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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!

80 Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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!
    Rosie

    1. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    Sophie

  9. 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

  10. 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. 🙂

  11. 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.

  12. 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.
    Claire.x
    http://www.clairemac.co.uk

  13. 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☺️

  14. 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

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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!

    Chloe xx
    http://www.chloechats.com

  20. 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!

    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

  21. These are great ideas. It’s a terrible time, but doing courses will pay off

    Ash | thisdreamsalive

  22. 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!

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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 😊

  26. 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!

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