At a time when coronavirus continues to put many of us under pressure, it’s important to remember the simple things that can raise your spirits in the shutdown.
Staying positive can be tough at the best of times. In the middle of a pandemic, it can feel nearly impossible. Even as some restrictions are lifting, it might be hard to see any silver linings in a lockdown.
Sometimes all you can do to improve your mood is to do whatever makes you happy. Make a list of the simple things you enjoy doing the most, and maybe add some new activities to try out. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Take a virtual world tour
Countries may have closed their borders during lockdown, but thanks to virtual reality (VR) technology, you can still travel abroad from the comfort of your own home. There’s a whole world of virtual tours and travel experiences that can be enjoyed remotely. Google Maps are using VR technology to offer tours of a number of tourist destinations across the globe. You can meet Polar Bears in Canada, trek along Nepal's Khumbu mountains or roam the romantic canals of Venice. Want to visit the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’ without leaving your living room? You can explore Machu Picchu without the Climb, or walk along the Great Wall of China. Who knows? A virtual tour might inspire your next ‘real’ holiday once the shutdown is lifted.
- Plan a movie marathon
This might sound like a guilty pleasure, but watching a good film has therapeutic value. Movies can make you laugh, cry and allow you to switch off, relax, and have a good time. So, if you’re looking for something to watch at the end of a long week working from home, why stick to just one movie? Work your way through a classic trilogy like The Godfather, or pick a series of films with the same actor or director, or pick the best films in a specific theme or genre. There’s something satisfying in setting up two or three films for one session of movie magic. So, if you want revisit all of Star Wars or watch James Bond back-to-back, do it now, guilt-free – cinema therapy is a real thing!
- Enjoy a TV binge
Lockdown has left millions of us with much more time than we usually have to catch up on TV. Now is as good a time as any to work your way through the best box sets ever. The only challenge is that the sheer amount of box sets available today is so overwhelming, it can be difficult to choose which ones to watch. From crime sagas like The Sopranos to historical dramas like Downton Abbey, to class thrillers like 24 or comedies like Friends, just pick a genre that matches your taste and preferences. Whether you catch up on a series you’ve missed, or binge-watch an old favourite, whatever your mood, there’s a series for you.
- Grow a green thumb indoors
Gardening is a great way to de-stress during shutdown, even if you don’t have a garden. With so many people at home, many have been inspired to take an interest in indoor gardening. Being around plants lowers stress levels and is a great way to improve your mood. It’s also a great way to add a bit of greenery (and potentially some food) to your home. Plus, with many schools still closed, indoor gardening is a great way to keep kids entertained and educated. It’s very easy to buy all the things you need – seeds, plants, pots, tools and compost – online. Then you’ll be ready to grow chillies and fresh herbs like basil, cilantro and parsley in pots on your windowsill, or turn houseplants and hanging baskets into eye-catching indoor displays.
- Get creative
More and more people are getting creative with their COVID-19 coping methods by making art. Photography, painting and drawing are great distractions from the stresses of lockdown. And don’t worry if you feel like you don’t have any artistic aptitude. Whether you’re a keen amateur or an absolute beginner, creating art is great way to express your emotions and process complex feelings in a relaxing and enjoyable way.
- Sing through the shutdown
Music has always brought communities together, especially in tough times. In the face of isolation, people are turning to the power of song more than ever. Songs are helping people stay strong and connected during the pandemic, and singing is the perfect antidote to coronavirus anxiety. Virtual choirs and singing sessions via video conferencing are flourishing online. Whatever your specific tastes, music plays an important role in connecting with others in lockdown. Singing can be very therapeutic, promoting a sense of wellbeing and belonging – no matter how good your voice is.
Go back to our newsroom to read more stories.