Self-Quarantined? Use These 12 Mood-Boosting Tricks to Stay Sane

Let’s drop the negative thoughts, and use this time at home to prioritize self-care.

By: Dominique Astorino

Whether you’re a brand new parent, at home sick, or stuck inside due to harsh weather, it can be easy to become restless — and for your mental health to take a hit, especially when you feel trapped inside your house. Fortunately, there are a ton of ways to refocus your thoughts and lift your mood, all from home. Let’s turn this “house arrest” into a home oasis, shall we? Read on as we break down how to stay sane while stuck at home. 

12 Ways to Stay Sane While Stuck at Home

#1 Have a “Spa Day”

Take your skincare routine to the next level!  Give yourself a facial, take a hot bath with salts and essential oils, light an aromatic candle, put on some tunes, and read a good book. You don’t need a pass to a day spa to create a space for healing and relaxation. Block out a few hours and put on some “spa music” from Spotify or iTunes to set the zen tone.

#2 Work Out

You knew we were going to say it, right? Obviously, an at-home workout is going to be your friend while you’re indoors. Whether you’re not feeling so hot and need some gentle restorative yoga, or you’re stir crazy and in need of a butt-kicking cardio sesh, finding time every day to move a little can do wonders for your mental health, immune system, and more. Sanity saved! 

#3 Open Windows

At the very least, keep curtains opened up so you can get some sunlight! This will help with your mood and your circadian rhythm, so you get more restful, restorative sleep. If weather permits, open up your windows for some fresh air or step outside for a few minutes throughout the day.

#4 Meditate

Need a super simple, quick hack to stay sane while stuck at home? Meditation is where it’s at. All you need is five to ten minutes of quiet time to get this ultra-healing practice going. Download an app, get some YouTube guidance, or sit quietly (perhaps with a candle burning or a nice cup of tea), and let your mind clear! 

#5 Take Up a New Hobby

Has inspiration been stirring to try something new, but you haven’t had the time? We invite you to stay sane while stuck at home by getting those creative juices flowing! Maybe you’ve been wanting to paint, play an instrument, or learn how to make a fancy soufflé. Whatever it is, now’s the time to get creative and check things off your bucket list. Order yourself the necessary materials and get going on your new hobby.

#6 Learn Online

Education isn’t just for school! There are so many ways to teach yourself something new, from a cooking technique to a new business strategy to learning a different language. There are YouTube channels, podcasts, and apps (like MasterClass) that can exercise your brain the way your workout exercises your body. Perhaps by the end of your at-home stint, you’ll be a veritable polyglot! 

#7 Self Care to the Max

Unplugged self-care is a brilliant way to keep your brain active but not overloaded. Try something like a jigsaw puzzle, coloring books, games, 3D-models, scrapbooking and crafts, reading, and any other ‘mindless’ activity that takes your thoughts away from your stressors. Plus, this is a great time to get through your “I’ll read that someday” list.

#8 Journal

One of the best ways to process all your emotions — and get all the highs and lows out — is to put it on paper. Whether you’re already an avid journaler, or you just want to jot some thoughts into a notebook, it’s been shown that the process of getting the ideas out of your brain and onto a physical piece of paper can serve as an excellent catharsis (there are several therapy techniques centered on this). Also, if you want to refocus to positive thinking and shift your mood, try gratitude journaling and writing down all the things you’re grateful for.

#9 Cook

Now’s the time to bring out your inner Julia Child and explore all things cuisine! Whether you’re diving into the French art of gastronomy or just learning how to meal prep, you’ve got the perfect opportunity. Plus, so many people use cooking as a meditative, take-your-mind-off-stuff activity. See if it works for you, too!

#10 Declutter, Organize, Sanitize

Cleaning can be massively therapeutic, particularly in a time when you’re a little stressed about germs. A clean physical space can promote a better sense of wellbeing and leave you feeling more energized, and the process of cleaning itself can be an anxiety reliever as well. 

#11 Snuggle a Fur Friend

Your pet doesn’t need to be an ESA (emotional service animal) to provide serious emotional support. Psychiatrists and mental health professionals have all described the healing power of spending time with a cat or dog. 

#12 Limit Social Media Binging and News Consumption

Look, binging on anything while you’re at home for an extended period of time is not the healthiest idea, be that chocolate and candy, snacks, wine, TV, or whatever else you consider your go-to. But it’s also important — particularly for your mind — to avoid the social media and news binge, especially if it’s during a storm or viral outbreak. Get the necessary info, but don’t go down the rabbit hole. It’s just not good for your mental health.

Keep The Positive Vibes Flowing During This Hectic Time 

Let’s drop the negative thinking and turn this time at home as a way to slow down, do something on our to-do list that we now have time for, and finally, lean into just how important prioritizing our health and self-care is.