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As the coronavirus scourge continues to wreak havoc all over the world, millions of Finns have been forced to stay at home. As much fun as suddenly finding ourselves thrust into the apocalypse is, it stands to reason that we may need a little bit of inspiration regarding what to do with all our new-found free time, as with all these precautionary measures comes boredom.


So what can you do to stop yourself from losing your mind during lockdown? Read on for a few of our favourite tips to relieve stress and improve your mental wellbeing.


Lose yourself in a brand new world (of words)


"Reading does to your mind what exercise does to your body", according to the great English essayist Joseph Addison - and we're sorry to say that even a pandemic can't get you out of this kind of gym. Reading provides escapism, showing you new cultures and new ideas - so when the world goes mad, where else would you turn to?

Whether you like fiction, mystery or classic literary works, there are plenty of options. Although tax-free shopping isn't available in Finland, you can purchase books at a standard VAT rate of 10%, or get e-books from online stores.


Create something delicious


Are you the type who'd burn toast? Well, buck up - you're surviving a global pandemic, so constructing a meal should be easy-peasy for your now officially-badass self. Rather than relying on food deliveries for sustenance, create your own dishes with what's available in your kitchen.

With a few tips and tricks, you can even learn some new culinary skills. The internet is full of irresistible food-porn that'll have you drooling, so if you're in need of inspiration, check out online tutorials that will help you fine-tune your skills and create something worthy of The Great British Bake-Off.


Puzzle it out

Puzzles have been with us for many years and now that we're spending more time indoors, they're a great way to pass the hours. What's more, a Yale research study found that people who play puzzles together develop improved collaboration skills  and better relationships. Lockdown is the perfect time to connect with loved ones and strengthen bonds while puzzling.

Whatever puzzles you choose - crosswords, sudoku, or something else - solving them brings real health benefits, boosts cognitive faculties, and improves overall mental ability - which, let's face it, we could all use during a time like this.


Add some colour to your life

Tired of the grey days of quarantine? Colouring books brightened our worlds as children, and as adults, now's the time to start again and colour your way out of worry. In fact, a study by the American Art Therapy Association found that colouring mandalas popular geometrical Hindu patterns and other complex geometrical patterns can bring about relief from anxiety in just a few minutes. So, if lockdown's getting you down, dig those old crayons out and brighten up your day with a colouring book. Your inner child will thank you for it.


Get moving

And just when you thought you were safe from exercise! Lockdown has definitely deprived people of their regular gym sessions, but this doesn’t mean you can't get a workout in from the comfort of your home.

Start by checking whether your fitness centre offers any digital content through streaming sites. If not, there are many apps out there that provide simple workout tutorials. Then there's YouTube, which has numerous resources that'll assist you in creating a daily workout schedule. This will help improve your mental and physical wellbeing - or at least keep those quarantine kilos off.


Get green

Flex your green thumbs and rediscover nature by mastering some gardening skills. You don't even need a garden to do this - all you require is a container full of soil placed anywhere in the house where there's light. Start by doing research on plants that don't need a lot of sunlight. However, don't forget that they still need some tending.

You'll find information on the many online platforms offering step-by-step tutorials on how to go about this. And don't worry - there are plants out there that even the least green-fingered of you can't kill. Can you say cactus?


Cuddle a kitty or two

What better way to blow off steam than by sticking your face in a cuddly ball of fluff? With a range of studies showing that pet owners have lower blood pressure, cholesterol and chances of suffering from depression than people without pets, this seems like the perfect time to acquire a furry friend.

Spending time with an animal can also raise serotonin and dopamine levels, which you've never needed more than during a global pandemic - and plus, you get to save a cute little life at the same time. Win-win!


Conclusion

Although some of the measures against COVID 19 are being relaxed, we're not out of the woods yet. Therefore, it's wise for people to look for ways to stay active and at least semi-productive while at home. That's why occupying yourself with a good hobby will bring multiple benefits to your overall health.

The aforementioned hobbies will not only boost your mood during this quarantine period but will also impart new skills - and even better, to do most of them, you don't even have to put on trousers.

 

HT

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