The coronavirus has shifted life into an area of uncertainty and has forced us to create a new normal that involves a lot more isolation. For many, the extended time in isolation can cause stress, anxiety, and lead to negative feelings. It’s completely normal to feel the weight of life under quarantine, but here are some safe ways to get out of your house and enjoy a mental reset.
Tips on Leaving Your Home Safely
A lot of us are living and working at home right now, which can create some anxiety around leaving the house. It’s ok to feel anxious about leaving the safety of your home amid the pandemic, but these are a few general rules you can follow to make trips outside safer:
- Avoid large crowds of people
- Wear your mask when in a populated area like a park or on a busy hike
- Avoid touching shared surfaces like public water fountains, playground equipment, and handrails
- Pack a travel-sizer hand sanitizer to use after interacting with other people or touching a shared surface
- Bring your own anti-bacterial wipes to clean any shared surfaces you come into contact with
Go for a Walk
Walking is one of the simplest, most effective ways to get out of your house and enjoy time outside. It’s an exercise that’s been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, and a fantastic way to manage your overall physical health. Health experts recommend walking at a moderate pace for at least 30-minutes per day, 5 days a week to earn the most physical and mental benefits that walking has to offer. One of the best things about walking is that it’s not a high-impact workout, so people of all ages can enjoy walking without worrying about degenerative side effects.
Plan a Picnic
The outdoors is the perfect place for a mental reset, and spending time outside can be rejuvenating. If your version of outdoorsy doesn’t involve a trail or terrain, then a picnic is a great way to enjoy some extended leisure time outside.
Spend Some Quality Time with Your Dog
One of the unique benefits of living under quarantine and working from home is getting to spend more time with your dog. A great way to get out of your house is by taking your dog to the dog park or enjoying a long walk together. The dog park is an excellent way to interact with more people outside, from a safe distance. A walk gives you a chance to get your body moving and relieve some stress with light exercise. Whatever you choose, spending some quality time with your four-legged friend is a great way to enjoy your time and spend your mental energy on something other than covid-19.
Make Time to Exercise
Exercising is a proven way to reduce stress and anxiety and can be an excellent way to take your mind off living under quarantine. Try to exercise at home or outside by yourself – the goal is to avoid gathering with a large group of people panting in a confined space.
Low-risk outdoor exercises include:
- Walking, running and hiking
- Rock climbing
- Fitness classes that allow distance
- Bodyweight exercises like pushups, lunges and pullups
When exercising outside, avoid large crowds of people and using shared surfaces like a playground as your exercise equipment. If you must be around people while exercising, wear a mask and do your best to maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet.
Checkout a Farmer’s Market
A Farmer’s Market is a fantastic place to buy fresh produce and support local farmers and agricultural workers. Most Farmer’s Markets are outside and require masks, but it’s a good idea to check on their mask rules to ensure that you’re comfortable going. Being around people wearing masks is safer, but still comes with risk.f there’s a firm mask rule in place then you’ll greatly reduce your exposure risk.
It’s Important to Focus on Your Mental Health
Your mental health plays a large role in your overall well-being, and it can be easy to hold it at arm’s length to focus on more pressing matters in your life. That makes it imperative to carve out time for yourself every day and do something that you enjoy or that relieves stress. By taking care of your mental health, you’re more prepared to handle life under quarantine in stride.