Creative Solutions to Keep Yourself Mentally Healthy at Home

This year has highlighted more than ever before just how important it is to take care of your mental health. More of us have been stuck at home for far longer than normal, and many people have found that their mental health is suffering for it. At times like these, it becomes necessary to find creative solutions to protect your mental health while you are at home.

Let the Sunshine In

Natural light does good things for mental health. It has been shown to help improve conditions such as depression, anxiety, and especially seasonal affective disorder. Letting more sunlight into your home brightens rooms and can make them feel more welcoming and enjoyable to be in. Even something as simple as opening curtains and blinds can be enough to make a difference. If you want to amplify the natural light in your home further, add mirrors to the walls to reflect the light around the room. Just be careful about where you place them. Getting a blinding eyeful of sunshine can be unpleasant.

Create Something

Creative endeavors can be a great way to express yourself. It gives you the chance to feel satisfied about something you’ve done. Creative expression has been linked to overall wellbeing. There are a variety of creative activities you can participate in. You could create music with an instrument or even just by playing music and singing along. Create pieces of art with different mediums. You could try sculpting with clay, painting, drawing, or taking pictures. Writing a story, practicing poetry, or composing a song are other creative endeavors you could try. As you explore creative options, make sure you have reasonable expectations for the results. If it’s a new activity, you’ll probably need some practice before becoming proficient. Learn to enjoy the creative process at least as much as the finished result.

Exercise

Exercise is the most natural, healthy way to get a high. Exercising releases endorphins which boost your mood. It will also help you get fit and stay physically healthy, which supports your mental health. You don’t need to go to the gym to exercise either. Even if you don’t have much space there are still plenty of exercises you can do. Calisthenic exercises build strength, while dance aerobics can help with your cardiovascular health. Yoga can help build your strength, balance, and endurance. All of these exercises can be done in small spaces and with little to no equipment. If you’re not sure where to start, check out different YouTube videos for workout routines.

Get a Dog

Many people who are finding their mental health is suffering due to excessive amounts of time spent at home are lacking in companionship. Getting a dog can be one way to get that companionship. Dogs are often quite affectionate and friendly with their owners, and like to spend lots of time with them. If you choose to get a dog, make sure you find a breed that will be compatible with your living situation and lifestyle. Look at things like their activity level, personality traits, common health concerns to look out for, trainability, and grooming needs. You can pick a breed that’s less likely to shed, such as a Mini Goldendoodle. These dogs are also hypoallergenic, very friendly, moderately energetic, and tend to be easy to train. Thanks to their small size, they can be good pets for a variety of living spaces too.

Cook a New Dish

Cooking is a very practical creative endeavor. Many people earlier this year learned how to bake bread in all the time they were spending at home. Creating a new, tasty dish can be very satisfying. It keeps you busy and you can literally eat the fruits of your labors. As an added bonus, since you’re the cook you can customize the recipe to suit your preferences. This means you have greater personal control over the nutrition content as well as the taste. Getting a new dish cooked exactly the way you want it can take some adjustments, so feel free to experiment with ingredients and proportions once you’ve found a recipe you can base your dish off of.

Reach Out to Others

Getting a dog isn’t always a feasible option. Even if it is, interacting with a dog isn’t always enough to make up for the lack of human companionship. Reaching out to friends and family who don’t live with you can help bridge that gap. Keeping in touch with others and continuing to foster those relationships can help you protect your mental health while you’re stuck at home. Of course, many places currently recommend against gathering with people outside your household unless you are practicing social distancing. Messaging, phone calls, emails, and video chats are just some of the ways you can reach out and connect with other people.

Try Adult Coloring Books

Coloring isn’t just for kids. There are tons of coloring books dedicated to images for adults to color. These more complex designs are often quite detailed and more geometric than those typically found in coloring books for children. Coloring can give you a chance to participate in a creative activity that doesn’t have to take much mental effort. If you need a way to unwind from the stress of the day, pulling out a coloring book can be a great way to do that.

Journal

Sometimes you just need to vent, but you aren’t sure who to vent to. As it turns out, writing out your thoughts, feelings, and frustrations can help get them out there and leave you feeling better for it. You might consider trying keeping a gratitude journal to help train yourself to think more positively about the world around you. Even just writing in general can be enough of a distraction to help you feel better. If you aren’t sure what to write, try looking at different writing prompts┬áto get your thoughts going.

Protecting your mental health while you’re at home is essential, especially with how much more time many people are spending there. Finding ways to create a positive, healthy environment, indulging in creative endeavors, and building connections can all help boost your mental health. Try your hand at some different strategies and see which ones work best for you.

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