As wonderful as Netflix and social media has been during lockdown, we need a break.
Taking time away from the screen is so good for your mental health, but picking up your phone and aimlessly scrolling through Instagram for hours on end is like second nature to many of us. It can be really hard to break that habit so here are some suggestions for a screen-free evening that we could all benefit from.
Read a Book
Reading has been my go-to during lockdown. I’ve been powering through my reading list, which has been abandoned for way too long. There is a never-ending amount of titles being released each week so why not visit your local bookshop and pick up a physical copy and delve into that world for a couple of hours? I highly recommend In Five Years by Rebecca Serle or Constellations by Sinéad Gleeson.
Walk This Way
Has anyone else been far too lazy to exercise during lockdown? Please tell me I’m not the only one… As much as I hate exercising, it is one of the best things for your mental health. Whenever I’m feeling sluggish and under the weather I drag myself outside and just walk. It’s the perfect way to switch off or even invite a friend along and have a socially distanced catch up.
Write a Letter
Letter writing is one hobby I wish people appreciated more. There’s something so sweet and caring about it. I’ve been sending random letters to my friends and to my nanny over the past few weeks and it helps you feel that little bit more connected to them.
Studies have found that yoga is hugely beneficial for both your physical and mental health. It helps you connect with your mind and body and is the perfect exercise to do at home. Grab your yoga mat and practice your warrior pose.
One of my friends dropped a lockdown survival package at my house when this strange chapter all kicked out and one of the best things in it was a colouring book. Spending even half an hour doodling, painting or even knitting is a perfect way to switch off your mind and focus on the task at hand, especially after a particularly stressful and intense day at work.
Have a Bath
We could all do with a pamper session right now so why not light some candles, open the fancy hair mask and grab your favourite book and soak up the suds. Having a bath is even good for your health as a hot bath can kill bacteria and improve immunity.
Read a Magazine
Take an hour or two away from social media and treat yourself to a magazine. They are full of fascinating features, stunning photography and helpful life advice. You’ll learn so much from them and they’re such a luxury to buy. We recommend Red, British Vogue and Stellar.
Create a Self-Care Box
There’s no doubt that many people are feeling extremely anxious and overwhelmed right now. It is an intense time for millions, but especially when you have a mental health disorder. As someone who has a generalised anxiety disorder, the constant uncertainty is a lot to deal with, which is why making a self-care box is one of the best things to do. Fill it with things that will make you feel good- letters from friends, photos of happier days, your favourite chocolate, a book from your childhood and postcards from your travels- it will trigger happy memories and give you an instant happiness boost.
Dance It Out
Just like Meredith and Yang on Grey’s Anatomy. And as Taylor Swift says, “shake it off.” There’s something so childlike and fun about just dancing out that bad mood or stress. You may feel a little goofy or foolish but it’ll give you the serotonin boost you need. Stick your favourite song on and get dancing!
Cleaning can actually help boost your mood, seriously. They say a tidy house can help calm your mind and it does make a lot of sense when you think of it. You can relax when your room is tidy and actually feel like taking time to chill out.