Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

Who would have thought that all those times you said you just wanted to “stay home” would prepare you for the “new normal” of sheltering-in-place? Of course, today staying at home for many is the only option, at least for the time being. That should be embraced as a good thing. Two good things, actually. The first is the gift you’re giving to everyone else in your community. When you stay healthy, you are supporting the healthcare workers and your family. The other good thing is your opportunity to learn, discover and grow. Yes, you might be feeling a bit cooped up.

That’s why you should put these tips into action to help you mentally cope with staying home:

Swap the News for a Novel

We all turn to the news for updates and information. It is vital to stay informed but you don’t have to stay informed 24/7. Get the headlines and then flip off the TV and pick up a book. An electronic reader like a Kindle is a smart investment. You can even get the Kindle app on your iPad. That will open up a wide variety of books to ready. You can even download books from the library for free. You’ll be extremely well-read when this is all over!

Stay Active

Exercise is good for the body and the mind. Whenever you’ve worked out at the gym you might have come away sore but you still felt good. That is why you need to keep up your physical activities when staying home. As with the books available online, there is no end of tutorials for everything from yoga to aerobics. The goal should be 30 minutes of moderate activity at least 5 times a week. Walking outside is always a good option. Short of that, add in a few extra trips up and down the stairs at home.

Take on a Project

Do you have a project that you’ve been putting off? Maybe it is stripping the paint off the patio furniture or resealing your deck. It could be organizing your kitchen cabinets. Now is the perfect time to tackle those projects. You don’t have to devote an entire day to the project (unless you want to) but an hour of organizing once a day can make a big difference at the end of a week.

Text Less and Video Chat More

Sheltering-in-place is probably one of the few shared experiences that everyone in the country is going through at the same time. Yes, it is to differing degrees but you can count on your friends and extended family to dealing with their own “sheltering issues.” You can certainly check in with them with a quick text but that’s not the same as a video chat. Make a point of reaching out to those special people in your life to see how they’re doing. You’ll find that they’re probably feeling the same as you. You can find comfort in sharing the experience.