Yes, staying inside all day every day is the textbook cause of cabin fever...but it's also the perfect time for meditation apps and bubble baths (it’s not like you have anything better to do). Here are some self-care suggestions for warding off the self-quarantine blues.
Bring Your Exercise Studio Home
Governor Jay Inslee’s temporary shutdown of recreational facilities (like your favorite exercise studio!) prompted many to quickly move classes online. Beluminous Yoga and Spira Power Yoga offer free videos of poses in addition to live Zoom classes. Call a local studio or check their website to see if they’re offering classes online. Whether you’ve got a dedicated practice or this is the first time you’ve even considered downward dog, it’s a solid way to support local business (and your own well-being).
It’s easy, and nice for a while, to curl up on the couch and stay that way. But it's worth the effort to exercise and experience the outdoors once a day. It doesn’t have to be an intense workout—hop on your bike, or take a walk around the block, just to keep yourself moving. National Alliance on Mental Illness CEO and executive director Lauren Simonds says staying active “keeps your brain and your person engaged in daily life.” She also says even the most reserved introvert needs daily interaction—say hi to your neighbors (from six feet away).
Talk It Out
“Telemental health,” aka online or tele-therapy, was gaining popularity pre-COVID-19 as professionals adjusted to a rise in inquiring new patients. Now with social distancing measures in place, many therapists are only meeting with patients via video or phone call. Modern Therapy and Mindful Therapy Group are a couple Seattle-based telemental health providers, while a chat room like Blah Therapy is a casual, unprofessional (disclaimer included) space to vent with non-judgmental others. You could also try venting on Twitter (your mileage may vary).
Enjoy Local Art
Music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, poetry, books, and even local journalism (have you finished our list of longform reads?) can be a great distraction from everything, uh, falling apart around you. A humble suggestion: Start with this big list of books by Washington authors.
Cook or Bake
Feel lost in your now-full pantry of essentials? Time to figure out how to cook it all. Good news: Cooking can boost self-esteem and general well-being. giving you a sense of accomplishment when the goal is met (fork, meet mouth). Use this opportunity to dive headfirst into new recipes you’ve been waiting to try.
Declutter and Reorganize
Even if you’re not the type to swoon at neat stacks of anything or reorganize your furniture at 3am (it's so soothing!), deep-cleaning and decluttering your living space can be therapeutic and rewarding. A 2009 study found that women with higher levels of stress tended to live in messy spaces, and vice versa.
Revisit an Old Hobby, or Try a New One
This is where self-care gets even more personal. Think about the times you’ve been giddy about an artistic outlet or activity (sudoku, anyone?) and start there, or try out something you've been interested in but haven't had the time for. My personal goal: pour one fluid acrylic painting every week and a dozen new candles every month. Get ambitious—we got this, Seattle.