9 Ways to Make the Most of Your Social-Distancing DowntimeBy Jessica Cassity
With increased safety precautions being taken amid mounting concerns about the spread of COVID-19, odds are you won’t be brunching, hitting the gym, gallery hopping, or working at your office anytime soon. Think of it this way: You could binge-watch your way through the extra downtime, or you could tackle your most aspirational to-dos. (We vote for the latter!) For inspiration, here are some activities that have been scientifically proven to help boost spirits.
Reflect and Reach Out
Acts of kindness are a gift to everyone involved. The giver can get a runner’s high-like feeling, while the good deed can leave the recipient with a positivity boost and a desire to pay it forward. Send emails or notes of thanks to unforgettable former bosses or teachers, offer to grocery shop or walk dogs for elderly neighbors, or post a lawn sign showing support for public-service workers in your neighborhood.
Get Crafty, Get Happy
The repetitive nature of knitting may produce a meditative, relaxed response in the body and brain, and it’s also been shown to reduce fearful, negative thoughts. No needles or yarn? Art forms such as painting and drawing may also reduce anxiety and improve mood, and you might even get the same benefit from creating a digital photo album or music playlist.
Create a Pinterest-worthy Space
When there’s a sense of chaos all around, give in to the urge to create order. Clear closet clutter, organize your bookshelves by genre or color, or research feng shui principles and apply them to your living room. When you create a space that feels cozy, calm, and decluttered, you may feel more relaxed and view your home as a restorative space.
Learn a New Lingo
With loads of apps, online videos, and interactive games to choose from, it’s never been easier to learn a foreign language. Doing so can help you prepare for future travels, and it can also help you make more careful and confident decisions