What a crazy time that we’re in. The world is battling the COVID-19 / Coronavirus and the main way for us to contribute is to stay inside. It doesn’t sound too stressful, staying inside. But keeping up with the news and the horrendous numbers about people getting ill and dying, worries about your loved ones getting sick, and having no clue what to do after a couple of days can really get your stress hormones flowing. About time for some relaxing activities at home!
Stress and Gut Health
As mentioned in my article about stress and weight gain, stress is a factor that can wreak havoc on your gut and your body. Prolonged stress can elevate the risk of getting hypertension, heart attack, stroke, chronic fatigue, diabetes, obesity, depression and immune disorders.
Apart from that, stress is also a major factor for an increase in symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). All the more reason to keep your stress levels low.
To give the horrible Corona situation a little bit of a positive twist. Now is the time to think about self-care and maybe even pick up a new hobby or spend some time on your passion! Take this time to create something new, do things you didn’t feel like you had time for. Giving yourself a break and distracting your mind from all that is going on is a great way to relax in hectic times. Get absorbed by your task, and forget all about the time!
You might think: ‘That’s easy to say. But I have no idea what to do!’ Positive Gut is here for the rescue! Read on to find out what the best relaxing indoor hobbies and activities are.
Below you can find the hobbies and activities that are both relaxing and can be done inside your home! Time to get excited!
You might think DIY’ing isn’t much of a relaxing activity at all. But finally doing that one task that has been bothering you for ages will definitely give you some peace of mind! Painting that one window, hanging a painting, giving your bedroom walls a different color, or maybe finally putting together that cabinet that you have been putting off. All of that can just be scratched off your to-do list when you’re done.
The physical activity will help keep your mind occupied and keep your body healthy. When you’re done, your to-do list will be emptier and your home will look better and more organized. An organized home is calming for your mind. So get DIY’ing!
Cooking is an activity that is very two-sided at this moment. On the one hand, baking and eating can be a very good way to keep yourself occupied. On the other hand, baking is often not too healthy, eating isn’t a great way to fight boredom and it is very easy to overeat in times of home-isolation.
BUT that doesn’t make it impossible to become a goddess in the kitchen! Try and be creative with the dinners you’re making. Go look around on Pinterest and Instagram and find yourself incredibly tasty dinners. Make sure to pick the healthy recipes. Especially now when your immune system can use some backup, try and choose meals that are high in vegetables and whole grains.
I personally plan my dinners for the whole week and do all the groceries in one go. In a normal situation that gives me calm of mind, not to have to think about what I’m eating today and having to spend time in the grocery store after a day of work. In the current Corona situation, doing groceries once a week is a necessity, to reduce the amount of time you spend outside of the house.
An amazing and gut-healthy activity you can do at home is yoga. There are loads of great yoga videos available for free on Youtube. And even if you don’t have experience doing yoga, they often provide a series of videos with the basic explanations.
Personally, I always do yoga at home whenever I have to miss my yoga class for some reason. But now I try to do yoga at least every other day. The videos I watch are Yoga With Adriene, Yoga With Tim, Yoga Dose and Yoga With Kassandra. They provide a good explanation and have tons of videos available for free.
All you need to get started is a yoga mat. Get flexible!
A perfect way to empty your mind is to start journaling. Keeping a journal will help you empty your mind. You can write about your day, your worries, about the plans you’ve made, about what you want to do next summer. Let your mind wander into your perfect fantasyland and just write it all down to enjoy it later. Or let your mind go into all your worries and empty them all out on the paper. A great way to create space in your mind.
Painting or coloring
Getting creative is an amazing way to get your mind off things. Coming up with creations, colors, and patterns is distracting and the hours will fly by! Depending on the creativity of your mind, you can either start from scratch on a blank paper or order yourself an adult coloring book or a paint-by-numbers canvas.
Reading or Book Club
This may sound like a very basic at-home hobby. But it can get very exciting if you give it a twist! If you’re not in contact with a lot of people, it can be great fun to share a book together! Text your best friend(s) and pick a book together. Start reading and have a regular book meeting. This can be over Whatsapp, video call or just phone. Discuss your favorite parts of the chapter, your least favorite character and your expectations for the rest of the book.
Having regular meetups makes it more fun to keep reading regularly.
Reading something completely new
Have you been thinking about reading a comic or graphic novel for a while? Been fantasizing about mangas? Now is the time to read them! Order the issue that looks most appealing to you (the drawings are usually beautiful!), and just start with the first one. If you’re lucky you’ll get hooked and there will be a hundred more issues waiting for you!
If you don’t want to order something straight away, try asking around in your family or friend group. Chances are, they will have some laying around.
Go to the nearest thrift store (or order online) and find yourself a beautiful big puzzle. There are loads of puzzles that are both fun and a little challenging. Choose a scene from nature, flowers, some animals or maybe even a Disney castle! Anything that appeals to you can be fun to start puzzling with!
Pick a puzzle that has at least 1000 pieces, so you will keep yourself occupied for a while.
Have you ever seen the amazing sculptures some people can make with paper? It’s called the art of Origami and you can create amazing figures with it! Find yourself an online tutorial or book about Origami and some Origami paper and you’ll be busy for days. Creating swans, foxes, Pikachu, your neighbor Totoro and many others. Your friends will be amazed by your skills!
The perfect handwriting doesn’t exist… Or does it?
Calligraphy is a visual written art. A special Calligraphy pen is used to create the most beautiful letters. With enough practice, your handwriting will look like that of a medieval princess! (Did they even write?) All you need is a pencil, some ink, and paper. After this, everyone will want you to write their birthday cards!
And a fun side note for the home isolation, you can send all your loved-ones home calligraphed letters. They’ll love it!
Got excited about your new activity? Let me know the things that you’re trying! Find me on Instagram and send me pictures of your results!