The ongoing battle with COVID-19 has certainly altered day-to-day activities for everyone. Social distancing, travel and work restrictions, and visitation restrictions have left many looking for ways to fill this free time.
Filling that free time is vital to maintaining strong mental health, which can be more difficult to maintain during challenging times. If you are struggling to find ways to fill the newfound free time, take a look at the following suggestions and add some productive fun into your routine.
Jigsaw puzzles are a timeless form of entertainment that has more recently been examined and found to be a great activity for our cognitive health. Not only can a jigsaw puzzle provide hours of entertainment, it engages an especially wide variety of cognitive functions in your brain and benefits both short- and long-term memory function. If you’re looking for a beneficial form of entertainment, this old-school favorite remains a fantastic option.
You can find loads of puzzles easily from online retailers such as Puzzle Warehouse, Bits and Pieces or Serious Puzzles. You can also buy direct from popular manufacturers such as Springbok or Ravensburger.
Write and/or Keep a Journal
Rather than turning on the television or streaming the latest Netflix craze, try writing! There are numerous studies that show the benefits of writing, and a study at Harvard Medical School found that writing about emotions may ease stress and trauma. Consider keeping a journal if you’re feeling especially anxious.
Beyond the health benefits, seniors possess life experience and knowledge that would certainly benefit future generations. Memoirs are an excellent method for preserving family history. Fictional stories, poetry and other forms of creative writing also provide a powerful vessel for conveying thoughts, knowledge and life experience.
If you aren’t sure where to begin but would like to begin writing a novel, check out NaNoWriMo. You’ll find an array of free tools to help you along your journey. If you struggle physically to type or write for periods of time, try hyper-accurate speech to text software like Dragon Home from Nuance or IBM’s Watson Speech to Text online tool.
Become an Armchair Explorer
Although we are more confined while social distancing, seeing wondrous sites from around the world has never been more accessible. Technology can take you take just about anywhere with a variety of uniquely curated experiences. We’ve compiled a list of virtual travel websites to help you become the ultimate armchair explorer!
- Check out live cameras from all over the world with a focus on nature and animal rescue facilities, on Explore.org.
- Take a virtual tour of renowned museums from around the world.
- Visit a wide variety of iconic sites thanks to The Armchair Travel Company. They’ve created virtual tours for historic sites such as the Taj Mahal and the Historic Dockyard at Chatham Kent, UK.
- Take a trip to different world cities on Earthcam.com. Check out this ultimate guide from Condé Nast Traveler to find experiences for as little as 20 minutes and for as long as two hours.
Take a Walk
Taking a walk while maintaining social distancing is not only easy to do, but good for your health. Studies have shown getting 10-20 minutes of sun per day helps you get the vitamin D you need to help keep your immune system healthy. In addition, going for a walk has also been shown to reduce feelings of boredom. To top it off, Harvard Health compiled a host of reasons why walking is great for your physical health. At Southgate at Shrewsbury, we have a spacious campus with plenty of room to take a walk and enjoy the outdoors while adhering to safe social distancing guidelines. Consider taking advantage of open space and simultaneously adding some extra exercise, vitamins and enjoyment to your day!
These are just a few ideas to help you manifest more fulfillment from your newfound free time. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to ensure you preserve your health and well-being. A big part of that is making sure you keep engaged and find ways to enjoy what may currently be mundane moments.
So, take a trip! Start that book! Clear off some table space and challenge your mind! And don’t forget to get some sun.