By Lynn Cadet

During the pandemic, we all had to deal with our fair share of isolation. Hunkering down in our homes caused us to miss out on our favourite activities and wave goodbye to social gatherings and office life. Even for an introvert like myself, I find myself experiencing the torrent effects of cabin fever.

It’s worse when you taste the sweet release of freedom for a few weeks only to hear on the news they have reset lockdowns. You facepalm, thinking when this will end?   

Being sheltered in place can lead us to feel not only isolated but stuck, repeating the same cycle. To prevent what seems like an endless spin on human hamster wheels, we must find the glimmer of connection and positive vibes while at home to protect our mental health. Here are some tips to consider for switching up your routine and instilling some energy into those dreary days.

Stay Connected

When trapped indoors, it may seem impossible to stay connected with your friends and family. But luckily, we live in an increasingly digital world, where sharing conversations has become easier than ever before.

Take some time to call your loved ones and discuss what’s new in your lives. Are you missing the face-to-face banter? Incorporate video chatting into your daily schemes. Although it’s not the same as physical presence or touch, you can still find ways to lift spirits by adding some fun. Watch a movie together or play games over the phone or on your laptop.

I suggest taking a page from my brother’s book. I don’t know how he does it, but he can play PC games and talk over a headset with friends for hours on end. These days, there are tonnes of ways to create a social environment without any physical interaction.

After all, we have the power of technology on our side.

Eat A Healthy, Energising Diet

Eating an energising diet yields plenty of benefits. What was once a sluggish outlook to the week ahead can be transformed by implementing some plant-based and nutritious food into your weekly menu.

Foods like bananas, sweet potatoes, brown rice, and fatty fish are rich in antioxidants, fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, and other minerals and vitamins. Keeping in step with a healthier diet can help you feel better, relieving at least one stressor from this pandemic lifestyle.

Don’t worry. You won’t have to count out desserts either. Dark chocolate is known to stimulate our bodies, improving mental energy and mood. So, by all means, dig into that candy bar! 

By switching up your diet, you can summon a higher level of productivity and reduce fatigue for a brighter day.

Set Up An Active Workout Schedule

Keeping on the healthy track, you should definitely add some activity to your stay-at-home schedule. Pumping blood through the body will help you regulate your mental health and heighten endorphin levels.

If you need an escape from pandemic-induced stress, get moving and engage in your favourite exercise to ward off anxiety and depression. Biking, yoga, dancing, and jogging are just a few types of workouts that can keep depression at bay.

Prioritise Self-Care

Although living in confinement can reap boredom on colossal levels, it does give us time to sow some much-needed self-care. Before the pandemic, we were constantly busy with other tasks that existed outside of us. Now you can indulge in guilty pleasures and focus on healing yourself.

Take this time to wind down and relax or start on the passion project you were putting off. For me, I love to run a bubble bath with dimly lit candles or watch a marathon of Smallville or A Different World. Focusing on small comforts can definitely boost your mood.

By finding your zen zone, it can ease your worries and displace your isolation downer. 

Maintain A Cozy Living Atmosphere

You’re stuck in one space. This limitation can influence your mood and routine. Personally, staring at clutter or a pile of dirty laundry and dishes can send me over the edge. That said, tidying up my living spaces leaves me with a more comfortable atmosphere. 

A more organised place can help brighten up your mood and reduce the overwhelm you’re already experiencing from isolation.

If you work from home or have any hobbies, think about designating certain parts of your home for specific tasks. Set up a game room or take up gardening to get a dose of fresh air. By doing so, you will find something to keep busy and your mind off things you can’t change.

The pandemic has taken a toll on mental health around the world. We can fight isolation by taking time to acknowledge our struggles and spending time caring for our minds and bodies. Then, when we finally get back out there again, we will hopefully emerge as even better versions of ourselves!