The pandemic has not only affected our physical health but has also taken a toll on our mental health. Because of various lockdowns and quarantine restrictions, plus the threat of new COVID-19 variants, we have been staying at home for more than a year.
And while we have been keeping ourselves and our families safe, the repetitive actions we do every single day will make our mental and spiritual health deteriorate– not to mention the amount of information we consume on the Internet. So if you’re tired of doing the same things and want to take a break from your online feeds, unplug and try these device-free activities that will keep you entertained throughout the week!
Device-free Activity: Read an actual book
Remember how we used to hoard books like there’s no tomorrow but end up not reading any of them because of long hours of work and commuting? And then upon coming home, you resorted to watching or listening to Youtube or watching Netflix because you’re too tired to read?
Here’s your chance! Lifehack.org shows that reading prevents cognitive decline as we age, reduces stress, helps stimulate the brain, improves our memory, focus, and concentration, and much more especially if we do it daily. (Read: 3 Books to Feed Your Curiosity About Catholic Saints)
My Pope tip: To jumpstart your reading, try one to two pages a day. As you progress, you can read one or two chapter/s every night. To stay away from the blue light of screens, it’s better to grab an actual and real book– the one with a spine and actual pages! While it’s lighter and more accessible to read a book, there is no harm in going back to the basics and reading an actual one sans the screens.
Device-free Activity: Walking
While many of us are blessed to be working from home and not commute while a pandemic is going on, this might also mean that we no longer walk like we used to. Gone are the days when we would rush– sometimes actual running is involved– to catch the bus, train, or UV Express or to clock in on time. So to prevent being sedentary, try walking or running for 15-30 minutes everyday before you start work.
Betterhealth.vic.au listed some benefits of walking to include increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness, stronger bones and improved balance, reduced body fat, and improved management of conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and joint and muscular pain or stiffness. (Read: 3 Quick Fixes For Everyday Aches and Body Pains)
My Pope tip: Start your day with walking. Morning exercises give our body a healthy kind of fatigue and stress. Besides, it usually rains in the afternoon or at night so to avoid excuses, do it in the morning. Some areas and cities have prohibited outdoor exercises due to community quarantine guidelines, but check if your area allow for a limited time in the morning for exercise.
Device-free Activity: Stretch your vocal chords
Or if singing is not for you, practice a long-forgotten hobby! If you choose to sing, healthline.com has outlined some benefits of singing: relieves stress, stimulates the immune response, increases pain threshold, improves lung function, enhances memory in people with dementia, helps with grief among many others. Just make sure that you hit the karaoke machine before curfew and consider your neighbors when you belt out a Whitney Houston! (Read: Music School That Gives Free Voice Lessons To Underprivileged Kids Closes Down Due To The Pandemic)
My Pope tip: Record your song and upload it on YouTube or Facebook once your social media break is over. Have a contest with the family and make it a family bonding every weekend– make it more fun by dressing appropriately as if you’re on an actual singing contest: think Tawag ng Tanghalan levels! But remember to be mindful of your surroundings, housemates who may be disturbed, and your pitch (just kidding!)
Text by Mylene Orillo and Yen Cantiga