As we enter the year of 2021 with the ongoing pandemic, many struggle to stay positive and productive during these tough times. Because a lot of places are closing/closed for safety reasons, some of us tend to fall into a dark hole and become lazy and unproductive. Here are some tips and ideas of things you can do in the comfort of your own home to rejuvenate your mind and adapt to the new lifestyle of staying home:

1. Journaling!

Writing down your thoughts about anything can be highly beneficial in many ways whether it be your feelings in your relationships, thoughts on worldly topics, recipes, to-do lists – anything of the sort can motivate you to actually get things done. Generally, writing out your feelings in complicated situations can be extremely therapeutic and help you understand yourself even better. Daily journaling for about 10-20 minutes can benefit your life in multiple ways – it can help increase your memory, your communication skills, help you sleep better, bring serenity in your life, and the list goes on! Your journal can easily become a best friend to you as you open up and share your thoughts. Setting goals for the new year can also be another topic to journal about. Ask yourself questions like – What can you leave in 2020 that is no longer serving a purpose in your life? What was the biggest lesson learned in 2020? Set goals that excite and scare you for 2021! Who made 2020 a better year for you? What boundaries are you setting for 2021? What are you thankful for this year? – once you start journaling, you’ll never want to stop. 

2. Sleep Early, Wake Up Early!

Going to bed at a reasonable hour can improve your health in various ways. A sufficient amount of sleep can help your body to relax and lower the risk of a possible heart attack that can be caused due to high blood pressure. Especially if you have to be early for work or school, sleeping early and enough can help repair your body to be prepared for the next day. If you aren’t in the habit of sleeping early, it’s never too late to start a new nightly routine. With the help of a good book, a movie, or journaling about the day for about 10-20 minutes right before bed, your eyes will be begging for sleep in no time. 

While sleeping in occasionally is needed and definitely okay, waking up early before beginning your busy schedule for the day can be quite advantageous. Suppose you’re working a 9-5 job from home or start remote classes at an early hour – instead of waking up 10 minutes before 9 to rush to your desk with tired eyes and zero energy, waking up an hour early to have some time to yourself, maybe a warm cup of coffee, nutritious breakfast, and some time to journal even, can set a great start and tone for your day. 

3. Cook and Eat Good Food!

Many have been picking up interests in cooking different foods and baking yummy recipes while having the time to do so. It’s important to fuel our brain and body with nutritious foods to provide us with energy we need to survive throughout the day. During the free time we have after work or school, pick up the ingredients for that pasta you’ve been craving to make! Not only does cooking satisfy our cravings, but it also engages our senses which helps the ability to activate our memories by recalling a smell of a dish to a secret family recipe or that savory lasagna you had when you traveled to Italy! Being stuck at home and not being as active as you once were can be draining but cooking can boost one’s creativity while encouraging you to do more with the time you now have at home. If you need ideas for new recipes to try out, check out YouTubers like TheCooknShare who share quick, easy, and yummy recipes every week for viewers. 

4. Take a Walk or Hike!

Hiking is one activity that has been recommended by many professionals while we reside in a time of dullness. As long as we are social-distancing and using safety precautions like masks, being outdoors for a walk or hike is great way to relax your mind and body. Because there aren’t a lot of active endeavors to participate in, hiking is something that is highly beneficial for our mental, physical, and emotional health. Staying at home every second of every day can take a huge toll on our lives because this has been a new lifestyle to adapt for many such as students who have returned home from living on their own for college and people that have been in the routine of commuting daily to work and having time to spend outside. Stepping out of our homes when it is safe to do so to take a walk, a jog, or a hike can benefit our lives in many ways. Hiking is proven to lower risk of heart disease and improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels as well as one’s sense of balance. Similarly, hiking or simply going on a walk and being in nature can relieve stress and improve mental health problems like anxiety and depression. Fresh air brings us oxygen and the more oxygen our brain consumes, the more brain power we gain!

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