Holley Hyler is an IT consultant and published freelance writer living in New York.
Are you a homebody but concerned about your mental health and overall wellness while you soak up precious alone time in your abode? Since I have been in the same boat, I decided to pull together a list of products that helped me break through the occasional boredom and stay well. Please understand upfront that all the suggestions require spending money.
If you are looking for ideas of things to do at home that do not involve spending money, there are plenty of other brilliant articles about that. A quick Google search can point you to them.
If the specific products I mention are not a fit for your budget, there may be similar items of a different brand you can find online, or you can try to buy secondhand.
#1: Fitness Tracker
A few years ago, my sisters gifted me a Fitbit Charge 2. This has been a lifesaver when it comes to knowing exactly how active I am throughout the day. But it also does much more than that.
It allows me to track meals I eat and gives an easy-to-understand breakdown of calories consumed and burned. It also provides a macro-nutrient graph so I can understand my percentage of carbohydrates, protein, and fat taken in throughout the day. I can look back over time so I understand my habits when it comes to food and create goals for improvement.
Now that I have one, I am not sure what I would do without some sort of wellness tracker. My job is already a sedentary one that requires much time behind a computer screen. Before I worked from home, leaving the house every day and getting up to walk around the office gave me incentives to move. When you work at home, whether from your couch or a home office, it can be more difficult to cultivate activity.
The fitness tracker can provide data like this to help you foster healthy habits, including those that can help you get more restful sleep. The Fitbit Charge 2 is able to track hours of actual sleep (yes, it can tell the difference between that and when you are in bed but awake). It then creates a graph that shows you how much time you spent in REM, deep, and light sleep with periods of wakefulness in between. If you get the premium version of the Fitbit app, it can show you more advanced data, such as heart rate during sleep.
I cannot speak on other versions of the Fitbit or other fitness trackers. If a new Fitbit is not within your budget, you may consider getting a used one. There are also less expensive brands on Amazon if you just search "fitness trackers." It is not necessary to break the bank to make your wellness a priority.
Fitbit Charge 2
If you do not already keep a journal, now may be a good time to start.
One of my biggest challenges throughout life has been anxiety. There is a lot to be said for getting those anxious thoughts out and onto paper. Even if it does not get me to let them go completely, it feels good to write them, to make them tangible. It also gives me the ability to look back over time. I have been keeping a journal for about two years now, and being able to go back in my thoughts helps me see the mental habits that have not been serving me.
I got my journal from Barnes & Noble. There is a special section for them. Amazon has abundant options when it comes to journals. You can buy a blank one or something with prompts if you struggle to start writing.
There needs to be no formality, and it is not necessary to write every day. Since life got busier last year, I have been doing one or two entries each month. Even that helps me to see the themes and patterns, what was weighing heavily on my mind at a point in time and how much can change in a short period.
#3: A Stylish Bathrobe
Don't feel like putting on "real" clothes, but also don't feel like wearing something gross all day?
Check out stylish bathrobes on Amazon (there are plenty of more masculine options too). I have a heavy fleece one from Walmart that has been my go-to in winter, but it will be too much once the warm weather is here. Judging by other countries' experience with the novel coronavirus, it does not seem that the stay-home orders will be pulled back any time soon. It will be good to have something comfortable, yet pretty, that works for warmer months.
Inspired by one of my favorite shows, I went on Amazon and searched "Downton Abbey robe petite." The one that came up was somewhat similar to the one below but not within my price range, so instead, I searched for "kimono robe petite." What you see below is one of the results (I got the light blue version of it).
It might feel silly or frivolous, but comfort plus style can also be a mood booster, which in turn enhances our immune system.
#4: Chess Set
Have you always wanted to learn to play chess, or do you want to refresh your skills? This is a great indoor activity that can help keep your mind sharp and busy.
The fiancé and I got a Game of Thrones chess set a few months ago, and we love it. He has always beat me so far. I know my time to shine is coming.
Video and phone games are great. If you are fortunate enough to live with people you like, a face-to-face game can be fun and break the monotony. Even if you don't like the people you're with, maybe this can be a way to break the ice. Chess is great if you enjoy strategy games. It requires you not only to think of moves that can bring your opponent's king into check, but to anticipate the possible consequences of your actions. You always want to make sure you aren't leaving your most valuable pieces vulnerable. If your brain is itching for something to do, this could be a good answer.
The more you can occupy yourself with thought-provoking yet fun activities, the less prone you are to anxiety and depressing thoughts.
Game of Thrones Chess
There is nothing wrong with being an introvert or homebody, but I understand the occasional frustration that comes with it. Rest assured that you do not have to leave your home to have fun or stay in shape.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2020 Holley Hyler
Kyler J Falk from California on March 30, 2020:
We bought some toy Nerf swords that my son and I have been beating each other up with, definitely takes up time, gives us a workout, and is safe for indoor and outdoor use. If Warhammer miniatures weren't so dang expensive I'd be buying some and the paint to go along with them, starting that hobby; my son absolutely adores listening to the Warhammer audio books, especially when I start talking to him like I'm an astartes.
I really like the bath robe kimono, the Japanese style has always intrigued me but I haven't found a design in silk that suits my tastes. Instead I keep to harem pants for my lounge wear.
Mitara N from South Africa on March 30, 2020:
Aaahhh was your wedding planned around this time, but definitely a blessing, now you can have the one planned in your dreams.
Love the kimono robe, I do keep a journal, and chess is one of my favourite games.
Thanks for these insightful tips and advice,