11 Feel-Good Things To Do Instead Of Obsessively Checking Up On The News

Image by: Kinga Cichewicz

Scrolling endlessly on social media isn’t going to do your mental health any good - here are 11 feel-good activities to keep your mind and body busy during lockdown.

How many times have you checked your phone today? Scrolled endlessly on Twitter, liked aimlessly on Instagram or refreshed the BBC News website? If you’re anything like me, it’s a lot - after all, with lockdown implemented, many of us working from home or furloughed and our daily routines radically changed, it can be easy to slip into unhealthy habits. Sure, staying informed is important, but consuming too much information can only lead to a mental and emotional burnout; the likes of which could fuel stress, anxiety and panic. 

So in the name of mental health and wellbeing, it’s time to switch off, put your phone down and devote you time and energy to activities that promote positivity, productivity and healthy thinking. Here are [no] great ideas to get you started.

Image by: Emma Simpson

Get active

Research repeatedly tells us that exercise is a powerful mood-booster. Also known as a ‘runner’s high’, exercise releases a powerful combination of neurotransmitters (namely endorphins, serotonin and norepinephrine) that has also been found to help process difficult emotions. You may not be a regular gym-goer - or even own workout gear - but by dedicating time to getting active, you’re showing your body and mind a lot of love; whether that be by going for a long walk, running, getting on your bike, or trying an at-home workout.

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Get chatting

There’s nothing like a good long catch up with a loved one to boost your mood.

Get crafty

Arts and crafts are a brilliant way to keep your mind and hands busy, and in doing so can be hugely therapeutic. Take this opportunity to dust off an old, forgotten hobby or start a new activity that you’ve always wanted to try, from painting and drawing to DIY tie dye, jewellery making or woodcraft. There’s loads out there - we love Pinterest for inspiration.

Get baking or cooking

There’s something about focussing on a recipe - especially with plenty of time to do so - that is incredibly soothing. Plus, you’ll have a delicious bake or meal to enjoy at the end of your efforts.

Image by: Cassidy Phillips

Get organised 

With time on our hands, it’s a great opportunity to really give our homes a thorough spring clean, go through any clutter making your space stressful and refresh tired walls or furniture with a lick of paint.

Get outside

Countless studies have proven that being in nature makes us happier and gives us a more positive outlook on the world. Likewise, exposure to sunlight and that all important Vitamin D triggers the release of serotonin, the so-called ‘happy hormone’ which promotes feelings of calm and focus. So, if you’re feeling panicked or stressed, try heading to your garden for a spot of sunbathing - SPF to hand - or out for a gentle walk.

Get gardening - inside or out 

Spending time in and amongst nature - whether that be outside or in your home - is proven to boost your happiness levels. Don’t feel like you can’t get involved if you don’t have the space for a garden - try cultivating your own urban jungle of houseplants, tending to a window box or hanging plants or creating a balcony or porch herb garden instead.

Image by: Afonso Coutinho

Start meditating

Introducing a moment of mindful meditation to your everyday routine won’t only make lockdown easier, but will also make you more peaceful in the future too. There are plenty of apps to try for beginners, from Headspace to Calm, Insight Timer to Aura.

Get reading or watching

Getting lost in a new book or spending some time rediscovering your favourite films is one of the easiest ways to distract yourself.

Put some music on

Research from the British Academy of Sound Therapy has found that by listening to just nine minutes of upbeat, feel good music will lift your mood.

Image by: Maddi Bazzocco

Get in the bath

There’s a reason why many of us love long baths. In study ed by German researchers, it was found that the experiment’s participants with depression reported a boost in mood after soaking in a 40 degree bath for 30 minutes. Spend some time on your self-care and go all out - that means bubbles, aromatherapy bath oils, bath salts, facemasks, soothing music or a good book, glass of wine or herbal tea, candles and incense.