It's hard to remember what to do to make yourself feel better when you are in a situation that makes you feel stressed, anxious or sad. So, I've put together this little self-care package with 8 tips to help boost your mood at home. I hope you find it helpful.
Now, hear me out! This doesn't have to be routine, or intense. It doesn't even have to be formal, like a run or an online workout - though if these things work for you, by all means, do them. It's just about getting moving, getting your heart rate up, maybe even getting a little sweaty. You can do this by walking up and down the stairs several times, by jigging to your favourite tunes, or by cleaning the floor using the mop as a substitute for Anton Du Beke...
By allowing you to focus on something else for a while, you may find that exercise helps lift your mood. It is also very helpful in that it releases endorphins, which are hormones that can make us feel upbeat.
Being at home all the time makes it tempting to sit around a lot but, as well as making our mood dip, this is also very bad for the back, for digestion (everything gets squished up) and for our joints. Therefore, you may also see benefits to these areas by getting yourself moving more.
If you're working from home, try to get up around the same time as you normally would. Start the day by having a shower and getting dressed so you feel refreshed. If it suits, try to get yourself moving before work with some simple stretching or, if possible, a stroll – even if it's just up and down your garden with your cup of tea in hand!
Try to save your PJs for the weekend or for the evening. This way it becomes something to look forward to rather than being part of your routine.
During the day, have regular breaks to stretch and shake out your limbs. If you aren't working, the same goes for you too! Whether you're watching television or reading a book, make sure you are giving your body the opportunity to limber up.
My self-care tip: Make time for breaks when working from home
Watch this video to find out why taking breaks are so important when working from home.
3. Take some down time
Put your phone away, turn off the television and for a while each day try to do nothing at all. You could go to a window and people-watch, or open it up and just listen to the noises outside. Peace and quiet can really help calm the mind.
You could also use apps like Headspace to meditate, or put on a chilling playlist and just breathe and listen.
On another note, keep away from the news for a while! Headlines can be overwhelming and, although its helpful to know what's going on, sometimes it's all a little too much. I'd recommend switching the news off in the evening to encourage a more restful night's sleep!
At the end of the day, it is also quite nice to have a warm bath and make the place cozy with scented candles. This is another way to keep the body relaxed before you go to bed.
It's easy to feel unfulfilled when it's not possible to meet friends and family and we can't continue with our regular routines. However, to combat this I suggest taking up other activities that will help you to stay satisfied.
This could be a bit of DIY or a wardrobe clear-out. Maybe its time to rearrange a bit of furniture in the lounge or sort through the bookshelf. Whatever you choose, these kinds of practical tasks can bring a bit of purpose to the day and a sense of achievement when they are done.
5. Hang out
You are probably familiar with apps like Zoom and Houseparty, that allow you to hang out with friends and family anywhere in the world at any time. However, rather than having a conversation which, let's face it, will undoubtedly turn to the current situation and isolation, it's a good idea to focus on something else instead.
You could get a chat going when you are making dinner and talk about that, or try watching the same movie together, only in different households. Even if you aren't speaking during this, it can be a comfort to have each other there. Another option is to hold a quiz and have your participants each host their own round.
Also, sometimes online chats can be a little awkward (anyone else fed up with the signal freezing or the awkward delay?), so having an activity to do together can be a good way to break the ice.
Find comfort in movies, podcasts, books and music. Choose something that always makes you feel happy and chilled – now's the perfect time to re-watch and re-listen.
Alternatively, if you want something new, any kind of comedy or rom-com is a good place to start! When Harry Met Sally and Mamma Mia are some classic mood-boosting films; or try a podcast like Desert Island Discs. These sessions are an easy, interesting listen!
7. Pass time productively
Now that we have the time it's a good opportunity to pick up an old hobby or try something new. This will give you something to focus on and can be a nice stress-reliever as well.
Here are a few suggestions
Do a puzzle
Try an adult colouring book
Create a scrapbook
Play a board game.
8. Cook from scratch
Finally, whipping up some home-cooked meals passes time, you get to move around as you do it; plus, it fills your body with nourishing foods. Nutrients like magnesium are ones we want to hone in on at this time, as they are known to be stress-relieving. You can get this from the likes of spinach and broccoli.
You could also use this time to grow your own BioSnacky seeds and incorporate them into your meals. Our broccoli seeds are particularly popular, as they make a great addition to a sandwich or salad!
Need more inspiration? Check out our recipe hub for some breakfast, lunch and dinner suggestions, as well as some healthy baking and snack ideas if that's more your thing!