There is no doubt that staying at home and socially distancing, though critically important at the moment, can take its toll. Experts advise that many people are suffering from increased anxiety, depression and other mental health problems at this time.

Even if you’re stuck at home, this doesn’t mean that you can’t indulge in some important self-care. Here are 6 easy ways to lift your mood while you’re in isolation.

1. Get Creative

You’re probably getting tired of the people telling everyone that they need to learn a new skill or be ultra-productive during this time. This kind of pressure is most likely contributing to already elevated levels of stress and anxiety at the moment. However, picking up a paint brush or a musical instrument, just for the fun of it, is a great way to improve your mood.

Indulging your creative side will help you to relax, take your mind off other worries, and open up the right side of your brain. This doesn’t need to be anything too complicated or too involved: if you want to learn the guitar or take an online water colour painting course, great. But you could also just take some time out with a colouring book or to bake an easy recipe in the kitchen.

2. Set up a Zoom Date

When in isolation, it is essential to keep up as much communication with other people as possible. Psychologists tell us that social contact is essential for maintaining good mental health. Additionally, sharing your feelings with others will help you to process your current situation and help to deal with how you are feeling. Although you may not be able to go out to meet up with friends and family, luckily modern technology means you can arrange the next best thing.

Use a video conferencing program like Zoom, Skype or FaceTime to keep in touch with loved ones and stay connected. This could be a one on one call with a close friend or family member, or you could even arrange a virtual social event. Set up an online group coffee break, happy hour, book club or trivia quiz. Scheduling time for these calls is also a good idea to make sure you maintain regular human contact.

3. Take a Digital Detox

We’ve known for some time that social media can be damaging to our mental health, and this is only made worse at times of global crisis. Even though it is important to stay up to date with news and updates, spending too much time online can feed anxiety and depression.

Give yourself a digital detox by turning off your devices for several hours, or perhaps the whole day. Giving yourself a break and simply focusing on me time can be extremely valuable. In fact, for many people it is a good idea to set aside particular times for social media, news and communications every day – such as an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening – and then digitally detoxing for the rest of the time.

4. Give Yourself a Facial

A facial can be beneficial for your skin in many ways: it will improve the overall appearance of your skin, help to fight the signs of aging, and can even treat blemishes and acne scars. Beside all this, giving yourself a facial is relaxing and a lovely way to treat yourself.

You can easily give yourself a facial at home by using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Avocadoes, for example, are fantastic moisturisers: smash some up and mix with honey for an instant face mask. Apply liberally and sit back and relax while the goodness soaks into your skin.

5. Spend Time with a Pet

Pets are wonderful for our emotional wellbeing. Spending time with animals has been shown to increase dopamine and serotonin, the chemicals in our brains that make us feel calm, relaxed and happy. Give yourself an instant mood boost by playing with your pet, grooming them or simply sitting with them and patting them for a while.

If you don’t have a pet of your own, offer to walk your neighbour’s dog for them. If you have elderly neighbours with pets, you will be doing them a favour at the same time.

6. Make a Foot Spa

Dreaming of a trip to the day spa? This treat may be out of reach for some time, but you can recreate it to some extent by making your own foot spa. Take a large basin and fill it with warm water. Add a few drops of aromatic essential oils such as lavender, and float a few flowers on top. Put on some relaxing music and let the warm water and aromatherapy do their magic.

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