Categories: Activities

20 Self-Care Ideas in the Time of Coronavirus

Staying healthy (and let’s be honest, trying to reduce anxiety) during this time where we’re self-quarantining and staying at home means making sure we devote time to self-care so that we can lessen the feeling of isolation. If the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we are all interconnected and we are all in this together! We care about our community members, and want to provide support and help.

With that in mind, we’ve talked to wellness experts and our team to gather the following self-care tips to share with you.

To avoid spending too much time scrolling through news headlines on my phone, I’ve recommitted to my #selfcare morning routine. What’s yours? Mine is: wake up, and then before looking at news or email start the day with a meditation. After that, I write in my journal five things I am grateful for, then I head outside to take my dogs for their morning walk. Finally, I come inside and prepare coffee and breakfast. After eating breakfast, I check email and Slack, and intentionally begin my work day (or my weekend day). This helps you to start the day, grounded and centered from the beginning.

What are some activities to stay healthy and happy during all this time at home?

Being told to stay at home and “shelter in place” (as we have been officially told is necessary to do in San Francisco, California, and many other states in the U.S., and many countries worldwide) can feel challenging for those of us who enjoy seeking adventure and interacting with the world and their communities. However, social distancing does not have to mean being socially cut off. As an example, I have been doing FaceTime coffee dates and Zoom Happy Hours with friends and family, and they are a fun way to stay connected during a time when we are avoiding in person gatherings.  

Whether it’s preparing a yummy nutrient-rich meal, baking cookies, or diffusing essential oils or burning scented candles to make your house feel cozy and nice, there are plenty of ways to make time in your home more enjoyable to spend time in. In order to give you lots of ideas and options, I’ve asked the Hipcamp team to also share their ideas with us.

1. Keep a gratitude journal

Find a notebook and a pen that feels good in your hand. Write 5 things you are grateful for when you wake up each morning. For bonus points, write 5 things you are grateful for before going to bed each night. Making note of the people, things and experiences we are grateful for helps us all to cultivate increased appreciation and happiness.

2. Read books about the outdoors, (and consider starting a virtual book club to discuss them with friends)

The Hipcamp team created this list of Our Favorite Outdoor Books to share some of our faves with you. I am also reading memoirs and novels written by women, such as Anna Wiener’s memoir “Uncanny Valley” (about life working in the Bay Area’s tech startups), Jen Gotch’s memoir “The Upside of Being Down: How Mental Health Struggles Led to My Greatest Successes in Work and Life,” and Leigh Stein’s excellent and timely forthcoming June 2020 novel “Self Care” about a woman working in a female-founded wellness startup company.

3. Watch films about the outdoors

The Hipcamp team has your back again! We created this list of Our Favorite Outdoor Films (That You Can Watch Online).

4. Start a meditation practice

Try a meditation app or stream some free meditations online. Insight Timer, Calm, Headspace, Simple Habit, and Stop, Breathe & Think are some of my favorite meditation apps. Here’s a free 10-minute guided meditation outdoors in Yosemite Valley, led by Headspace co-founder Andy Puddicombe.

5. Try this exercise to get grounded in the present

Try this 5,4,3,2,1 exercise to ground yourself in the present moment (as shared by Elizabeth Gilbert on Instagram). Look at your current surroundings: Name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can feel, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. This helps you to be in the present moment.

6. Listen to live streams of public radio and your friends’ Spotify playlists

I’ve been listening to Los Angeles-based KCRW’s live stream for hours each day to hear their hosts’ and DJs’ soothing and familiar voices during the daily “Morning Becomes Eclectic” music lineup (the long-running radio show that introduced Beck, Massive Attack, Adele, and many more great artists to terrestrial radio airplay in the U.S.) and the station’s exclusive in-depth exclusive news shows such as “Press Play” and daily news from NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.” My friends have also been creating and sharing more Spotify playlists, and even live DJ sets, which we are all listening to as a way to stay connected.

7. Watch animal videos and remember the world is beautiful and weird

I keep watching (and re-watching!) the video of this chatty otter who nods off to sleep when his human combs his fur and the videos of the penguins walking around in Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium looking at all the fishtanks while there are no human guests due to the coronavirus. Finally, check out this classic oldie from 2011 “Bath Time for Baby Sloths” as well as  @weratedogs on Instagram. You’re welcome!

8. Go for a walk, hike, or run outdoors

If you can avoid crowded areas and keep six feet of space between you and other people, you are still allowed get outside and go for long walks, hikes, or runs. I’m enjoying exploring my neighborhood in SF and taking photos of street art and plants. You can give yourself a goal, such as “Take 3 short walks each day,” or use a Fitbit or Apple Watch to track your steps and aim for 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000 per day. Or track your walks, runs, and hikes on Strava. If you’re on Strava, follow me on there and join The Hipcampers team run club.

9. If you can’t get outdoors, watch a real-time nature webcam

I’m checking out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s underwater kelp forest cam and Antelope Valley’s California Poppy Reserve’s live cam of this year’s wildflower bloom and watching the waves crash on the Malibu Beach and searching for whales out in the ocean.

10. Try new recipes to prepare some yummy and healthy food

There are tons of recipes online, and to get you started, explore Hipcamp’s camping recipes, and if you want to have some fun baking, check out our DIY Gingerbread van.

11. Put on upbeat music and have a dance party, either alone or with your housemates

Inspired by Jen Gotch, we put on EDM and pop hits, and dance around our house. I’m personally loving Moby’s new single “Power Is Taken.”

12. Do yoga or other online workouts at home

There are so many great online yoga programs. From Yoga With Adrienne to LIVESTRONG’s Stronger workouts to Beachbody’s Barre Blend at-home barre/pilates fusion program, YouTube and Vimeo have something for everyone’s workout style and current mood. 

13. Draw, doodle, or try an adult or kids’ coloring book

Coloring books can help you relax and find your zen. Or take a fun, free art class online! Children’s book illustrator Mo Willems is offering free daily live doodling classes streaming online at 10a.m. PT/1p.m. ET from March 16-27, thanks to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

14. Enjoy time with your animals

My Boston Terrier named Maggie is turning 14 years old this year and though she’s living her best life, she’s suffering from hip pain and losing her vision and hearing. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to have more time to sit with her on the couch while working from home and also the time to take her for slow walks around the block.

15. Sing!

Inspired by this video of people in Italy singing together from their balconies while isolated in their homes, why not sing (alone or with friends).

16. Watch TED Talks and discover new ideas

If you’re going to be stuck inside, why not seize the opportunity to fill your brain with all kinds of important ideas. TED Talk topics span the whole gamut, so find a topic you’re interested in and dive deep!


17. Download a language app and practice learning a language

I’m a fan of the Pimsleur app. I’ve used it to learn and practice Italian, Castilian Spanish, and Croatian while listening to headphones during walks around my neighborhood. Duolingo is another great option.

18. Take a bath with epsom salts and candles

De-stress, both mentally and physically. Often, for us, a bath accomplishes both! Be extra about it, because you can! You’ve got the time.

19.  Tend to your (indoor) plants and/or (outdoor) garden

Has your fiddle fig been needing a good dusting? Monstera is looking a bit wonky, and needs a trim? Give your plants a little extra love, they deserve it.

20. Use an essential oils diffuser or light candles to create a positive mood

Create a sanctuary in your own home with some nice aromatherapy. We find woodsy and earthy scents to be especially mood-boosting and grounding. Grove by Vitruvi is a favorite of ours — smells like the forest after rain!

What are YOU doing to have fun, stay sane, and practice self-care at home during the Coronavirus?

We are all in this together, and we care about you! Let us know how you are getting through the Coronavirus and what some of the self-care rituals and fun ideas are that you are practicing. Tweet us @hipcamp and @jessbeegood, and share your updates. If you found these ideas helpful, share this article with a friend.

Jess is Hipcamp's Head of Content and Storytelling.

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