COVID-19 has been classified as a pandemic, governments world wide have begun shutting down regular communal activities and ordering everyone to stay indoors to quarantine the potentially sick and limit interactions. While these measures are in the best interest of everyone’s collective health, it is normal to feel anxious and worried about being seemingly cut off from the world with no definite understanding of when these social distancing measures will end. Practicing healthy habits and staying productive in these times of "social distancing" is more important than ever in order to lift your spirits and reduce stress levels. It is something we have been thinking a lot about so we’ve compiled some ways you can boost your spirit and reduce stress while in quarantine. And since we are a music learning website, we’ve added a dash of music and a side of technology to our recommendations!
Keep Your House Clean and Clutter Free
A number of studies have shown that cluttered spaces are linked to higher stress levels. Again it may seem natural to ignore cleaning and sit around, after all you won’t be entertaining guests, but messes are no good for mental well-being. As an exercise, consider your surroundings as an extension and physical manifestation of your inner well-being, and imagine clearing away the stress and anxiety and organizing your thoughts as you clean and organize your home.
Video Chat with Friends and Family Regularly
Humans are social animals. You shouldn’t go through this alone! We are fortunate to live in a time where video chatting is free, easy to use, and widely available. Take advantage of it! Set a time to check in with everyone, talk about your anxiety, have a laugh, and get a regular look at a friendly face! To demonstrate just how powerful video calls can be, check out this video of students who held a choir concert remotely while under quarantine!
Cook Your Meals
Maybe this is the only option available to you for budget reasons or because restaurants are closing down, but even if it isn’t, planning and cooking a meal is a perfect way to bring the family together (if you are staying with family) and a great way to decompress if you are at home alone. You don’t have to be as talented as Gordon Ramsey to put together a great meal: utilize the power of the internet, or better yet, use that time calling relatives to get some simple family recipes!
Exercise (Your Body and Your Mind)
The gym is closed, but again technology can come to the rescue! There are tons of great YouTube channels and courses with exercise routines, teaching Yoga, and even apps that teach meditation. We recommend both exercise and meditation because keeping a nimble body and mind have amazing benefits. Here is a short list of websites and YouTube channels that we think are fantastic for teaching exercise and mediation. Please comment with your favorites and we will try to update this list!
Fitness Blender - Over 500 workouts by training type, muscle groups, lengths, difficulty levels, etc.
Yoga with Adriene - Detailed instructions on yoga to help you get started as a beginner, or perfect your downward facing dog at a more advanced level.
Waking up - Meditation App - An app to help facilitate your meditation routine.
Chris Clark (@clarkfit on Instagram) - Clark shares lots of video footage of himself training at the gym, but this time he shows you how to use your laundry detergent bottle and a backpack to carry on with your training at home.
Play music, listen to music, share music!
At Liberty Park Music we have a strong belief in the calming power of music, but don’t take our word for it: watch this video that’s being shared of Italians in quarantine still finding a way to connect through music. Yo-yo Ma (among many other musicians) also recently started sharing video clips of him playing beautiful soothing tunes, as an effort to offer the comfort of music in these days of anxiety.
If you own a musical instrument, consider dusting it off because playing music, even in a practice session can be even more calming.
Why? What’s so calming about working on the same two-bar phrase on the piano, or strumming an A-minor chord on the guitar repeatedly?
Our brain enters this zen-like state, the flow state, when we focus all our concentration on a simple yet challenging enough task. This total concentration leads to internal peacefulness.
Our guitar teacher Ze, has written at length about this flow state music puts us into during practice. Read up if you want more information.
Learn a New Skill
Current technology makes it easier than ever to learn new skills from fantastic teachers, even if you are stuck inside. There are many great online courses in many great subjects. With all this free time at hand, don’t put off your new year resolutions any longer. Have you ever thought about learning a new language? Perhaps Japanese to help you appreciate your favorite anime better, or French so you know what’s written on your wine bottles.
What about picking up a musical instrument? Many of us have all thought about learning how to play the piano or guitar at some point of our life. Why keep waiting? Liberty Park Music offers a 30-day FREE Trial for anyone who is interested in learning how to play the piano, guitar, drum kit, or studying about music theory. Try it out and see if you like it.
Here are some more interesting skills you might want to explore:
Computer programming - It is a lot more fun than it sounds. Computer programming is extremely useful and it helps you think logically.
Sewing - your partner might be impressed when he or she finds out about your hidden skill.
Palm Reading - Maybe not so practical, but it’s for sure a fun one.
Make a schedule
Now you have a list of things to accomplish but how do you get it all done when waking up late, eating at odd hours, and losing track of time comes so naturally when locked inside? You know the answer: make a schedule and try to stick to it. Setting a routine will allow you to feel more in control of your day, and accomplishing daily goals will feel much better in the long run than rewatching all your favorite movies on Netflix. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t relax, but if you build Netflix and tea time into your schedule as a reward for tackling some big goals it will be all the more satisfying!
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