- Grab Your Tennis Shoes
One of the best proven ways to ward off depression and anxiety is exercise. Simply going out for a light walk can do wonders on your psyche. Find a route you enjoy or a friend to walk with to keep you motivated even when you don’t feel like working out.
With the temperature dropping, it may be difficult to find ways to exercise. YouTuber channels such as Blogilates, Yoga With Adrienne, and POPSUGAR Fitness are great ways to get your adrenaline pumping to keep stress at bay.
- Eating Healthy
Even if you don’t feel like working out, avoiding fatty, sugary foods and replacing them with something more nutrient dense can do wonders for your energy levels, concentration, even your sleep patterns. While healthy foods may be pricier, simply snacking on a bag of carrots or drinking water instead of pop can make a huge difference.
- Grab a Book (or your Kindle)
With so much time on our hands lately, it can be easy to become bored. Reading is a fantastic way to fill time. But books are expensive. The libraries in Coralville and Iowa City both offer curbside pickup, by appointment. They offer a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and even foreign language books. If audiobooks are more your style, OverDrive allows you to rent audiobooks through your public library. You can listen to them on walks, while you’re driving, or when you’re cooking dinner. Books are a great way to learn new things while not having to spend a lot of money.
- Buy a Journal
Talking to friends and family is another great way to relieve stress and strengthen relationships. However, the pandemic has made it difficult to stay in touch. If you’re thoughts are running wild with no place to put them, buying a journal may be the cure. While this may be a common recurrence with lists like these, its commonality is for a good reason. There may not always be things you want to share with those closest to you. With a journal, you can express what’s bothering you without having to tell anyone. Journaling has also been proven to strengthen writing and communication skills.
- Learn a Language
Learning a language is a fantastic use of time. Being able to speak multiple languages allows you to communicate with and relate to a larger range of people. It improves communication skills and cognitive function. Knowing multiple languages also looks fantastic on your resumé. Kirkwood offers classes in French, Spanish and Chinese. If you don’t have the time to dedicate taking a class, there is software like Mango languages that offers a large variety of languages that you can learn at your own pace.
- Take up Cooking
Everyone needs to eat. But eating the same foods everyday can become boring and redundant. Learning to cook even the most basic meals can add fun to your day. It can even be an opportunity to spend quality time with your family or significant other. If you don’t have a lot of time to cook, invest in a crock pot. All you have to do is add the ingredients in the morning and let the crock pot do the work while you go about your day. Come dinner time, you will have a warm, delicious meal. If you don’t know what to cook, apps such as Food Network Kitchen and Yummly offer a wide variety of recipes.
- Home Projects
If using your hands is more your style, than perhaps finding work around the house is for you. Now’s the time to weed out your garden, repaint your bathroom or fix your doorbell. If interior design is more your style, you can play around with different aesthetics and find one (or several) that fit your style and incorporate into your home. Goodwill and Stuff Etc. are great places to buy household ornaments without spending a large amount. If you’re looking to get rid of things, both stores allow you to donate whatever you wish to get rid of.
- Stay Connected
The pandemic has limited our interactions with family and friends. However, it’s just as important as ever to maintain our friendships and to reach out to family. Zoom, Skype and FaceTime are useful tools when it comes to interacting with others.
Sometimes, one just needs to be by themselves. Take five minutes out of your day to simply sit in silence and reflect. Many people meditate before going to bed, as it helps them unwind and relax. Maybe turn on some soft music or light a candle (just remember to blow it out), if that helps you relax. Some people meditate in the morning. It lets them wake up and prepare for the day.
- Take Time to Laugh
Laughter is the best medicine for good reason. Laughing for 15 seconds straight has been proven to add months to your lifespan. Finding something to laugh about can make your day so much brighter. It allows you to be appreciative. It increases your serotonin levels which helps make you happier. And who doesn’t want to be happy?