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5 Anxiety-Reducing, Creativity-Boosting Rituals

Chanoa Tarle

Contributor

Watching the news and scrolling on social media can help you stay up to date and feel connected, but the sea of COVID-19 reports can have a significant impact on your psyche. Limit news consumption sessions and social media to one hour or less per day, choosing to reserve this precious time at home for you and your loved ones instead. Whether you’re quarantined alone or quarantined as a family, here are five activities to help you connect to your inner self, boost creativity and greatly reduce anxiety. 

Qi Gong

A form of moving meditation, qi gong incorporates body postures and breathing resulting in greater mental clarity, less stress, an improved mood and an increase in energy. Pronounced “chee-gong”, qi gong is the merging of health and wellness, spiritual pursuits and martial arts.

Qi is the ancient Chinese concept of our vital energy and spirit and gong refers to the mastery or cultivation of said energy. Qi gong is easy to practice, it’s suitable for people in a diverse range of age groups and its benefits may be felt after a session as brief as seven minutes. Holden QiGong is a great online resource.

Yin Yoga 

Yin yoga is a lesser-known form of yoga that is highly-beneficial with the proper practice. It’s a slow practice marked by slow movements in which you hold each pose for up to two minutes as a beginner or for much longer if you’re advanced.

It safely stresses the connective tissue to strengthen it and improves circulation, reduces stress and releases tension in the body and mind. Yin yoga is also a great practice for improving flexibility; in many poses, you can feel yourself slowly going further into each stretch as the time and patience and mental relaxation allows you to go deeper into the movement while letting go or opening up.

It’s also a beautiful, calm and quiet practice perfect for tuning everything out and making you and your inner wellbeing your primary focus- if even only for its duration. Yoga With Adriene offers an informative starter video and Boho Beautiful has several captivating yin yoga practices.

Steam Shower 

Many people rely on bathtime and their showers to witness some of their most creative ideas emerge and the same phenomenon tends to occur while having a steam. Spas may be closed right now, but taking a steam shower at home can alter your mood and relax your body for hours.

If you don’t already have one, you can purchase a kit online to upgrade an existing shower in your home with steam shower capability. Close your eyes, forget about the world and relax. Do so stretches, meditate and do some deep breathing exercises.

Once you feel like you’ve had enough, start blasting the cold water to get the invigorating benefits of a cold shower without the major discomfort (thanks to your elevated body temperature). 

Colouring for Adults 

Adult colouring books can be a lot of fun. Print pages at home or better yet, order a few colouring books online. Featuring themes as diverse as mandalas, seascapes and tongue-in-cheek, adult language graffiti, you’ll be sure to find many that suit your tastes. Use crayons or coloured pencils to pass the time with this fun activity and enjoy the challenge of the intricate patterns and smaller spaces that confirm they’re not designed for the talents of the average child.

Use it as an exercise to let go of the pressures of perfection or play some music and let the worries of the world melt away. Using colouring books is often described as an active form of meditation since it helps you relieve stress, clear your mind and boost your creativity. If you’re a parent, make it a family activity; invite your children to colour their books at the same time.

Journaling

Finally, journaling aids in lightening your mental load. The idea is to take the concerns or ideas circulating in your mind to put them down on paper. It can also be beneficial to create a daily list of everything you’re grateful for- particularly apropos in these challenging times. Journaling works wonders for mental health. In fact, according to a 2001 study by the American Psychological Association, writing expressively indicated a reduction in intrusive and unwanted thoughts concerning negative events while improving working memory. Still, your journal need not be self-reflective to bring you results.

Feel free to document how you spend your days at home during this historic time. You’ll still be able to enjoy much of the benefits of journaling without needing to be introspective, including improving your writing and communication skills, improving your memory and ability to be mindful and stimulating your creativity. 

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