COVID-19 is having more profound effects than devastating illness and economic unrest.
The physical and mental health of people all over the world is in freefall as people struggle to stay fit, active, and healthy during these unprecedented and uncertain times.
With gyms closed, schools shut down, and businesses operating under heavy restrictions, what are we supposed to do to take care of ourselves?
Indoor Activities During COVID-19
Indoor Activities for the Body
The ancient Indian practice of yoga is a holistic exercise system that works out your mind, body, and spirit. In particular, yoga exercises help you achieve profound inner strength and improved balance, core strength, muscle tone, and respiration.
Before COVID, yoga studios were packed with weekly devotees learning to build their bodies through mindfulness.
However, it’s extremely easy to practice yoga from the safety and comfort of your home.
Yoga is so popular today that you can find a wealth of free resources available online to get you started. All you need is a comfortable mat and plenty of floor space to move around on.
Indoor Workout Routines
If you’re looking for more of a traditional approach to working out, there’s nothing like the good old “drop and give me twenty.” Your expensive gym membership might come with a lot of fancy benefits, but your expensive gym is closed right now. Related.
For thousands of years, humans have been achieving peak physical form without the use of resistance machines and stationary bikes.
Clear out a comfortable space in your home and go back to your gym class roots. A daily regimen of pushups, sit-ups & crunches, and burpees is all it takes to get the blood pumping and the heart rate climbing.
Indoor Activities for the Mind
There’s a reason that meditation is a practice that has lasted for thousands of years. Those who meditate daily swear by its enriching benefits.
Meditation is about more than just sitting in peace and quiet; it helps you become mindful and look inward to solve even your deepest dilemmas.
Meditation is among the simplest activities you can perform. Even those isolated in a prison cell have the simple freedom to sit quietly, close their eyes, and dwell on their troubles.
Learning to clear your mind and control your thoughts will help you face life’s problems with focus and clarity, and there’s no better time to learn this profound skill than during a lockdown.
On the more fun side of things, puzzles and brain teaser activities are a greatly underrated way to keep your mind sharp and stimulated when you’ve been bored senseless.
Studies show that puzzles are good for an active adult brain and improving short-term memory. Also, games like chess that involve strategic thinking and planning are believed to be helpful with stalling or even preventing the onset of dementia in elderly individuals.
Puzzles are inexpensive and can even be found in digital apps in lieu of traditional cardboard boxes. Even if you don’t have the means to buy lots of entertainment products, there are plenty of free platforms that have all sorts of puzzles to enjoy.
Outdoor Activities During COVID-19
Outdoor Activities for the Body
This one’s a no-brainer, right?
If you have access to a sufficient outdoor space, you can walk or run at your leisure. If you’re in a more urban setting, it might be a better idea to walk or run with your face covering on, particularly if you live in an area where that’s what’s expected of you when you leave the house.
But since strict physical distancing has been implemented, you should plan your trip outside the house carefully. Check your calendar, choose a not-so-busy day of the week to avoid crowds. Get some weather updates so you can maximize your once-in-a-while chance to step out of your house.
If you have access to a body of water, swimming is the best way to beat the summer heat while getting a true full-body workout. However, we recommend avoiding public bodies of water populated with strangers. Try to stick to your backyard if it’s an option.
Don’t turn your nose up at the idea of laying out in the sun. An estimated 41% of adults experience vitamin D deficiency, which is associated with problems like fatigue, depression, and quality of sleep. Imagine being fatigued, then not being able to sleep!
Your body turns nasty cholesterol into the handy vitamin D that you need to feel healthy and energized throughout the day. Just an hour of sunlight each day greatly stimulates your vitamin D production, allowing you to be at your best. What could be simpler?
Outdoor Activities for the Mind
Growing your own garden is far and away one of the most rewarding outdoor leisure activities you can learn. Not only do you foster the growth of a beautiful life from a seedling to a healthy vegetable, but you get to nourish yourself with the bounty of your hard labor.
Gardening checks a few of the boxes we’ve mentioned already; it’s great physical exercise, it exposes you to plenty of sunlight, and it is a calm, meditative activity.
Getting on your knees and digging your hands into the earth helps you feel connected with nature and feel at peace. Tending your garden every day will help you develop mindfulness and a sense of clarity.
Spending a night in the wilderness, or even just under the stars in your backyard, has a powerful effect on your mental health and wellbeing. Just as with gardening, connecting with nature helps you feel at peace and connected with the world around you.
When you’re camping, all of your other activities tend to move at a slower pace. Being in nature helps you learn self-control, patience, and mindfulness in ways that you never have to experience inside the convenience of the 21st century home.
Light up a fire, cook something simple, and stare at the sky while you eat. Your brain will thank you.
Interacting with Friends During COVID-19
Even though you can’t invite all your friends over during the coronavirus crisis, there are still lots of things you can do to spend time together.
Online games have seen a huge boom since kids have been home from school, but these games all definitely aren’t just for kids.
Whether you and your buddies want to shoot baddies or make up crazy stories and situations, there are competitive games, party games, and even relaxing casual games that everybody can enjoy. Many of them are cheap, or even free, too!
Some services even let you and your friends share video streams so you can have viewing parties together. Season premiere parties might be on hold while Hollywood is on hiatus.
Still, you and your pals can hang out in a virtual theater together and binge classic films, your favorite sports highlights, or even the latest YouTube hijinks.
With so much to get busy with during COVID-19, you don’t ever have to feel bored or cooped up with nothing to keep you going.
Some of these activities might not sound like they’re up to your alley, but now is the time to be stepping out of your comfort zone, trying new things, and exploring sides of yourself you’ve never seen before.
Coronavirus is forcing us all to do that in its own way. You can harness that challenge for self-growth and add purpose to your life even in these times when life is so mysterious and uncertain.
About The Author:
Stacey Smith is a freelance health writer. She is passionate to write about women’s health, dental health, diabetes, endocrinology, and nutrition and provides in-depth features on the latest in health news for medical clinics and health magazines.