With the closing of non-essential businesses, the end of in-person classes and strict social distancing guidelines impacting us all, it’s likely you’ve found yourself with extra time on your hands. As the end of the school year nears and the end of COVID-19 not yet in sight, finding ways to occupy yourself this summer will be more difficult than usual.
Luckily for you, VALLEY has recommendations for different mentally healthy hobbies to keep you busy through social distancing to provide you with some much-needed relaxation.
Start a Garden
Gardening is a great way to reap the mental health benefits of spending time outdoors. Spending time in a garden has been found to reduce stress, and help individuals practice acceptance and cope with perfectionism. Not only do gardens help with mental health but they also keep you more active and provide access to healthier food.
Worried about the commitment of maintaining a large vegetable garden? No worries, you can smart small with a potted herb garden and then decide if you want to take on something more substantial. Whatever type of garden suits your needs, get outside and try it out!
Refinish Old Furniture
If you have any old tables or chairs laying around your house, embrace your inner HGTV and try refinishing them. With some sand paper and a quick coat of paint, it’s easy to turn boring old furniture into unique pieces for your apartment or home. Painting furniture is a great way to express your creativity while freshening up something practical to use in your space. Not only that, but painting furniture outdoors will help you obtain added mental health benefits from spending time in nature!
Offer to Sew Masks
If you have access to a sewing machine at home, sewing masks for healthcare workers is a great way to stay busy while doing something meaningful for your community. Sewing has been found to have calming effects and serve as an effective way to address depression and anxiety. Templates to sew masks are widely available on the internet and stores like Joann Fabrics have donated fabric available as part of their “Take & Make” mask-sewing efforts.
As we approach summer and likely find ourselves unable to work our usual jobs, finding an enjoyable hobby will be more important than ever. Whatever hobby you decide is best for you, don’t be afraid to try something new! These uncertain times offer an opportunity to explore new and old interests.