As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, some of us have returned back to “normal life.” However, many others are finding themselves at home most of the day whether they like it or not. So what can we all do for self-improvement during quarantine? While depression is an easy road to slip down, it can only happen if we allow it. The alternative is to use this time and space to look deep within ourselves and discover what we could be doing to improve ourselves.
Here are a few tips for self-improvement while staying at home during these unprecedented times. I hope these ideas will help you and enhance your quality of life.
Tip 1. Continue your education and build new skills.
One of my first tips for self-improvement during quarantine is to consider ways to further your education and skills.
Are there classes online that can enhance what you already know? For instance, could you use this time to take a new course at your local community college or an online university? Or is there a new skill you can learn through online education that can help you get an even better job position? Also, you might just be interested to learn a new subject or a different language or some kind of skill that you’ve always wanted to learn but never had the time until now.
Here are a few helpful resources for free online courses:
You can also contact your local community college or university and find out what courses they offer online. Many colleges offer assistance options with financial aid, grants, and student loan repayment plans.
In addition, consider picking up a new hobby or honing a talent to fill your time at home. For example, you could learn how to play an instrument, become a better home cook, learn a new language, try out new home projects, or pick up a new skill in arts and crafts. Many resources, courses, videos, and even smartphone apps are available to you online or on your phone for free or a small monthly fee.
Tip 2. Work on your mental and emotional health.
If you’re living with a spinal cord injury, you might also be dealing with more feelings of loneliness, isolation, depression, or health anxiety. If so, you might think about joining an online support group so you can find other peers who are going through similar circumstances.
Connecting to a therapist or licensed counselor who offers virtual therapy through Zoom or FaceTime may also be a good idea because it’s a way to connect with another person while also taking time to improve your mental and emotional health.
Additionally, you might think about joining a mindfulness or meditation class online. YouTube offers a wide variety of classes and exercise ideas, including adaptive yoga.
Tip 3. Develop a home exercise routine.
Not every person with a spinal cord injury strives to be an athlete. Some of us are parents, or we might be working from home full-time or part-time through the pandemic. For many of us, we may feel spread thin with all our responsibilities, leaving limited time for self-improvement during the quarantine. However, we should still prioritize our physical health since we are home more than usual.
I know firsthand that it can be very easy to become complacent about regular exercise. Unfortunately, this can affect our quality of life. I recently wrote a blog post for 180 Medical about the importance of exercise routines after a spinal cord injury, which delves into all the reasons why a regular fitness program is necessary to maintain our health.
Again, I’ll mention YouTube as it offers a wealth of free resources, including adaptive exercise routines. I bet you can find an exercise routine that works for you, whether it’s lifting weights, wheelchair aerobics, or wheelchair yoga.
You might be pleasantly surprised about your options for exercising without spending money. Find some time in your day to spend at least 15 minutes a day working out. If you’re home with your children, make it a part of their daily routine too. Kids thrive best with a regular routine, so it’s a win-win for your whole family!
Tip 4. Shake things up with a makeover.
Right now, we all need a pick-me-up, don’t we? One of the worst things you can do is to start neglecting your self-care routines. If we’re staying home all the time, it can be tempting to skip showers more often, sit around in your old sweats, and barely run a toothbrush across your teeth. Plus, I know many of us living with a disability already struggle with depression and even identity crises. However, it all begins with you. That’s why one of my tips for self-improvement during quarantine is doing something to feel good about yourself like a makeover!
Every morning, whether you’re leaving the house or not, find some way to make yourself feel good by grooming and getting dressed for the day. If you prefer wearing comfy “hang-out” clothes, then go for something that feels good but makes you feel better about yourself too. Put on some makeup, style your hair, or even try out a new hair color! Why not?
You can check out YouTube or Pinterest for ideas for upgrading your look with new makeup, hairstyles, and even fashion ideas. Above all, just have with it. The more you prep yourself each day, the more you give yourself a little pep too. It really can make a huge difference in your attitude.
Tip 5. Connect with spinal cord injury resources.
After sustaining a spinal cord injury, it might feel like you’re inundated by all the new information you learn during and after rehabilitation therapy. Many of us may return home to find they need to get back to work and family obligations. Maybe you just didn’t have the time to check out all the spinal cord injury resources that are available to you.
Check out the Social Security Administration’s Online Services to find out what benefits you may be eligible for or to apply for disability benefits or Medicare benefits. Also, consider contacting your local Vocational Rehabilitation office. Make an appointment with one of their counselors to find out which of their programs you may be eligible for. This might include accommodations for returning back to work, going to school, or even assistance with obtaining adaptive equipment. Lastly, check out local resources, such as your community YMCA, a community center, or even a local spinal cord injury support group.
Whatever you choose to do for self-improvement during quarantine, try to utilize this time wisely. Refuse to just sit still. Take a brand new stand for yourself, your beliefs, your mindset, and your education. No matter what, as long as you are breathing, you have a purpose. A hidden talent may just be itching to be revealed.