We’re all on edge because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The anxiety is not just our imagination, either! In times of outbreaks, especially on a scale such as this one, it’s normal to feel stressed or anxious. Take note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released guidelines on how to maintain our mental health regarding the outbreak, which we should all know. The virus is a physical threat, and to combat it, most governments have instituted quarantines and social distancing. The lack of social interaction and not being able to leave home can cause us to feel antsy.
On top of that, there’s the anxiety caused by the threat of the coronavirus. We can’t go out to meet friends or go out to our favorite restaurants. The outbreak is creating a time of high stress for everyone.
But the quarantine doesn’t mean we should stop doing what we love. It means that we should probably be doing our favorite activities all the more to keep ourselves together!
Group Listening From Far Away
Having a hobby has long been proven to relieve stress, similar to my previous post on how keeping a journal can help with mental health. A lot of us have different interests, and if you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know I love music and movies. With all this time at home, we’ll probably have a lot of time to go through our music libraries again. We can go back and listen to albums we haven’t heard in years.
But you don’t have to indulge in your music hobby alone. We live in a time of nearly instantaneous communication! Now would be a great time to ask friends about what music they like. With all the various ways to listen to music out there, you can organize a listening party – you and a group of friends can join up online and listen to music together.
Listening parties are a great way to discover new music and share your favorites. It also lets you keep that human connection we’re all surely missing by now.
Maybe you’d like to watch a movie instead of listening to music. Again, social isolation because of COVID-19 doesn’t mean we can’t go out and watch a movie with friends. Similar to how a listening party is hosted, put up a video call with friends and watch a movie together. Cook up some popcorn and your favorite drink, and you’ve got that movie night with friends.
But not all of us want to hang out with all our friends all the time. There’s nothing wrong with watching movies alone. Marathon that long movie series! If you feel up to it, you could also train your brain and analyze the film – identify some storytelling techniques and tropes, look for insights that you might not have had when you first viewed the movie.
DIY When You Can’t Go Out
Can’t go to the store? No problem. Now’s the time to touch up old projects and give everything a fixer-upper. Look around at past projects and see what might need a little repair or some love. Even the most durable things have difficulty against the test of time and elements. But don’t trap of some DIY projects that are probably just going to be a waste of time!
Maybe you’ve got some extra materials lying around! Consider it a challenge, not a drawback that you can’t go out to get new stuff. Work with what you’ve got, eliminate wasted material. If you’ve got some scraps, see what you can put together! Who knows what you’ll be able to put together?
Try Doing Something New
And of course, it doesn’t hurt to try something completely new. Start making art, or if you’re into music, learn to sing. Don’t be afraid to begin anew, and remember that everyone’s a beginner. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with making some mistakes when you start. But there’s a project that everyone should take on.
Take Care Of Yourself
Taking care of yourself is probably the most important project you could take on. There are three hobbies listed here, but there are a lot out there. But if you’re feeling down, anxious, or stressed, it’s okay to take a break. If your hobby isn’t helping you calm down and relax, it’s okay to put it down for a while and rest.
Being stuck at home doesn’t mean we suddenly must dramatically improve our hobby abilities. What’s most important during this pandemic is that we keep healthy, both physically and mentally.
Take care of yourself, everyone!