With so much, yet so little going on right now, you might be getting tired of the usual pandemic self-care tips that people on the Internet and our TV screens have generously afforded us. Have you re-watched Gossip Girl once or twice? Have you done the same hike five times? Do you need a new way to pamper yourself to ease the stress of this socially-distanced scenario? Whether you’re bored out of your mind or just looking for a new self-care trick to try, check out the list of ideas and tips below—some of which you provided—to quiet your quarantine qualms.
BUT FIRST, THE SELF-CARE BASICS
Before trying something new, I urge you to keep this in mind: It’s a marathon and not a sprint. What do I mean by this? Proactively monitor your mental health so you can adjust your day-to-day life accordingly. You don’t have to have everything together right now, but set yourself up for the best post-pandemic outcome as possible. Set small goals for yourself daily to keep yourself on a productive schedule, and then work your way up to bigger progress markers. Most importantly, give yourself time to feel and cope, regardless of what stage of the pandemic you are in. I personally stopped writing for months until I got my mental health and basic productivity back on track. There’s no fun in forcing yourself to to do the “extra” things if you don’t want to do the small, necessary things.
SELF-CARE THINGS TO DO!
- Attend a concert from your bedroom. Artists want to connect with their fans just as much as you want to see them sing your favorite songs live. Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, Chris Martin, John Legend, Keith Urban, Matthew Koma and P!nk are some of the many stars live-streaming and posting at-home performances.
- Read a self-care/help/motivational book, but take it one step further. Write notes on pages you want to revisit, highlight lines that inspire you and encourage yourself to brainstorm what you can do with the advice you’re reading. This helps the information sink in and also makes it a more immersive experience. Two books I recommend are You are a Badass and Rich Bitch.
- Travel virtually. I know it’s not the same as in-person exploration, but it’s the safest thing to do right now. Have you ever wanted to check out a national park? Do you have an itch to see some new art? Check out how to see the world here and visit museums here.
- Spend time with animals. I am lucky enough to have four dogs who I take on long walks frequently. If you don’t have a pet, see if you can make a playdate with a family member’s or friend’s pet. If that’s not an option, consider getting yourself a pet you are willing to take care of. I like animals you can touch and pick up, and the easiest one to look after from my experience is a hermit crab.
- Reach out to a new friend every week. You might have those few BFFs you text on a daily or weekly basis, as do I. I find it fulfilling, though, when I reach out to friends I don’t talk to or see much. A text from you will surely brighten someone’s day, and catching up with an old friend will surely brighten your heart.
- Get dressed up for no reason. I will always love wearing my athletic shorts and baggy t-shirts, but sometimes throwing on a cute outfit and even some makeup is a confidence booster. Don’t forget to take a picture for the Insta, of course!
- Practice gratitude. Whether it’s jotting down one thing a day you’re grateful for or documenting your daily feelings in a journal, writing always helps.
- Watch a movie outside. I don’t want to tell you to binge a new show, etc. That’s obvious. However, I have found that watching a flick in your backyard is as fun as going to the actual movies, and a more serene place to unwind. You can see the projector my family got from Amazon.
- Make a goals list. While I am no longer using my planner (because really, what’s the point?), I still find taking my goals from my mind to a tangible piece of paper is motivational and shows that there is something to look forward to, even on the darkest of days.
- Surprise friends with pandemic pick–me-ups. Nothing makes me smile more than making my friends smile. I made a list for local friends and went shopping for affordable items that reminded me of them. I placed those items in cute dollar store gift bags along with hand-written notes and dropped the presents on their door steps. It’s the perfect time to spread positivity.
- Do something that scares you. What better time to conquer that fright? Whether it’s learning to cook (@ me) or braid hair, attempting a new hobby like painting or finally deleting all traces of that toxic ex, there’s no time like the present to grow stronger. You’ve got this!
- Become a student. There are free courses online that can help broaden your understanding of basically any subject of choice. Check out a few here. I am currently reading about how to optimize my social media content.
- Get your mind moving. I’m not going to tell you to limit your Internet and phone usage, considering I am on mine for well over 13 hours a day. However, when you do put the screens down, consider exercising your brain with a puzzle of some sort. I’ve been into Ravensburger puzzles.
- Play with what you have in your closet. Honestly, it’s fulfilling when you find a new outfit out of existing clothes. Challenge yourself to create an outfit for when it’s finally safe to go out on the town again. Or, try another kind of closet: the pantry. Come up with a new recipe for food already in your kitchen.
- See a comedy show. This is actually one of the last things I did before the pandemic hit. It’s a bit harder to see one in person nowadays, but comedians are trying their best to keep the laughter alive. Netflix has a nice picking of comedy specials, but if you want to see something less produced, try here or here.
- Do that thing that’s been on your to–do list forever. Whether it’s a five-minute task or finally organizing your overcrowded lap top, getting something that’s been on your mind for a long time is such a weight off your shoulders.
- Have a wine tasting. Invite friends or family over for a socially-distanced backyard wine tasting. Have each person bring a bottle of wine, create an Instagram-ready charcuterie board, and voila. It’s like you’re actually at a winery!
- Deep condition. We have our normal skin and hair care routines, but why don’t you crank your self-care up a notch? Try a deep-conditioning treatment for your hair and add a layer into your skin routine. Go a step further and make these mixtures from scratch! I just bought this plumping skin serum and I am super excited to add it into my routine.
- Read and watch. Start a book-turned-movie series and watch each corresponding movie when you finish each book.
- Practice a new language. Honestly, with all the self-care and quarantine boredom posts I’ve read, I am surprised I didn’t come across this. I know Duo Lingo is really popular right now, but here is a list that gives you some more options.
- Change your passwords. It’s obviously important to do this periodically, but this time, I encourage you to change your passwords to something with a feel-good word in it such as “beautiful,” “successful” or “kindness.”
- Paint your nails. Go to the store and purchase a few new nail polish colors. Try a new color every two weeks. Maybe you will find a new favorite! I always want my toes painted in the summer, and I chose a yellow color that perfectly matches some of my bathing suits this year.
- Stand in the mirror and make yourself laugh. I know this sounds a little odd, but sometimes you need to take yourself less seriously, especially during these crazy times. Stand in front of the mirror and make a funny face, sing, dance or talk until you laugh. It helps, I promise.
- Vlog your quarantine. I know not everyone is comfortable in front of the camera, but this can be a unique thing to do that will be quite interesting to look back on in years from now.
- Watch the sunset. I have recently been reminded how tranquil it is watching the sun give way to the night sky. If you don’t have the best view, you can watch the sunset every night in Los Angeles on the Discover Los Angeles website.
I hope some of these ideas help cure your quarantine boredom and self-care needs. I know I will be turning to this list in the weeks to come. And as promised, her are some of your personal self-care advice:
- Sitting in the park and making up sob stories for people not wearing masks so you don’t get too mad
- Practicing your new year resolution
- Painting and coloring
- Yoga and meditation
- Listening to fun music
- Exercising and a hot tub session
- Following cooking videos on YouTube
- Reading and journaling