It only takes a few days of self-isolation to realise that it can be pretty challenging – your daily routine goes out of the window, and you’re suddenly wearing daytime pyjamas and wondering what day it is!
Keeping your mind healthy is always important, but it can be tricky to do away from your usual schedule. Here are some tips the Cornerstone team have found helpful!
Even for the introverts amongst us, there comes a point where you need to socialise. Research done by the University College of Dublin has found a tangible link between socialising and an improved mood & sense of belonging.
At the (virtual) Cornerstone HQ, we’ve found that it really helps to add some social events to our weekly agendas.
We’ve been using apps like house party and of course, zoom, which are perfect for simple video chats with friends. You can make these chats even more fun by playing online games at the same time – we’ve discovered a couple that we love:
Scribbl.io is a free multiplayer drawing & guessing game you can play in your browser. Just make a private room, invite your friends, and you can have hours of fun laughing at your respective drawing skills – or lack of!
http://playingcards.io/ is another free multiplayer game platform, that allows you and your friends to play a host of classic games, such as checkers, go fish, and cribbage. There’s even ‘Remote Insensitivity’ – an online ‘homage’ to the infamous Cards Against Humanity!
Sometimes, you just want to take a break from the world and immerse yourself in another. Psychologists have found that escapst activities such as reading can help reduce stress. This is because your mind concentrates on being taken into a different world, which eases tensions in our muscles and heart.
Nowadays, there’s a plethora of ways to immerse yourself in a world, without breaking the bank. Project Gutenburg is home to over 60,000 free ebooks, whilst Audible offer free 30 day trials if you prefer to listen to your stories.
If you get your kicks from the big screen rather than the printed word, then you can stream a library of free movies at Plex. The BFI also have an archive of free films that showcase 120 years of British history!
If you’re more at home with a controller in your hand though, it’s worth checking out humble bundle. They offer an ever-changing catalogue of video game bundles via a ‘pay what you want’ format.
Ever heard of the ‘flow state’? — it’s a term used in psychology to describe that state when you’re completely absorbed in an activity. Have you ever been working on something and and completely lost all sense of self and time? That’s the flow state. According to a Harvard study it reduces anxiety, boosts your mood, and even slows your heart rate.
It’s not just this flow that makes creativity good for you either – when you succeed at creating something, your brain is flooded with the feel-good chemical dopamine. Clearly, it’s worth taking a little time to be creative, if you can.
You don’t have to be a master painter either! You can knit a scarf, play an instrument, write a funny poem, or even just colour in! As obvious as it sounds, YouTube is an invaluable tool for learning new skills like this, and you can even find free colouring pages at Crayola – for all ages!
When you exercise, your body increases the level of endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline and endocannabinoid in your body. These are fancy words for the feel-good chemicals that can help to reduce anxiety and stress. The good stuff!
Whether you’re already a fitness fanatic, or a complete beginner, you can get involved with exercise from the comfort of your home. Joe Wicks has created over 250 free fitness videos to follow over on The Body Coach YouTube channel, and the variety can cater for people of all ages!