stay.
Although this is not a complete list of things to do during social distancing, the aforementioned activities are cheap, easy, and fun.