7 fun things to do to lift your spirits if you live at home alone

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Needless to say, the world has changed quite a bit in the last couple months. Less social interactions, less physical touch and less outdoor life has been a hard pill to swallow. But while this life of social distancing has become commonplace, it can also take a toll on you.

The truth is, humans are not designed to be alone, and the lack of contact with others for long periods of time can lead to a decline in mental health, according to professor Ian Hickie at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre.

“Humans are social animals,” Hickie told CNBC Make It. “Prolonged quarantine or social isolation (without compensatory methods in place) will exacerbate anxiety, depression and a sense of helplessness.”

Moreover, a 2004 study that examined 129 people quarantined in Toronto Canada found that 28.9 percent of participants showed signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and 31.2 percent experienced signs of depression. Additionally, The Lancet published a recent review of past studies on quarantine and found that many “reported negative psychological effects including post-traumatic stress symptoms, confusion, and anger.”

For those that live alone during this time, the social isolation can be overwhelming. So, we’ve rounded up some possible ways to keep entertained if you’re surviving quarantine by yourself.

1. Grow your own herbs

Credit: Target

Shop: 4 Organic Herb Garden Grow Kit – Buzzy Seeds, $20.99

One way to boost your mood is by adding a bit of green to your home. According to a survey reported by Metro, 42 percent of people said “being around plants helped improved their mental health.” And this tiny herb garden might be the perfect way to keep you from feeling blue. It comes with four pots, four seeds and one tray to make oregano, rosemary, basil and cilantro.

2. Decorate cookies!

Credit: Etsy

Shop: At Home Sugar Cookie Kit, $20.00

Feed your artistic side — and your stomach — with this cute sugar cookie decorating kit. No baking is required, just icing fun! The kit includes sprinkles, one dozen sugar cookies and three bags of icing for you to decorate as you please.

3. Try water painting

Credit: Etsy

Shop: Watercolor Kit for Beginners, $40.00

Although adult puzzles are so in right now, you can also challenge your mind and show off your creativity through water painting. According to a post by Harvard Health, studies have shown that expressing yourself through art can be helpful for “people with depression, anxiety, or cancer.”

4. Build your own wall decor

Credit: Etsy

Shop: Mason Jar Sconce DIY Kit, $35.00

If you’re struggling to find something productive to do, use your brain power to create your own home decorations. This kit from Etsy comes with everything you need to make a wall sconce, including three mason jars, three pieces of stained wood and one jar of cream colored paint.

5. Read, Read, Read

Credit: Book of the Month

Shop: Book of the Month, $14.99

While you may not be able to visit your local bookstore, you can still get some of the latest and popular books, courtesy of Book Of The Month. This subscription service curates a selection of the best reads and you get to choose the ones worth a place on your mantle.

6. Take a calming bath

Credit: Dermstore

Shop: Herbivore Botanicals Calm Bath Salts, $18.00

If you have access to a bath tub, give yourself a spa-like treatment with these bath salts from Herbivore. Made with Himalayan pink sea salts, ylang ylang and vanilla oil, these vegan bath salts are made to exfoliate your skin while calming your senses.

7. Work your way through a popular cookbook

Credit: Target

Shop: Cherry Bombe by Kerry Diamond & Claudia Wu, $23.99

With a regular 9-to-5, it might be hard to commit to cooking every night. But with the free time and WFH lifestyle, now’s the time to explore recipes you haven’t tried before. The Cherry Bombe cookbook features a collection recipes from over 100 creative women in the food industry to help bring out the chef in you.

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