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Are you currently still in your PJs, scrolling through social media, and binge-watching the latest news updates on Covid-19 and Netflix? It’s okay! We all need time to process how our world has turned upside-down in the last two weeks. Mourn, cry, be angry, eat the carbs and stalk your ex on Facebook. But after you’ve fully gotten it out of your system, pick yourself up off the couch and do something that will distract you from all the doom and gloom, and make you happy.

Here are just 10 ways to keep yourself entertained and protect your mental health at home from Valley Mom blogger Kristyl Clark!

1. Chase those Endorphins
For the past few months, I’ve been working on my beach body for our upcoming second honeymoon to Costa Rica. The trip is obviously canceled, but I don’t want all that hard work to go to the wayside. I also need exercise for my mental health. Thankfully, I’ve discovered live streaming workouts through the Zoom app. My gym (Inspire Fitness) has been offering its members barre, Zumba, boxing, yoga, etc., which I’ve been able to do from the comfort of my living room. I’ve done barre with a barstool and two cans of kidney beans for hand-weights, but it gets the job done. I mean it’s not ideal (I have a dog trying to hump my leg during downward dog). Still, it has given me some structure in my day and will keep me from losing my mind. Not a member of a gym that’s offering workouts via Zoom? That’s okay! Search through Youtube for a variety of free classes, sign-up for free two-week trial with Beach Body on Demand, or dig up those dusty old workout DVDs from the garage.

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2. Be a Joiner
I’ve always wanted to join a book club, but my excuse was that there was never enough time. Now there is all the time in the world, so there are no excuses. A coworker recently invited me to a book club online, and the six members voted on which novel to tackle first. While they are titles I wouldn’t have typically chosen, I’m excited to get out of my comfort zone and have something else to talk about other than this virus. Heck, I’ve even signed myself up for a painting class through Zealous Art – a Langley-based studio that offers painting parties. Owner, Freda Lombard will be streaming weekly free Family Paint Night at Home classes. Check out her Facebook page for details.

3. Stay Connected with Friends and Family
Don’t just text, Facetime, set up a girls night in (though a video app, of course). Have a game’s night of charades or Pictionary with another couple or two. Also, make sure to check in on loved ones, especially those who live alone. It will get you out of your head and make you feel good to focus on someone else.

4. Take a Break
If you’re out of work, it may seem like you aren’t doing much right now. However, if you’re anything like me, your brain and nerves are on a hamster wheel right now, causing constant fatigue. Carve out time throughout the day to have a break. I get that it’s not always possible with parents of young children. Last night I slept in a queen-sized bed with two squirrely kids and two dogs – one on my head. Every time I go to the bathroom, a dog or kid seems to need something from me. Tonight, I have a spa evening all planned out, complete with candles, a long bubble bath, mani, and pedicure. No kids or canines allowed.

5. Resist the Temptation to Plan
Don’t do it. You will go batty, and your efforts will prove pointless. We are living in a weird time where the rules change from hour to hour. One minute it’s okay to go to the playground, the next, we aren’t sure if we’re allowed to go for a walk. Now’s finally the time to embrace slowing down and living in the moment. Let go of tomorrow and what you can’t control.

6. Have a Movie Night-In.
Did you know Universal has released all films that are currently in theatre onto the small screen? That means you can rent movies like Emma, The Hunt, or The Invisible Man straight off Shaw On Demand. Tonight, make a big bowl of buttery popcorn, turn off all the lights, and set your living room up like a cinema. Our family has had themed movie nights the past week, and it has been all about the late 90s early 2000’s with classics like 10 Things I hate About You, Step it Up, and Never Been Kissed.

7. Recovery Meetings
Are you suffering from addiction? Please stay connected and continue to work on your recovery. From eating disorders and gambling to drugs and alcohol, there are free Zoom recovery meetings across the board to be found all over the world.

8. Experiment Just for Fun
Have you always wanted to try contouring? Go on Youtube, grab your supplies and give it a go. Always wanted to go vegan? With the shortage on meat and eggs, now’s the perfect time to dust off that copy of ‘Oh She Glows’ and make some new healthy dishes. Want to cut your bangs? Grab a pair of sisters and… WAIT. Put those down. Bad idea. Instead, heat up some milk on the stove, brew a pot of coffee and make yourself a comforting cappuccino.

9. Express Yourself
Remember that blog you always wanted to start? How about that novel that’s been in your head for years? Set aside an hour each day to write. It doesn’t have to be about anything in particular. Jot down any thoughts swirling around in your head. Trust me, writing is cheap, effective therapy.

10. Focus on Gratitude
Let’s face it; the world seems like a dark, scary place right now. The death toll continues to rise, neighbors are turning against each other, and there’s the fear of uncertainty hanging overhead like an angry thundercloud. Having a husband who works in a grocery store, I’m terrified he could bring the virus home. Instead of that focusing on what I can’t control, I force myself to sit down each day and write out five things I’m grateful for. It’s amazing how so simple, yet so mighty being thankful can change your life profoundly.
Whatever you decide to do to pass the time is up to you. Remember, this too shall pass and soon we’ll all be elbow-to-elbow on the beaches, in the parks and amusement parks. In the meantime, stay sane and connected to loved ones, from a safe social distance.

Listen to the full interview with Pulse FM’s Vanessa Ybarra here!