5 stress-free things you can do at home if you need a mental break

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Now that we’re nearing the one month mark of practicing social distancing and spending our time at home, many are taking up new hobbies in the “spare time” we’ve been granted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For some of us, this means more time brushing up on our favourite Netflix series while others have been learning a new language, committing to multiple live workouts on social media and working on their art. While either of the above are perfectly OK, there has been an exponential amount of pressure on people to “better themselves” in one way or another.

In a global pandemic, it’s perfectly OK to spend your time at home trying to preserve your mental health, no matter how that looks for you. For some, mental health resources such as long walks outdoors, therapy and time with friends have been stripped away, leaving us feeling lonely, slightly pessimistic and potentially self destructive of our mental health. 

While it’s OK to do nothing more with your time than take deep breaths and focus solely on having a good day, there are no pressure hobbies and pastimes you can take up that feel as close to taking a mental break as possible. Find them below. 

Adult colouring

While the current news climate may leave you feeling less than inspired, one fun way to get creative juices flowing is to revert to a childhood favourite: colouring. Now with colouring books made specifically for adults, it’s easier than ever to respectfully disconnect and spend an afternoon colouring inside the lines. Plus, you’ll end up with an art that may be worthy of brightening blank wall space. Win, win.

Calming Colouring: Nature patterns

Calming Colouring: Nature patterns

SHOP IT: Indigo, $12

Yin yoga 

It may feel like the last thing you want to do, but rolling out your yoga mat can significantly boost your mood. Yin yoga, a gently restorative practice, will help you stretch out your muscles, giving your body a break from sitting. This is particularly good for people who may be coping with this new lifestyle by binge-watching Netflix. With yin yoga, there’s no pressure to break a sweat – but it will improve flexibility, your energy and circulatory health. 

Arise Mat 5mm

Arise Mat 5mm

SHOP IT: Lululemon, $88

Indoor gardening 

Not everyone has access to a garden bursting with greenery, flowers and your favourite veg, but that doesn’t meant you can’t take up gardening as a coping mechanism. Perfect for calming your mind and releasing tension, a windowsill garden is just as lovely to tend to. Whether you’re growing salad essentials or your favourite Italian herbs, spending a bit of time watering and pruning is the welcome distraction we all need right now. 

Herbs of Italy Indoor Garden Grow Kit

Herbs of Italy Indoor Garden Grow Kit

SHOP IT: Indigo, $25


Putting a pen to paper can sometimes be the most therapeutic way to recognize how you’re feeling. You don’t even have to acknowledge your emotions directly to feel like a good writing session has been productive. If you don’t consider yourself a writer or are of a few words, a five minute journal may be just the thing: simply spend five minutes a day answering the provided questions. Plus, once this strange, unprecedented time is over, it could be interesting to read back and learn a bit about yourself. 

The Five Minute Journal

The Five Minute Journal

SHOP IT: Indigo, $27

Paint by numbers 

Sometimes the best way to combat negative feelings is to revert to childhood tendencies and while it’s highly unlikely there were many child Picassos among us but that doesn’t mean pursuing an art hobby has to be stressful now. Plus, with all different levels of paint-by-numbers out there, you can unleash your creative side without feeling too much pressure to come up with a concept of your own. 

Paint by Numbers – Wild Horses

Paint by Numbers – wild horses

SHOP IT: Deserres, $12

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