Coping with Being Cooped Up

By Vancouver Island University Modified on April 16, 2020

9 tips to survive physical distancing from Jordan Davis, student wellness promoter.

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Student Wellness Promoter Jordan Davis shares his 9 top tips for keeping yourself together during the lockdown over COVID-19.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all been asked to stay home and do our part to reduce transmission of the virus. Are you struggling to survive physical distancing?

Jordan Davis is a student wellness promoter with Vancouver Island University's Talk to Me program, which aims to increase social connections, teach social skills and expand opportunities for students to connect with each other. Here are his 9 tips to stay busy while staying home.

1. Clean your living space

Washing the dishes, doing the laundry and just tidying up overall clutter around the house can make your living area feel less disorganized and chaotic and help maintain positive mental health. Even small tasks like making your bed first thing in the morning can help contribute to a less chaotic feeling home and reduce background stress.

2. Take up a new hobby

I'm a serial hobbyist. I've done sewing, knitting, baking, leatherwork, chainmail, piano, guitar, singing, woodwork, writing, video games, juggling, cardistry and magic. Take this opportunity to learn something new, or maybe a few new things!

3. Keep up with homework

In-person classes are cancelled for the near future and we are all starting to do our learning online. Take this time to get ahead, catch up and finish assignments. Keeping your brain stimulated through learning is good for mental health!

4. Eat healthy food

Make sure you are eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Gorging on junk food is only going to make you feel worse! And why not try cooking something new? Try a new recipe, cook with your friends or family through Skype or Zoom, or have a virtual dinner date with friends!

5. Take a hike

No, seriously, get your butt outside. Social distancing doesn't mean you can't enjoy the great outdoors, or even just take a stroll around the block... unless you're sick. If you're unwell, stay at home, rest and find something indoorsy to do.

6. Hang out with friends and family... without hanging out with them

Luckily, it's 2020, and we can chat face-to-face with the people we care about virtually. Play games via Skype or Facetime!

7. Start a journal

Sometimes, it's nice just getting the thoughts out to clear your head and sort out feelings. Even video journalling can be an effective stress reducer by talking things through instead of bottling them up.

8. Exercise regularly

There is a strong connection between exercise and good mental health, but what do you do when your gym is closed? There are lots of at-home exercises you can do to keep healthy. There is an awesome free app — "The 7-Minute Workout" by Johnson and Johnson (yes, the company that makes baby oil!). It has a TON of workout combinations to choose from that can be done in your home with no equipment and plenty of encouragement and detailed descriptions from a friendly guy with an accent.

9. Don't spend all your time on social media

Okay, so this is more of a "what not to do" point, but it's still important. Staying informed about what's going on in the world and with your loved ones is good, but don't drown yourself in it. Part of staying positive is staying productive, and spending an entire day staring at your phone, computer or TV screen is, generally speaking, not productive. Touch base with the news or the latest World Health Organization update, and then move on with your day.

Want to watch this blog post instead? Visit the Talk to Me Facebook page.

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