Lockdown got you down?
We’re going through stressful times and while we recognize that social distancing and other measures are there to protect us, the isolation can make us feel, well… isolated. If you are feeling that way, you’re not alone. The question is, what can we do to battle the feelings of isolation, loneliness, and cabin fever? Here are some of our top suggestions that will boost your mood.
Live life in colour
Light and colour can have a positive effect on our emotions and our outlook on life. I know that when I’m feeling gloomy, I start turning on every light in my condo. This isn’t the only way to brighten a situation- here are some other ways to use colour to brighten our day and to boost our mood:
Why not add some fruit to make that boring bowl of cereal pop? It’s said that we eat with our eyes first, so add a pop of colour to the start of your day.
Blueberries are a great choice, fresh or frozen- they give breakfast a visible pop and they’re full of antioxidants.
If you’re not a fan of blueberries specifically, there are lots of other choices like raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, or even bananas to name a few.
What about lunch and supper? Why not add a bit of colour there too? See if you can get 3 colours on your plate (sadly, my wife says tri-colour tortilla chips don’t count). Not only does this liven up the party visually, but it also helps ensure you’re getting some variety as well.
Of course, getting some direct sunlight is an excellent way to combat the gloom. In addition, how we dress and accessorize can also affect our mood. Why not add some colour? It could be that bright bold yellow sweater, or a splash of colour from those turquoise earrings, or your favourite scarf and toque combo.
Listen to some great music.
When I’m feeling down, music can make a big difference in boosting my mood. Why not put together a playlist of songs that trigger fond memories or that are just plain fun? By the way, you don’t have to shell out a ton of money on tunes either. depending on where you live, you may be able to download music for free from your local library.
Once you have your music, dance like nobody’s watching. Even if they are, you’re more likely to boost their mood or inspire them to jump in with you. Even if you’re stuck at your desk, you can still dance. Why do you think office chairs spin around anyway?
Do what you love to do.
I often find the key to breaking out of a gloomy frame of mind is changing my focus. Usually, means getting active, whether it’s physically or mentally. Have you ever wanted to write a novel or a short story? Go for it.
If you’re drawing a blank, start by writing down your feelings or your favourite pet names- anything at all, just to get the juices flowing. Puzzles are another great idea and one you can do with your loved ones. Board games are also a great choice to shake up your thinking and bring out your competitive edge!
Bring the entertainment to you!
We may be stuck at home, but this is the 21st Century! If we can’t go to the museum, it can come to us.
Did you know that some of the world’s most famous museums are offering virtual tours? Including the British Museum in London, the Musée D’Orsay in Paris, and many others. The Metropolitan Opera is even streaming some performances for free.
If you’re missing the outdoors, several U.S. National Parks have teamed up with Google to develop on-demand virtual tours that are ready when you are to explore online.
What about the kids?
Speaking of kids, whether it’s the big kid (a.k.a. Husband) or the little ones, remember that games don’t have to be played on a device. Depending on their age and interest, what about a 3D puzzle? There are famous buildings and landmarks, and I’ve even seen one that is a working clock once you finish!
There are also colouring books, painting by numbers, and even curling up with a good book. Your young one may be sceptical, but I’ve never seen a gaming system with graphics that compare to the human imagination.
Most of us likely played charades growing up and it’s a classic that never goes out of style. However, there are some newer games that are also great for the kids and the whole family such as Pictionary or Win, Lose or Draw. Cranium and Telestrations are some of my personal favourites. We’ve played with everyone from our family and friends, from nieces to grandpas, and they’ve been a hit every time!
I hope you find these ideas helpful, or that they spark your imagination and you come out with some awesome ideas of your own to help boost your mood!
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Guest written by Chris Torrance.
Updated May 25, 2021