With the arrival of COVID-19, life for many has come to a standstill. Here’s how spending more time at home has its benefits, despite its challenges.
In a three-part series, we’re highlighting some of the positive changes that have come about as a result of necessity. Here, we’ll explore how many people are adapting to spending more time at home and how it positively impacts different aspects of life.
By: Shahida Fareed, PsyD, clinical psychologist at Geisinger
If you’re like most people, you probably want to fast-forward through the rest of 2020. All jokes aside, the emergence of the novel coronavirus has changed the world as we know it. One of the biggest changes (and challenges)? Spending more time at home.
While being homebound has its challenges, there’s almost always a silver lining — and acknowledging the positives of the situation can go a long way in helping us cope with and overcome these difficult times.
Here are 6 benefits of spending more time at home:
1. Working from home.
With shutdowns and calls for people to shelter in place, many companies and organizations switched to a 100% remote workforce. And upon realizing that employees could be focused and productive when not in the office (some even more so), many are making the temporary switch permanent.
With employees able to work from home, less time is spent on commutes, more time is available for personal needs and schedules become more flexible, allowing many to achieve a better work-life balance.
2. Spending more quality time with loved ones.
Before the COVID-19 crisis, many people were busy with packed-to-the-brim schedules, juggling work, family, activities for children and more. And since most of our lives were structured around work schedules, it was difficult to slow down and spend quality time with those who matter most.
With schools and many businesses closing their doors or going online, families are finally able to slow down and connect. Whether it be by cooking together, family game nights or even just spending time more time with children, having this extra time to genuinely connect is invaluable and crucial for mental health.
3. Finding creative ways to stay connected.
With social (physical) distancing measures in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19, many are refraining from spending time with friends and family members outside of their home. This puts a damper on in-person hangouts and celebrations of milestones, including birthday parties, graduations and weddings.
To stay connected, and to ease feelings of isolation, people are getting creative. For many, this means staying connected using technology — virtual face-to-face chats, parties, video game nights, dinner parties and more. Some are even turning to drive-by celebrations to keep the human connection alive, even when physical connection is limited.
4. Spending more time in the kitchen.
With suggestions to keep grocery store trips to a minimum, people are being more thoughtful about the foods they stock their pantries with. However, more flexible schedules are allowing for the opportunity to try new recipes and experiment in the kitchen (sourdough bread, anyone?).
Many are even turning to cooking and baking to pass the time, stay calm and ease anxiety. Not only is the act of cooking meditative, it can also lead to improvements in your diet, which is key for boosting immunity, staying healthy and enhancing the mind-body connection.
5. Prioritizing physical and mental health.
Concerns over health, finances, job security and limited supplies of household essentials and food have brought on a lot of stress and anxiety for many. But this extended time at home is allowing many to combat that stress by prioritizing physical and mental health.
With local gyms and fitness apps offering free, easy-to-access fitness classes that can be done at home and health organizations making mental health resources readily available, and through telemedicine video visits, it’s easier to make self-care a priority.
6. Saving money.
Spending more time at home is allowing many to save money. During lockdowns, and even now, people are spending less money on gas, childcare and activities, like eating out at restaurants, traveling or going to concerts. And due to the uncertainty of the situation, many are looking at their budgets and reconsidering their spending habits.
Not matter the situation, the current pandemic has shown many people the importance of budgeting and spending money more wisely, which can help ease anxiety brought on by uncertainty.
Extra mental health support is here
It’s not always easy to find or see the positives in certain situations, especially during stressful events. If you’re struggling right now, check out our mental health resources. We’re also offering telepsychiatry appointments, so you can get the support you need from the comfort of home.