With the extra stress that the coronavirus pandemic has caused, it is important to take time to relax. That can be done by catching up on sleep, reading or completing unfinished activities. (Annalise Kelloff/B&W Staff)

Self-care practices to try at home

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In this time of social distancing and quarantining, feelings of loneliness and boredom are natural. Here are a few ways to channel those feelings into something healthy and beneficial, by practicing an act that many call “self care.”

Take this opportunity to sleep in

If you are now working or studying from home without as much structure as normal, find a natural sleep schedule that works well for you. Waking up at 6 a.m. isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so it is important that you can get up and start work when you want. 

Ideal times to wake up and go to sleep tend to be later for most young adults, and earlier for most older adults. Working from home has its drawbacks, but this is a great time to appreciate and make use of the ability to set a schedule that helps you function at your best.

Pick up with your unfinished activities

Do you have a stack of half-read books on your shelf? Did you mean to finish that art project months ago? Or do you finally want to redecorate your room?

 Most of us regularly set aside relaxing and fun activities because life gets in the way. With your classes, work and organized activities canceled, this is a great time to pick up where you left off with something you’ve been wanting to finish.

Water a potted plant

Plants release oxygen into the air, which makes them good to have around while you’re stuck inside all day. Make sure you take good care of your leafy friends, and they will take good care of you!

Get healthy

You may not be able to go to the gym, but you can still exercise in a variety of ways. You can try a home workout that can be done with minimal or no equipment. Make up your own workout routine, or check the internet — there are plenty of great plans online to suit your goals or preferences. If organized exercise isn’t your thing, there are many areas where you can still go outside to walk or hike, as long as you avoid crowded areas and practice social distancing. 

You can also try cooking your own meals, especially if you’ve just gone off the university dining plan. Limited shopping trips make resourcefulness a necessity, but it can also be fun to try using up the ingredients you have to cook a new dish. Home cooking can help you stay healthy, especially if you buy enough vegetables to feel guilty about not using them.

Take up a new hobby 

If you’ve been meaning to learn a new skill, there won’t be a better opportunity than this anytime soon. Learn a language, play an instrument or start to draw — lots of things are easy to do from your own home with relatively minimal supplies. YouTube tutorials can go a long way toward helping you master a fun or impressive skill. 

Keep in touch

If you find it difficult to keep in touch with your friends and family, now is a great time to practice. Setting a schedule for video chats or check-ins can decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation. You’ll have something to look forward to and you’ll be more accountable. 

Get Organized

Having a clean and organized room or work space can reduce stress, and make it easier to be productive. Losing your school supplies in a mountain of laundry and old papers never helped anyone. Some people like a bit of clutter, and that’s totally OK, just keep it to a level that you like, and don’t let the stacked up chores get away from you.

Relax

Block off a few hours or a day. Put on your favorite music, take a long bath or shower, watch a movie, maybe make some dessert or your favorite comfort food. Be sure to take some time to de-stress.

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