Stress is a natural and unavoidable part of life – but too much stress can take a negative toll on your body, physically, mentally and emotionally. While we’re social distancing to keep ourselves and others safe, stress has been proven to be a negative psychological impact of quarantine. While I try my best to stay productive as I WFH and active with my favorite at-home workouts, I’ve been looking for simpler, more mindless and fun activities to combat any feelings of stress and anxiety in quarantine. Here are 9 easy anti-stress activities that you can incorporate into your daily quarantine routine!
I always say that meditation is the key step to healthier mornings. It’s a quick-fix stress reliever that refocuses your thoughts and helps your body release any physical symptoms of stress. I love transcendental meditation and try to incorporate 20 minutes of TM into my morning and afternoon routine. If you’re new to meditation or prefer guided meditations, apps like Calm and Headspace are the perfect places to start.
Get a coloring book
Coloring isn’t just for kids! I’ve been loving adult coloring books in quarantine. It’s an easy activity that helps to refocus our attention. Coloring takes our attention away from ourselves and onto the present moment – and when you’re focused on simple tasks, your brain becomes more relaxed.
Go for a walk
I LOVE my daily walks. It’s an easy (and safe!) way to get fresh air during quarantine. Walking has so many different health benefits like improving circulation, aiding digestion, lowering blood sugar and improving mood. If you’re in need of a mid-day reset, stretching your body and getting fresh air for even 5 minutes can help boost creativity and refresh your mind.
Reading can help distract your mind from the day’s events. When your brain is engaged in a story, your heart rate slows down and your muscles relax. I’ve been reading more uplifting and lighthearted books while in quarantine (even if it’s just for a few minutes!) to help decrease my stress levels and refocus my attention.
Do a jigsaw puzzle
Working on putting a puzzle together not only helps relieve stress and anxiety but it can also help prevent cognitive disorders as you age. It’s a full brain activity that forces you to NOT focus on things like screen time and multitasking. Looking for matching pieces always helps take my mind off any worries or stressors from the day!
Cook your favorite meal or something new
Learning how to use food as fuel, enjoyment and nourishment for my mind and body helped me SO much when it came to learning how to loving and trusting my body. I learned how to appreciate food the more I cooked for myself and my friends and family – and it’s something I’ve had more time to do during quarantine. Cooking lets me be creative (like with these vegan cinnamon roll cookies!), refocus my attention away from negative thoughts and build confidence.
Journaling is one of my favorite ways to calm my mind before bed – but it’s also become a great stress reliever during quarantine. Whether you’re reflecting on your day, working through your thoughts and emotions or listing what you’re thankful for, journaling is a cathartic way to declutter your mind and release any stress and anxieties. It doesn’t have to be a long sit-down task! I like to journal for 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night – and sometimes more throughout the day whenever I need to reset.
I’ve been incorporating gentle movements into my daily routine like low-impact pilates and yoga. Yoga especially has an endless list of physical, mental and emotional benefits that help to reduce stress and anxiety and boost your mood and self-esteem. It can help increase muscle strength and tone, balance metabolism, promote cardio and circulatory health and improve your energy. I love Danielle Acoff on IG and Yoga With Adriene on YouTube!
Talk to your support group
Social support can help you become more resilient to stress. Quarantining doesn’t mean you can’t connect with others. The emotional support you get from your friends and family (and pets!) can reduce blood pressure, boost your immune system, improve heart health and may even help you live longer.
What anti-stress activities have been keeping you centered during quarantine? I’d love to try them!