Since the start of the pandemic, there has been an increase in mental and emotional distress for a lot of people, prompting the advocacy of self-care.
However, because outdoor walks remain outside your reach of options, this leaves at-home self-care practices for you to do.
So how about these 10 serotonin-boosting activities for a happy, healthy, and calm quarantine?
1. Sweat it out with a workout.
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Health experts far and wide vouch for exercise as a stress reliever and as a great way to boost your serotonin levels. During a pandemic, exercising will give you the benefit of reducing your stress levels as well as improving your immune system thereby giving you a better chance of protecting yourself from the virus.
So the next time you’re feeling a bit down or would perhaps like to increase and maintain your energy levels more consistently, consider doing a quick seven-minute workout at home. Even with limited space, you can find ways to optimize your indoor workouts.
If you’re the active type, try something you’ve never done before for your workout or increasingly challenge your physical limits. If you were mostly doing strength training, perhaps you can add some cardio by using jump ropes.
You can also explore fitness apps that do more than just track your progress. There are those that let you tailor-fit your workouts according to your needs. Some fitness apps that are worth exploring for your self-care routine are Adidas’ Runtastic, Nike Training Club, and REBEL.
2. Add more indoor plants.
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If you haven’t jumped on the plantita and plantito bandwagon yet, maybe now’s the time to give your green thumb its own workout.
Seize the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of having indoor plants in your condo and adopt some “beginner-friendly” plants to add some life to your home. Research, buy, and take care of different indoor plants as part of your self-care activities.
Or, if you already have plants at home, add other kinds of plants to your green collection. You could research and buy indoor flowering plants, herbs, or other fruit-bearing plants. Who knows? Maybe you could grow your own lettuce or calamansi tree in your condo which will allow you to become self-sustaining.
3. Make easy, healthy, and affordable meals.
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Food deliveries can be expensive, especially when you turn to them for every single meal at home. So while getting your favorite fast foods delivered to your doorstep may sound delicious, it’s neither a budget-friendly option nor the healthiest one, too.
So how about getting your hands dirty in the kitchen, and cook yourself a healthy and affordable meal? Apart from the benefits of eating healthy in these precarious times, cooking can be a great stress reliever, too.
You can still treat yourself by making a homestyle version of your favorite meal. Remember that you can find almost anything on the internet these days, including recipe hacks of your favorite restaurant dishes or fast foods.
4. Gamify your condo chores.
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While staying at home, most people have to juggle work and household chores. It could easily get tiring and annoying, especially if you are the only one doing all the chores!
To end your dilemma, include household chores in your family’s self-care activities. How? By gamifying the tasks.
In this “game”, everyone is required to participate, and actual prizes will be awarded to winners. Hold a contest on the fastest person to organize their desk, or disinfect the most number of grocery items in a limited time.
Your family will never see household chores the same way again! Likewise, this is included in the tips to raising happy and healthy kids in this pandemic.
5. Practice mindfulness.
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While in quarantine last year, have you tried mindfulness exercises? If not, then 2021 is your chance to give these a go and add them to your personal or family self-care routine.
Mindfulness exercises help people stay calm and focused. For example, the raisin exercise lets you focus on the present moment. This exercise requires you to feel, smell, taste, and look at the raisin.
This exercise could be tricky with a lot of distractions. So it would be best for you and your family to try it silently or with calming background music.
6. Take time to detox from social media.
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When quarantine protocols were enforced in 2020, most of us had to completely rely on social media for communication and news. Using Zoom or Slack, for instance, to conduct work-from-home communication with your team may have seemed like a novelty, at first. But by now, you are probably getting tired of and overwhelmed by answering video calls, chats, or having to check your social media accounts.
For this reason, a social media detox is a must-try on our list of self-care tips. Get away from the noise and negativity of social media platforms. For one, you can impose time limits on your apps, or set your phone on airplane mode. You may even delete infrequently used apps or hide them.
7. Set a virtual bonding time with family and friends.
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Name one or several persons whom you want to see or hug right now. While the pandemic has managed to keep loved ones physically apart, it does not necessarily mean that your bond with your loved ones needs to be broken.
Enjoy your serotonin boost together with your family and friends by setting virtual bonding times. Play stop motion dance, indoor scavenger hunts, movie nights, online games, icebreakers, or charades. Through technology, you will never run out of ways to bond with your friends and family even if you are miles apart.
8. Spend time with your pet.
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Perhaps, the only ones who are enjoying this quarantine period are pets. If you have them, they must surely be glad to suddenly have you at home, 24/7.
Why not make it a part of your self-care routine to spend this precious time with them? Teach them new tricks or play with them. It can help keep your mind away from the stresses of life.
If your condo space is not big enough for a pet dog or a cat, maybe you could get a smaller animal such as a fish, a rabbit, or a turtle. You could also bring home a hamster or a guinea pig.
9. Drink healthy smoothies.
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Even without the pandemic, health experts continuously advise the public to eat vegetables and fruits to help keep our immune system strong. And even if we do know this for a fact, some of us are just not fans of eating vegetables and fruits.
But self-care routine is not always about getting what you want. Rather, it is also about getting what you need. So one way to consume your much-needed portion of fruits and vegetables is to turn them into smoothies.
These healthy smoothie recipes will give you a brand new appreciation for your leafy greens and fruits.
10. Write about this historic moment in a journal.
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Yes, you read that right. The moment you are living right now is historical. So what better way to document your experiences during the pandemic than by journaling them?
In itself, journaling is actually a good self-care practice. This allows you to focus and really think back and process your feelings about specific events in your life.
Another benefit of journaling these days is that you can do it traditionally with a pen and paper or digitally, including vlogging.
Whichever medium you choose, remember that this exercise is so you can process and decompress these feelings in a healthy manner.
So even if your first-hand account of this moment in time does not make it into the history books, you can look back on how you survived this pandemic, take the lessons you learned, and share them with your future kids, nieces, and nephews, or grandchildren.
While the end to this pandemic still seems far from sight, feelings of hopelessness are not unnatural. Remember to acknowledge and respect those emotions and put priority over taking care of your mental and emotional health, just as you would the physical.
Hopefully, this list provided you an answer to how you can properly do that during these times.
For more helpful tips on how to manage condo life amid this pandemic, make sure to visit the DMCI Homes Communities blog for more information.