Winter Indoor Activities to Boost Your Mood
In these uncertain times with lockdowns feeling never-ending, it’s easy to see why so many people struggle with low mood levels and non-existent motivation. So many of our favorite pastimes are now out of the question, and it can be really tough to maintain a positive outlook when it feels like the world is ending around us.
When you can’t (or simply don’t want to) go outside, use our cheat sheet to discover some awesome indoor activities that will boost your mood and remind you that everything will be okay in the end.
1. Stay Active
Exercise is proven to affect mood and mental health positively, so staying active even when you can’t go outside is vital to keeping yourself happy and healthy.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been thousands — if not millions — of online tutorials to help you exercise at home. It’s also quite easy to pick up home gym equipment to recreate your favorite workouts without leaving the house.
If space is at a premium, think weights, resistance bands, or even hula-hoops (fun!) and jump ropes to help you get in some exercise even when the rain is pouring down. Or, if you’ve got a more generously sized home, you might like to up the ante with a running treadmill. Contrary to popular opinion, even larger home gym equipment doesn’t necessarily cost a fortune, and many machines fold away for convenient storage.
If you prefer equipment-free workouts, try yoga or dancing around the kitchen for a fun way to stay active and keep your spirits high, even when you can’t go outside.
2. Eat Healthy
Healthy eating isn’t all salads and celery! There are loads of delicious and incredible healthy recipes you can enjoy that are surprisingly easy to make from home and are packed full of flavor.
This could be as simple as swapping the deep-fried burger and fries for a vegetarian option with home-cooked potato wedges or discovering entirely new recipes to cook from scratch.
If eating healthier isn’t enough of an incentive alone, cooking is also an excellent pastime. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover a new passion and talent!
3. Pick Up a New Indoor Hobby
You might feel that without classes, it will be impossible to find a new hobby, but, similarly to online workouts, it’s really easy to find tutorials and other passionate individuals willing to share their favorite pastimes with you.
2020 has seen huge surges in people getting crafty, making anything from homemade candles to personalized holiday decorations. Anything that involves your hands and some creativity makes an awesome hobby – it doesn’t matter if you’re rubbish!
If crafting isn’t for you, why not try your hand at photography? A great picture can be the key to a thriving social media presence, not to mention it’s incredibly fun and doable from anywhere. Invest in a quality DSLR camera and get snapping!
4. Maintain Your Social Life
We know that not being around our loved ones can be incredibly damaging to our mental health, and many people are struggling with that this year.
Even when you can’t get out and about, we have so much technology at our fingertips, and it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with friends and family all over the globe.
If your regular Skype/WhatsApp/Zoom calls are getting stale, try playing online games or have a virtual dinner date with wine and candles (maybe the ones you made earlier). It can also be enjoyable to share your creative new hobbies with competitions (try ‘who can paint the best sunset,’ or ‘who can draw the best sketch of their pet’).
If you’ve tried your hand at beer or winemaking, why not mail a bottle to your friends and have a virtual tasting session to share your triumphs?
Virtual pub quizzes are also a popular way of staying social in these unpredictable times. Try an online option or print your own for some video-call fun.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Whether it’s stress or too little physical exertion during the day that’s keeping you up, it’s still essential for your mental and physical health to aim for around 8 hours of sleep every night.
If you’re struggling to drift off, there’s loads of help available. Try a podcast or relaxation playlist to help settle your mind. Practicing meditation before bed is incredibly effective at helping you switch off, as is actually switching off your electronic devices around 1 hour before bed.
6. Practice “Hygge”
Pronounced “hue-guh,” hygge is a Danish practice of acknowledging a feeling or moment. It’s all about recognizing and enjoying the present. It could be as simple as appreciating the way the steam rises when you brew your tea or coffee, noticing the crunch as you bite into a keto bar, or taking time to literally smell the roses on your next walk.