How you can cope with a lot more spare time

With the world seeming to have completely been put on pause recently, we’ve all started to be inundated with “productivity” ideas to make the most of our time and stay productive. It’s interesting in a time where there’s very little most of us can do, we’re still glorifying productivity in a time where no one can necessarily see how “productive” you’re being. I do think maintaining a schedule and giving yourself things to do can help you avoid going absolutely stir-crazy, there are lots of other things you can do for yourself that may not at first seem #inspirational but are never the less incredibly helpful for your self-care.

  1. Complete that one task you’ve been avoiding for weeks

Now this isn’t the time to suddenly start an incredibly huge project necessarily (unless you want to!) but what I’m talking about are those small tasks that you know can be completed in a few minutes but you’ve been putting them off because you didn’t have time or were putting off for as long as you could. This could be making a phone call to your bank to ask some questions, it could be sorting all the letters and paperwork scattered on your desk, or even calling a friend or family member you’ve been meaning to, but haven’t had the chance or the energy. Even if that’s the only thing you accomplish all day you will feel a huge weight off your shoulders.

2. Make a small health goal

I’ve seen it plastered all over the internet that people are planning to start a new workout routine or diet during this extra time, but just like a fad diet, if you bite off more than you can chew you’ll likely end up giving up within a few weeks. Instead, my own personal goal has been to introduce ten minutes of stretching into my daily routine. Now this isn’t going to give me a six pack by any means, I’ve really wanted to work on my flexibility for some time which requires stretching. A lot of it. Pick what seems like a baby goal to give you a task to complete each day/week which will A: give you a sense of accomplishment each time you complete it, and B: will contribute to your mental or physical health. This could look like going for a ten minute walk each afternoon around the block, meditating for five minutes each morning, or making sure to drink one glass of water each day if you’re like me and sometimes forget water exists. These seem like very minor changes that don’t feel life changing, but we are far more likely to do a task that we view as quick and easy. Once that task becomes a staple in your routine, you can add something new if you like!

3. Take care of your mental health

This has been a period of extreme stress for most of us, and even if you’re in a position where you’ll be okay, you can almost feel the stress in the air. Many people have expressed a lot of sadness in the last few weeks to the point of bursting out into tears seemingly out of nowhere. Now, there’s nothing wrong with having a good cry if you need it. Feeling your emotions and letting yourself feel them and process them is incredibly helpful and for a lot of us it’s an emotionally turbulent time. For myself, I have set up over the phone counselling to help me process my feelings and feel more at ease with the current situation of the world. If where you live has services like that available, I highly recommend. If you don’t have access to something like that, making sure to talk with a trusted friend or family member about how you’re feeling can be a huge help. I also recommend starting a journal. This lets you look back on your thoughts and work through how you’re feeling on your own at your own pace. Taking care of your mental health will ensure this extra time we have acquired is perhaps more enjoyable, or at the very least won’t be more stressful than it already is.

4. Do what you enjoy, Just because.

Lastly, make time for the things you enjoy doing. These don’t have to be productive or meaningful or even health related. There is no reason we can’t take part in some self-indulgence. If you like playing video games, go ahead and play. If you love music or playing an instrument, why not do more of that? If you enjoy watching movies, you should watch them. We have more time on our hands than we possibly ever have, and no, you don’t need to spend your time “productively” all the time.

For many of us, these are stressful times, we don’t need to be making them more stressful for ourselves by setting huge expectations if we feel we can’t meet them. Staying sane and healthy is enough. I hope you’re all well and in good spirits despite the uncertainty. How have you all been spending your time at home? what have you found helpful? Let us know in the comments!


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