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25 Calming Activities to Do in Your House

Here are some ways you can find peaceful moments while confined to your home.

In this unprecedented time in American culture, daily life has come to a standstill as individuals practice social distancing and isolation due to the coronavirus. Not only does this mean that many people are doing without their usual social support, cut off from their typical communities at school, work, and in their social circles, but financial and health worries are top of mind. Anxiety is normal in such a stressful situation, but that doesn't mean that you should let it rise to a level where it makes it hard to cope. Even when confined to your house, there are simple things that you can do to lower your body's stress levels in the moment.

It's important to keep in mind the general areas of intervention that will benefit you as you try to calm yourself. You should focus on lowering your physical arousal in your body (so lowering muscle tension and slowing your breathing), on calming your thoughts (providing a healthy reset of your attention), on feeling more connected to other humans or beings (giving you a sense of emotional connection even with social distancing), and on expressing your feelings or creativity.

Here are some ideas that target those areas, using only the tools that are likely waiting in your house right now.

  1. Take a hot bath or shower
  2. Lay down with your legs elevated and watch your breathing rise and fall
  3. Doodle or color
  4. Look out a window or let in fresh air
  5. Have a warm drink without caffeine or alcohol
  6. Engage in a visualization of a place that makes you feel safe
  7. Write down your feelings
  8. Soothe your hands with lotion or a soak
  9. Listen to your favorite music
  10. Seek out a pleasant smell
  11. Rub your temples in small circles
  12. Stretch out your body, focusing on the neck, shoulders, and legs
  13. Play a game like Solitaire or do a crossword puzzle
  14. Cuddle a pet if you have one
  15. Write down your worries and tuck the paper away
  16. Sing your favorite song
  17. Ground yourself by noticing five things around you as you slow your breathing
  18. Light a candle and watch the flame for a few minutes
  19. Fill a wine glass with water and see if you can make a soothing tone by rubbing your wet finger across the top of the glass
  20. Write down three small things you're still grateful for
  21. Call a person who makes you laugh
  22. Look through old photos of trips that you enjoyed
  23. Listen to the sounds of nature
  24. Give yourself a spa treatment like a pedicure or soothing face mask
  25. Tell someone you love them
More from Andrea Bonior Ph.D.
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