If you find yourself stuck at home because of the coronavirus, use it as an opportunity to take a little “me time” or to cross items off your to-do list once and for all.
If it’s been a while since you talked to your college roommate or a favorite aunt, take the opportunity to reconnect and cultivate important relationships in your life. It can be as simple as a text or Facebook message or, even better, a phone call. Reaching out is just one way to build friendships that stand the test of time and it’s important for mental health.
Whether it’s your work or personal email, it’s probably full of unanswered messages and things you need to delete or file. With some extra time on your hands, clear out old items or reply if needed. There are easy ways to organize your inbox to help clean your digital life, including setting up folders by category and archiving old emails.
It could be time to brush the dust off that treadmill or stationary bike you rarely use. Regular exercise is not only good for your physical health, but it’s also beneficial for mental health, too. Long periods of time spent at home can create feelings of isolation, and exercise is one way to help boost your mood. If you don’t have exercise equipment, you can do low-impact workouts to help break a sweat.
For many people, closets are a catch-all for things they don’t know what to do with and, over time, they become clutter zones. According to Intermountain Healthcare, a disorganized home can cause symptoms of anxiety and can create fire hazards, as well as mold and dust. Going through closets not only makes it easier to remember what you own, but it can also lower stress and increase productivity.
If the pictures from the best summer vacation you ever took or that beautiful photo spot your family got a picture next to are all in a box or storage container, now’s the time to go through them. Though it can feel like an overwhelming project, start by gathering them all in one place like a table or floor, sort them into categories either by year, event or significance, then use a scanner to digitize them or put them into albums.
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Spending too much time on your cell phone can affect your health, but one way to make screen time beneficial is using it to get rid of old messages, apps and other accumulated clutter on your phone. Got 300 photos of your dog? Select your favorites and delete the rest. It’ll free up more storage on your phone, allowing you to fill it with new pictures of your future island vacations or weekend spring break trips.
Upgrading your bathroom and kitchen are two things you can do to improve the resale value of your home, but if you’re just looking to give a room a new look without doing a renovation project, simply rearrange the furniture. Finding new places for your items can provide a fresh perspective and make your things feel new again.
If you’ve always wanted to learn another language or figure out how to turn your hobby into a small business, you can do it online. Countless companies and universities offer online classes that teach everything from cooking to art instruction. You can also pursue a new degree, which helps if you want to break into a fast-growing job market or are returning to the workforce after retiring.
Calming and therapeutic, jigsaw puzzles can contribute to living a more peaceful life along with offering cognitive benefits. According to a study published in Trials, solving puzzles is a low-cost, motivating activity that can benefit the brain. Better yet? No smartphone needed.
Whether you’re worried that your job is on the decline or are considering a side job to earn some extra cash, updating your resume is essential. According to a Monster.com poll, 40% of respondents hadn’t updated their resume after finding a job. But should a new opportunity arise, it’s good to have it updated with your most current skills and experience so you can be the first to apply.
There are a lot of scary ways that stress affects your body, so finding ways to manage it is important. Meditation is a great way to get some much-needed zen and, according to the Mayo Clinic website, it can bring about inner peace and can benefit your overall health. Mindfulness tricks can also help if you’re too busy to meditate.
School has changed in a lot of ways since you were a student, but chances are you probably don’t read nearly as much as you did back then. In fact, about a quarter of U.S. adults say they haven’t read a book in whole or part in the past year, according to a Pew Research Center survey. If you’ve got the time, settle in with a good book. Research shows that reading helps stimulate the brain along with increasing vocabulary skills and world knowledge.
Having too much stuff can prevent you from getting organized. If you’re like most people, you probably have cabinets full of things you no longer want or need. Go through all of them and dispose of old food, medicines and expired products that are taking up valuable space. Wipe them out when you’re done and if you’re worried about using harsh cleaning products, make natural ones from things you already have at home.
Your floors could probably use a mop and your windows a serious wash. There are also a lot of other things you never thought to clean but should, and now’s the time to do it. According to the Cleaning Institute, it’s also good to clean your blinds, walls, ceiling fans, upholstered furniture and refrigerator.
If you’ve got kids, then building a fort is something every parent should do in their lifetime, and why wait? Making a fort can be a family activity and a fun way to pass the time. Requiring nothing more than pillows and blankets, it’s also a great way to team-build, which is important for children’s personal and group development.
Sick of the same old songs? With so many different digital music services available, making a new playlist is easy. Use your extra time to search out old favorites or cultivate new ones. According to an article published on the NAMM Foundation website, listening to music has been shown to help reduce anxiety, heart rate and blood pressure in heart disease patients. It can also boost happiness and improve workouts.
Just because you’re home instead of lounging at an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean doesn’t mean you can’t dream. Whether it’s a trip to see some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world or another bucket-list destination, plan your someday vacation. Even if you’re not sure when you can go, research suggests that just planning a vacation can increase happiness.
Some common home mistakes that can make you sick are not changing the air filter or forgetting to clean out the humidifier. Now’s as good a time as any to get those things taken care of along with any other unfinished projects you may have. And chances are you have a few. According to a study by Porch.com, the average American household has nine unfinished DIY projects at any given time.
If you’ve always wanted to be a sketch artist, learn to play the guitar or try out a few of the best exercises for weight loss, here’s your opportunity. Tutorial videos are readily available online for just about anything you’d like to learn and, according to the Association for Psychological Science, engaging in new skills can help improve your memory.
Still have the sweater that shrunk the first time you washed it? Jeans from high school? Now’s a good time to get rid of them. Donating or discarding items you don’t like or that no longer fit is liberating and it allows you to keep just the things you love. Arranging or storing clothes by season and using a plastic shirt-folder are two home organizing hacks to simplify your life.
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