What Was Your Screen Time Last Week?

As we are physically distancing and staying at home as much as possible, we are becoming more and more reliant on screens to work so we can learn, communicate, and be entertained. Our screen times have increased dramatically, and this can put a strain on both our physical and mental health. How can we combat these adverse effects while staying home? Check out the following activity ideas below to keep yourself busy while giving your eyes and mind a rest:

 

Mindfulness

To relax the mind and to rejuvenate the body, don’t forget to move! Download some exercise circuits and try to do at least 30 minutes of increased heart rate activity every day. Simply going for a walk around the neighbourhood after a meal can have a positive impact on your ability to focus.  

Moving isn’t the only way to practice mindfulness: consider meditation. Closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing for a few minutes every day can help reduce anxiety. The Calm app is a wonderful tool that guides users through a daily session of mindfulness, including meditation practice.

Creativity

For many of us, our jobs and school responsibilities take time away from the ability to explore our creative outlets. During quarantine, block out some time to try something new! Paint, write, draw, sing, sew, cook—there are endless ways to express your creative side. Practicing these skills will elevate your mood, decrease anxiety levels, boost your brain function, and improve your immune system. Most creative outlets need little to no screen time, and it’s a great escape.

Hobbies

Since going out is currently not an option, another way to fill in this time is through hobbies. The books on your shelf, for example, could use some love. Reading allows you to escape from reality and latently improve writing and focus levels. If you have the means, you could do a bit of gardening, even on your patio, or try out that puzzle your grandma bought you for Christmas.

A New Pet

Have you been planning to introduce a new being into your home? There are many mental health benefits with having pets in the home.

Maybe you did all the research and got approval from your landlord, but you were concerned about having the time to train? Now is the perfect time to consider adopting. Fish, rodents, lizards, cats, and dogs are all great companions if you have the right lifestyle. Just remember these are living beings that will need time and care later, too, even when you’re busy! Make sure to do lots of research about the best pet for you, and seriously think about your lifestyle before bringing a pet of any kind home.

The SPCA is still accepting adoption applications and is pairing pets with potential owners through social distanced procedures. If you aren’t quite sure if a pet is right for you, but you want to try, consider fostering! The SPCA often looks for foster homes for all kinds of pets.

These are just a few tips to give your mind and eyes a rest during this digitally dependent time in our lives. Allow this time away from your routine to be an opportunity to reflect and learn something new about yourself through these activities.