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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.
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!