During this extraordinary time, most Canadians who can stay home, are doing just that. Some of us are missing being at work, hanging with friends and going to favourite exercise classes. But don’t think of being at home as being boring. There are a lot of things we can all do to stay social and healthy right in our own spaces. Here are 4 ways to stave off boredom and stay in good health when you’re stuck inside:

  1. Work up a Sweat – After a long day of working from your kitchen table or wrestling with your children, take an hour to work on your own fitness. Physical exercise keeps our bodies fit and goes a long way to improving our mental well-being – it helps reduce depression and anxiety and boosts your body’s ability to manage stress. And it can give us the feeling of excitement that’s harder to come by when we’re stuck inside for longer hours. So, augment your walks outside with family dance parties, at-home yoga stretching and online fitness classes. There are lot of classes available on YouTube for free – so now is your time to try something new!

  3. Make Your Home Inviting – Now is the time to eat off your fancy dishes, use your favourite bath oil or start a daily cocktail (or mocktail!) hour. If your family has never worried much about making your beds in the morning, it may be the time to adopt the habit. Manage your home by getting family, whether there are two of you or seven, to complete a 30 minute “clean-up” every day. Keeping things clean and organized is good for you, and science can prove it. Keeping your house clean together makes lighter work for all – and it will make your home a place you really want to be.

  5. Put Down Your Screens (for a bit!) – Netflix, Twitter, Facetiming with loved ones – its ENJOYABLE to be online. And now, its important to stay connected to the news and to our loved ones and colleagues. But hours in front of computers, phones and television can lead to headaches, blurry vision and sore necks. And not only that, it can add to our anxiety and in some cases increase our feelings of loneliness and isolation. It’s a good time to create a routine around our devices. Board games after dinner, reading a book before bedtime or spending time making a healthy meal – are all great ways to get away from our devices re-connect with our family and ourselves.

  7. Reach Out to Others – We can spend hours a day writing emails, texting and commenting on our social channels. These are all great ways to keep in touch with people in our lives. But there is nothing like having a real conversation with someone. Call (or set-up a video chat) with the important people in your life. Your voice could help bring some humour to someone feeling anxious or a sense of intimacy to those feeling disconnected during this unique time. Reaching out can give you a sense of purpose; reach out to make sure your people are doing well and ask if they need anything. If stress or anxiety has become concerning for you or anyone you know, remember that you can always reach out to organizations like the Canadian Mental Health Association for services to support mental wellness.

Feeling stressed? Visit Ready for Life to learn more about youth and adult mental health with contributions for leading mental health experts.

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