If you’ve been self-isolating for a while, then you’ve probably binged on Netflix or found yourself cleaning out of boredom. While there’s nothing wrong with taking time to relax, it’s important to keep your brain and body sharp. When you research things to do to keep your body and brain in tip-top shape, you might come across pricey activities. However, there are plenty of ways to stay mentally and physically fit on a budget. With this in mind, here are some of the best frugal home activities you can try today.
If you have access to the internet, then you have almost all the world’s knowledge at your fingertips. Many colleges are offering free courses if you prefer to learn in an academic style. If you are trying to learn how to do something new, you could also simply log in to YouTube to find topics that interest you.
Additionally, you can use YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music to listen to podcasts on topics from politics to psychology and more. All these activities will allow you to keep learning and might even help you develop a new skill in the process.
Try Something New
Speaking of learning, you could use your time at home to pick up a new skill. Depending on your interests and what you already have around the house, you could pick up several new hobbies. For example, if you love to cook, you can check out simple budget-friendly recipes from around the world. If you’re creative, you could learn to play an instrument or take up gardening. See what you have around the house before purchasing anything new – you never know what you’ll find.
Take Short Naps
Many studies have shown that getting enough sleep helps your body to recover faster, age more slowly, and retain more information. Napping is also good for your brain. Since you’re at home and have more time than when you were commuting, try to take a power nap for 15-20 minutes each day. Just be sure to keep your naps short so that you don’t throw off your circadian rhythms for quality nighttime sleep.
Did you know that reflection helps to keep your brain sharp? Writing involves using your brain as well as a physical action, so writing helps to keep both your body and brain firing on all cylinders. Be sure to take the time to write with a pen and paper for 15 minutes per day. This will trigger enhanced mental function.
You can upgrade your journaling by giving yourself challenges. For example, you might want to write down the names of everyone you met that day to test your memory. You could also do gratitude journaling by setting a timer for 15 minutes and writing down everything you are grateful for. These challenges will help to stretch your brain even further.
Did you know that your brain is almost 85% water? While you probably already knew that hydration had dire side effects for your body, your brain is also very sensitive to your water intake. Therefore, you should get in the habit of drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water per day. If you eat a lot of salt, work out often, or take diuretics, you should drink more. You can also eat more foods with high water content such as citrus fruits or vegetable juice to keep your water intake up.
Change Your Routine
Humans are creatures of habit. However, it’s important to give yourself small challenges to keep your brain sharp. For example, if you always start your day the same way, you might want to do some of your daily activities in a different order. You could even do something as small as brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand. These small changes will help your brain to produce new connections. You might then feel more alert and focused throughout the day.
Even if you’re at home, you should try to raise your heart rate. Getting aerobic exercise not only helps keep your heart and body healthy but releases endorphins. Endorphins are a natural chemical that your body releases when doing aerobic exercise. They help improve your critical thinking skills and keep your brain sharp.
Stress can hurt both your body and your mind. While some stress can be a good motivator, it can also flood the brain with harmful chemicals. This impedes your brain’s ability to remember things both short and long-term. You can practice yoga, go for a walk, or simply take a break from social media to de-stress and practice self-care.
When you eat healthy foods, your body and brain both win. You should strive to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables that vary in color. These color variances help to ensure that you are getting a wide range of vitamins and minerals found in your food. You can also have a phone call with your doctor or a nutritionist to discuss what foods are best for you to eat depending on your lifestyle.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
Repetition is a powerful tool to help you remember things. When you want to remember a fact that you just learned or someone’s name, repeat it out loud. This will help you to remember what you need to know. For example, if you meet someone that tells you their name is Pat, you might want to use their name right away like this: “So, Pat, why did you decide to come to Florida?”
You should also repeat the other healthy habits discussed above. This will help you to create habits that are beneficial to you. As they say, “practice makes perfect.”
The Bottom Line
Some small changes in your daily routine can be helpful for both your body and your mind. And, as you can see taking care of both doesn’t have to be costly. Trying the best frugal home activities above will help you to stay limber, both physically and mentally.