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The tail end of 2019 was an incredibly transformative time for me. After the Summer, when I realised I needed extra help with my anxiety and finally decided to go on medication, my life really was changed. I started stepping out of my comfort zone more than I’d done in almost a decade and anxiety was no longer the leading factor in my life anymore. That trickled in to 2020 which was looking to be an incredible year, with lots of plans and exciting things happening.
Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash
Of course COVID-19 had other plans for us.
Of course I’m not the only one who’s worried about how this is going to affect their mental health. I spent so much of my life stuck inside my house when my anxiety started because I was too scared to go anywhere. Finally building up the courage to go out into the big wide world again took years. LITERALLY YEARS.
So naturally, I’m a little bit anxious for when lockdown is over and it’s time to, well, go back to normal.
But in the meantime, we’re stuck at home. There’s no other option. So we have to make do with what we have, get creative and just do what we gotta do to cope and see this through. Because it won’t last forever. Nothing does.
Being at home all day, every day for such a long period of time can certainly feel like you’re wasting your time, not doing anything productive and stagnating like a puddle of old water. And if you’re anything like me, it’s normal to feel like your mental health might be going backwards.
But there are obviously still plenty of things we can be doing at home to stay alert, stay pro-active and even… step outside of our comfort zones?
Being at home all the time might be stepping outside your comfort zone enough for some people but for anyone that needs that extra challenge, here’s 5 ways to step outside your comfort zone EVEN in lockdown!
Pick up a new hobby
Probably the most obvious point but potentially the easiest and that’s to pick up a new hobby. Now is a great time to do this and even though it’s also a good time to relax and chill out (we’re in the middle of a pandemic after all) a new hobby might be a brilliant way to help take your mind off of things when it all gets a bit much. Me? I’m taking up pool! My Dad and boyfriend bought a pool table (not full size) and I’m determined to get good at it before lockdown is over! Other new hobbies you could pick up are:
- Baking / cooking
- Painting, drawing, art
- Sewing, crochet, cross-stitch
- Playing an instrument / writing songs
- Poetry / short stories / novels
- Learn a new language online – like Spanish!
Take part in a virtual speed dating event
Just because you’re stuck at home, doesn’t mean your love lives have to be non existent! This point doesn’t apply to me, as I’m in a relationship and instead will be trying some of these at home date ideas but for anyone who’s actively looking for love – or even just a bit of fun – a virtual speed dating event from DateinaDash could be a seriously fun thing to try and would definitely have a lot of people stepping out of their comfort zones!
Do an online course
If you want to step out of your comfort zone but also want to learn something new at the same time, this one could be a good option for you. Doing an online course will kill a lot of metaphorical birds with one stone. A new hobby? Check. Learning something new? Check. Good way to take your mind off of things? Check. Potentially even get a certificate from it afterwards? CHECK. I’d highly recommend checking out Coursera for some fab free courses!
Watch films, TV shows and read books from genres you’re not familiar with
This one is a pretty safe option – there’s not much that could go wrong here other than you just don’t like what you’re watching. But now that we have all the time in the world to watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, catch up on our TV shows and read all the books on our shelves, it’s also a good time to dip your toes into genres that you’re not familiar with and see how you get on! I really enjoy foreign shows on Netflix, like Dark and Quicksand.
Try a different type of workout
If you’re usual method of working out isn’t an option right now – like if you usually go to the gym, fitness classes or see a personal trainer – then now might be a good time to step out of that comfort zone and try and brand new type of workout to mix things up and also stay fit and healthy whilst we’re in lockdown. If you’ve never tried Yoga, I’d highly recommend it. I also use Holly Dolke on YouTube for some fantastic short HIIT workouts!
I’d love to hear how you’re getting on in lockdown. Have you taken up a new hobby or switched up your workout routine? Are you still finding ways to step outside of your comfort zone or are you taking it easy? Let me know!
[…] will feel comfortable reading. And whilst I believe that we should all push ourselves out of our comfort zones a bit – especially with reading – I have to respect that these recommendations […]
Nice post, Jenny. Here in Florence, we were particularly damaged by covid; a city that was full of tourists emptied in a week. The foreign students have disappeared and – as teachers of Italian for foreigners we have thrown ourselves online, as instructors but also as students – teaching and learning, teaching and learning. Really out of our comfort zone!
It’s funny, as you know I’m home a lot as it is and I’ve never felt compelled to pick up any hobbies, but lately I feel like I need to give about a thousand things a try! I’ve spent a lot of time staring at screens, I can’t lie, but I’ve also done quite a bit of baking which has been fun. I’ve also been doing some online woo-woo type courses cause it helps keep me grounded, and of course the dreaded owl from Duolingo has been shouting at me throughout! I’m hoping that this slow approach to being productive will stop the rest of this year being a complete write-off! Thanks for the course suggestion, I need to check that out! x
Online woo-type course sounds RIGHT up my street haha!
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These are some fantastic ideas for stepping out of our comfort zone during lockdown. I’m particularly interested in how the online speed dating event would work, perhaps it would be of interest to my single friends. I’ve signed up to some free courses and started learning a language, I think it’s really helping me grow in these difficult times.
Oooh what language? I’m keen to sign up to a few courses too!
I’m getting ready to step out of my comfort zone a lot at the moment. Some interesting ways I am not ready to talk about yet as need to get my head around it lol but hoping when ready can share properly with people. It’s just an odd time for stuff like that at the moment. Least your list are simple, more bite sized morsals 😉 Haha xx
It definitely is an odd time. But hope you manage to do all the things you’re thinking! And share when you’re ready 🙂
I’d love the time to do something new – the kids being home all the time is tough!
Ah I can imagine so! I’m in awe of anyone who manages it right now! x
There are a few online courses I’d like to do x
It’s so weird that I am now oddly comfortable just staying at home and going through the motions – I worry that I’ll struggle going back to normal life!!
These are some great tips – the online speed dating one too – with my line of work, I know this is huge right now!
Yeah I’m major worried about that too! Especially now we’re going to be at home for even longer! I’d love to read a blog post about the online dating industry at the moment from someone who works in it!
Great post!!! So many things we can be doing at home and in our yard. I have tried a lot of new recipes and have enjoyed trying something new. (My husband and son have enjoyed it as well.) We are starting a veggie garden and that should prove interesting…more vegetables than we have done in the past. It is a good time to think a bit outside of the box…new ways of doing things, and trying brand-new ideas to try out also. Uplifting post…thank you!
Oooh a veggie garden! I’ve always wanted one of those ☺️
Yes to all of these! I’m loving the course I am doing on Coursera, and I’ve been working out a lot more than I used to.
What course did you choose?
I’ve been testing out plenty of cocktail recipes during lockdown! I think it’s a great way to try and add a bit of excitement to our current situation 🙂 x
I saw your recent cocktail post! Totally agree.
Love these ideas! It’s definitely easy to go a bit crazy whilst stuck indoors so I’ve just been trying to occupy myself as much as possible. I’m trying to get a bit more creative with cooking and baking at the moment! xx
Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk
That’s a good idea! I’ve been doing that a little too bit obviously it’s hard as you can’t just pop out to the shop and pick up bits you need as often!
I enrolled in a couple of courses but I’ve been too busy to start anything yet! I really need to start expanding my reading genres a little bit more x
I want to enroll in some courses but like you I think I’m too busy to actually do them!
You raise a good point – I really haven’t done anything outside my comfort zone yet and it’s hte perfect time to do so… I’m going to have to think on that one
Hope you find some things to do!
Yes to taking an online course! Have you checked out The Science of Well-Being in Coursera? It’s free and it’s Yale’s most famous online course. So good!
Oh that sounds brilliant I’ll definitely check that out!
I have loved taking online courses, especially when they are good and do not eat a hole into the bank. I am checking out Coursera now; just a heads up; you link takes me to a Yahoo! 403 forbidden page so you might want to look into that. 🙂
Thanks for letting me know!
You bet! Some links are sneaky. 🙂
This has been a big focus of mine recently so this was lovely to read! Keep up the good work 🙂
Thank you 😌
My new hobbie is copy the flavor coffees I can not get due to lockdown. You have some great ideas and I know how important it is to have someting to do outside of your confort zone when you have anxiety. Even a small win is a huge step.
Oh absolutely – every small win is a victory!
Some fab ideas here chick. I definitely started lockdown feeling the pressure that I need to get x y & z done, I thought I had to perfect a new skill and pick up a new hobby, what I have been doing however is honing in on the skills I already have. I’ve been much more consistent with blogging and I’m much happier with the content I’m putting out there, lockdown has actually been pretty good to me, I’m 100% thinking of the positives now of such a strange and horrible situation. Hope you’re keeping well.
That’s great to hear that you’re taking the positives from this!
Thank you for sharing these are some great ways to step out of your comfort zone! Sometimes it can be hard to step out of your comfort zone but it definitely needs to happen once in a while☺️
Definitely – there’s always ways to do it too!
I’ve been reading and watching anything I can get my hands on! My current new “hobby” is an extension from my usual one of video games, but I’ve decided to go trophy and achievement hunting! xxx
Oh that’s a good one!!!
Great ideas! I went way out of my comfort zone and went the gun range with my hubby. Actually had a good time and learned a lot!
Oh wow I’ve wanted to do that for ages!
I’ve been pushing myself to work through some online courses as a way to keep myself preoccupied. Not only will the information benefit me moving forward, but doing the course is a GREAT distraction from everything that’s going on right now!
Working out is one of the few things keeping me sane! I love doing yoga and usually follow Whitney Simmons for my workouts but I think I am going to try out Holly Dolke, just for something new. Thanks for the recommendation ! Take care Jenny!
Her YouTube channel is fab for HIIT workouts! Some of them are a killer!
I’ve been easing myself to go on daily walks for around half an hour a day as there’s less people about – I’m so proud of myself as this time last year I couldn’t even leave the house alone without having a panic attack. I definitely recommend doing an online course too as you said! I’ve just completed one and it feels so good to be more educated x
That’s amazing, well done! I can totally relate too xxx
This is an excellent list! I literally just signed up for a class with Udemy. They are pretty short and inexpensive. Just to learn a new skill. Hope youre having a great week!
That’s great, hope you enjoy the course!
Great post! I’ve signed up to some online courses to keep myself busy in a subject that interests me. Figured it would be good to get some hobbies in which would get my brain working again lol. I have however been reading and was painting until I ran out of canvases! Stay safe x
Absolutely! I might have to sign up to a few myself!
I think stepping out of your comfort zone is even more important in lockdown because it will keep you motivate and keep your morale up! I think speed dating is a step too far for myself though! I’d feel way too awkward, haha! Great post though with lots of great ways!
Carly xx // http://www.prettystyleofliving.wordpress.com
Yeah I agree, keeping your morale up in these times is so important!
Great ideas, I’m also worried that I’ll struggle to go back to normal when all the restrictions are gone. Doing a course is a fab idea though, it is a good time at the moment to pick up something new although I feel like I’m always doing something at the moment between working and sorting out my house!
Same I’ve not found myself bored or not busy during this time!
I love that you guys bought a pool table to pass the time! Its so good to focus on keeping busy, relaxing and doing nothing is ok too, but occupying your time can be so beneficial on your mood and mental health can’t it?
I am trying to distract myself with lots of different crafty things!
Thanks for sharing your ideas!
It really can!
These are great ideas. It’s a terrible time, but doing courses will pay off
Ash | thisdreamsalive
These are all such good ideas, picking up a new hobbie is sure to boost confidence!
It really will!
5 banging ideas here Jenny.
I really feel the need to make some changes during this time, use the time to grow as a person. So far all that is growing is my arse and the fear of having to walk down the aisle in a dress that doesn’t fit!
If that isn’t enough of a reason to step out of my comfort zone, I don’t know what is!
Hahaha absolutely! 😂
Great ideas! I have been doing an online course and it has helped to use up a lot of my time x
Love these ideas! Weirdly I think I’ve been more social and pro-active in lockdown than before… I’ve done online kickboxing, yoga, live Q&As, and musician streams, plus I now attend drawing classes every week! I never realised how much could be done online.
Wow! That’s amazing!
I’ve got back into writing blog posts and reading other blogs, which has been lovely! I’ve also got back into a routine with cleaning which I’m very grateful for 🙂 xx
Holly | http://www.gollymissholly.uk
Yay that’s fab!
I am currently in the middle of writing a story, this is way out of my comfort zone and it will probably be terrible but I am excited to write it.
At least you’re having fun with it!
These are great ideas! I’ve been doing some online courses but to push myself I am trying to run 5k without stopping (I have a mental block that makes me stop when I get bored!). Thank you for sharing this post 😊
Oh wow you’re doing better than me, I get bored SO easy running!
This is really good. I’m looking at free courses. Coursera looks great. Thanks for this 😊😊
You’re welcome – hope you find some good courses!
I’m trying but finding that my focus and energy levels are making things much harder than I was anticipating. I’ve finally had a break through with my knitting though and did have a course bookmarked but think I might have shut down the tab – probably should see if I can find it again. I’m having trouble finding the motivation which is starting to really bug me though. Love the suggestions here!
Don’t beat yourself up about it! We’re in a pandemic! I think just doing what you can is enough 😌
Great post again! I personally am trying to take my blog to another level and I posted a picture of myself on Twitter for the first time. All pretty scary but it feels so good as well!