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Taking care of your mental health is as important as taking care of your physical health. This means that, while you’re social distancing because of the coronavirus (a.k.a., COVID-19), focusing on self-care activities is so important—anything that boosts your mood or keeps you feeling calm during your isolation time is now a necessity in the same way toilet paper is.

These ideas and products could keep your mind occupied as you take care of your physical health by staying home.

1. Release your stress into a colouring book

Warrington Guardian: Photo: Getty Images / PixelfitPhoto: Getty Images / Pixelfit

Turning stress into art is as simple as printing off free pages on Crayola’s site—yes, there are templates for adults, too.

Or open up an adult colouring book, like the popular Secret Garden book. It has dozens of floral designs ranging from simplistic to extremely intricate, and Crayola lets you into a world of detailed patterns and pictures. Grab a set of drawing pens to get lost in the pages.

Get the Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book on Amazon for £5

Get the Staedtler 334 Triplus Fineliner Superfine Point Pens on Amazon for £12.50

2. Create a calming atmosphere with sweet aromas

Warrington Guardian: Photo: Reviewed / Jackson RuckarPhoto: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

Despite not being a cure-all, aromatherapy is thought to improve physical and emotional health. Our favourite oil diffuser from InnoGear is easy to use and can run continuously for up to nine hours. Don’t forget to grab a variety pack of essential oils to experiment with.

Another way to scent up the house? Try simmering some water with cinnamon sticks on the stove or take advantage of your kitchen while you’re home and bake a delicious treat—there’s nothing more comforting than the aroma of freshly baked goods.

Get the InnoGear Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser on Amazon for £14.99

Get the Radha Beauty Essential Oils on Amazon for £19.95

3. Break out your knitting needles

Warrington Guardian: Photo: Reviewed / Betsey GoldwasserPhoto: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Needlecrafts offer an artistic outlet, as well as a rhythmic movement pattern, and they result in the creation of something beautiful you can treasure forever. If you’ve never tried one, we suggest learning to knit, crochet, or do needlepoint with kits from The Knit Kit Company, which feature instructions and all necessary materials. You can choose from dozens of stylish hats, scarves, sweaters, and more.

If you’re already a knitter, consider scavenging your home for your forgotten supplies, then set your sights on any of the free patterns available on Raverly.

Shop Knit Kit Company kits here

4. Roll out your yoga mat for some gentle stretching

Warrington Guardian: Photo: Reviewed / Bethany KwokaPhoto: Reviewed / Bethany Kwoka

Whether you’re feeling foggy or on edge, some easy movement could offer relief. Cue up the free yoga YouTube channel Yoga with Adriene and follow along with the popular instructor who has over 6 million subscribers.

You don’t need a yoga mat for stretching or vinyasa flows, but having one makes it easier to get comfortable, especially if you’re new to finding your flow. For a more affordable option, we recommend the Proworks Yoga Mat Or upgrade your yoga game with our favourite mat, the Reversible Mat 5mm at Lululemon, which feels soft under your hands, knees, and feet, but is firm enough to keep you supported.

Get the Proworks Yoga Maton on Amazon for £24.95

Get the Reversible Mat 5mm at Lululemon for £58

5. Draw a bath and soak your cares away

Warrington Guardian: Photo: Getty Images / petrenkodPhoto: Getty Images / petrenkod

When you need to unplug from your phone or laptop, head straight to the tub. After all, it’s dangerous to have electronics near your bath, anyway. To enhance the spa-like moment of solitude, add some soothing bath salts. Reviewers love Dr Teal’s Pure Epsom Salts, which claim to ease aches and pains while relaxing your mind with calming scents like lavender and eucalyptus.

Get the Dr. Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt on Amazon for £7.99

6. Take some time to reflect with a journal

Warrington Guardian: Photo: Getty Images / jackscoldsweatPhoto: Getty Images / jackscoldsweat

It’s well known that writing down your feelings can help you make sense of them and provide emotional release. And conveniently, you can open up any old notebook or grab a blank sheet of paper to get started. 

If you prefer more structure to your journaling, try the “Start Where You Are” journal, which includes inspirational quotes, writing prompts, list-making templates and free spaces for drawing that make it feel low-pressure.

Get the Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration on Amazon for £8.24

7. Pour yourself a cup of tea

Warrington Guardian: Photo: Getty Images / Dean MitchellPhoto: Getty Images / Dean Mitchell

Never underestimate the calming power of a good cup of tea. It won’t completely distract you or entertain you, but sipping on a warm, fragrant drink is a pleasantry that can lift your mood. The popular Sleepytime tea from Celestial Seasonings is caffeine-free and has flavours of chamomile, spearmint, lemongrass, tilia flowers, blackberry leaves, orange blossoms, hawthorn, and rosebuds.

Get the Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Herbal Tea on Amazon for £7.49

8. Refresh your skin with a face mask

Warrington Guardian: Photo: Reviewed / Jackson RuckarPhoto: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

There’s never a bad time to do something nice for yourself, especially when you’re feeling anxious and could use the mood lifter. A relaxing yet easy way to temporarily pretend you’re at the spa is by applying a facial mask. There are plenty of recipes for easy facials available online—whether they do what they claim or not, there’s no harm in zoning out with a blend of honey, oats, and avocado on your face.

Another option: the incredibly popular Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, which is composed of 100 per cent calcium bentonite clay to “absorb toxins” and rid your skin of excess oil and impurities. All you have to do is mix the dry, powdery clay with apple cider vinegar or water and apply it to the face for five to 10 minutes.

Get the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask on Amazon for £18.45

9. Break out a deck of cards or a puzzle with loved ones

Warrington Guardian: Photo: Getty Images / filadendronPhoto: Getty Images / filadendron

Gin rummy, go fish, slapjack, crazy eights, solitaire, poker. Those are only some of the games you can play just by having a deck of cards on hand. Another calming activity for the crew: Digging out and assembling a jigsaw puzzle. Either activity will distract your restless mind by giving it something else to focus on.

Get the Bicycle Playing Cards on Amazon for £6.89

Shop Ravensburger jigsaw puzzles on Amazon

10. Download an app that helps you stay mindful

Warrington Guardian: Credit: HeadspaceCredit: Headspace

Meditation is a helpful skill to learn if you often experience racing thoughts or restlessness. If starting sounds daunting, the Headspace app offers a library of themed courses, daily meditations, sleep sounds, and bedtime exercises to get you into the practice—and it's free to try.

Download the Headspace app on your iPhone

Download the Headspace app on your Android and Google Play

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