How to relax when confined indoors

Being indoors for a long period of time can lead to a blurring of boundaries between things that we do. For example, if we’re working, living, relaxing in the same space, it will be very confusing for our mind, and it would be harder for us to actually relax in the process. We might also find ourselves being super busy, perhaps to try to avoid thinking about things that are worrying us. Or we might be super busy, so that we feel that we have some kind of control over our life, which, at the moment, most of us really don’t have. We can also find ourselves thinking all the time about, talking about, hearing about the pandemic. And that will make it more difficult for us to relax. So what can we do to help ourselves, actually, relax during this time?

The first thing is: it’s important to schedule, to plan, our relaxation time – when we’re doing it, for how long we’re doing it for, and what are we going to do. Otherwise, we’ll end up spending the whole day, and relaxation time never actually happens, or we’ll end up spending the time we allocated for relaxation, trying to think about what we’re going to do. So just say to yourself: “At four o’clock, I will spend an hour watching a series, and I will also read these 20 pages from the book I’m enjoying reading at the moment.”

The second thing that’s important is to slow down our rhythm. Life has slowed down for most of us and this can give us an opportunity to actually engage more with what we’re doing, for example, eating. Often we find ourselves eating very fast, gulping our food down, or eating while we’re doing something else. By slowing down our rhythm we can actually focus on what we are doing, focusing on what we’re eating, how we’re eating, the taste of the food, the texture of the food. And this will help our body and our mind to relax throughout the rest of the day. And the same applies, of course, to any other activity that we’re doing.

The third important thing is to ensure that we are using our body to relax. An example of this could be: doing yoga, stretching exercises. Because these signal to our mind that we can enter into a relaxed state. They slow down our breathing, they make us feel physically better. And that helps us relax. As in, it’s okay to use video games, for example, to relax, or to watch TV. But ultimately, these are activities that involve more the mind. So if you do that, and if you don’t, make sure that you also use your body to relax.