We all love quality time with family, but QUANTITY time with family can be another story! Staying home for weeks on end during the COVID-19 pandemic can make you stressed out, restless and impatient. Speaking of impatience, working from home with the kids around is the BEST…said no dad ever.
The good news: You can keep cabin fever, work frustration and boredom in check by making these small, easy changes to your daily routine.
Do some deep breathing
Taking some belly breaths can help you manage stressful energy. Lie flat on your back in an open surface — a couch, a rug, or anywhere you can find amid the household chaos — place one hand on your stomach just above your belly button, and place the other hand on your chest. Breathe slowly in through your nose then hold your breath for a second before breathing slowly out through your nose. Do this once and you’ll feel better. Do it a few more times and cabin fever will melt away like frost on a sunny spring morning.
Try something new
This can be as easy as busting out a new recipe. You’ll score points with your partner no matter how it turns out — “A” for effort, right? — and at least you won’t have company over! Check out these delicious options. Another idea: Download a free app and learn a new language. That way, when you’re finally able to take that trip down south, you can order tacos like a BOSS!
Return to an old hobby
Tying flies for fishing, playing a musical instrument, woodworking, playing mini-golf in your living room, and growing a beard (ok that last one’s not really a hobby) are all great examples of things to do when you’re stuck at home.
Read a good book
If you haven’t picked up a novel in awhile, now’s the time to let tales of secret agents, swashbucklers and superheroes help you relax and take your mind off stressful thoughts. In fact, many classic novels can be downloaded for free online: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, The Call of the Wild, the list goes on.
Do something that makes you laugh
From date night at the (streaming) movies to playing charades or board games with the brood, laughing can lower activity in the “stress” areas of your brain and send cabin fever packing.
Spend half of day without looking at your phone
Break a stress-inducing habit simply by “forgetting” your smartphone in the garage or letting the battery run out. After all, cutting down your screen time can lower the levels of stress-related hormones in your system. Use the time away from your phone to play with your kids, or turn the phone over to them for virtual playdates with their friends.
Physical activity releases pent-up emotions and clears your head, while stretching can reduce muscle and joint pain and boost flexibility. Check out these easy tips for getting active, and getting sh*t done, in and around the house.
What goes great with a little easy exercise? Your favourite tunes! Slap on some headphones, dial up your radio station or streaming service of choice, and rock out while toning your bod. All types of music can be healthy: upbeat songs can make you feel more positive about life, while a slower tempo can quiet your mind, relax your muscles, and send stress packing.
Tuning out the kids with some headphones is the BEST…said every dad everywhere!
What song gets you groovin’ every time you hear it? Share the fun in the comments below and we’ll add it to our playlist!
If you’re thinking about fitting easy exercise into your day, we’ve got your back.
Download “The 10 Minute Man Workout” ebook right now.
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Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two who has been covering men’s health for more than 20 years. As well as researching and blogging for Don’t Change Much since 2015, Adam’s award-winning work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines such as Explore, Reader’s Digest and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN and Toronto.com. Visit Adam’s website for more information on what he does.