Quarantine and self-isolation don’t just wreak havoc with our work and social lives — not to mention our toilet paper supply — but it can also give your self-confidence a hefty kick in the pants. Indeed, it can be difficult to feel confident and happy without that all-important network of family and friends.
So, while we all wait for the world to settle down, here are a few quick and easy things you can do to give your self-confidence a cheeky boost right when you need it most.
1. Pick Up a New Skill
It’s always satisfying to learn something new, but researchers are now discovering that learning is good for you, especially in times of heightened stress. One useful concept you might want to draw from is the Zen-sounding idea of “flow,” a therapeutic, meditative state of mind that happens naturally while you learn.
As your brain learns and processes new information, background worries fade away, you gain a slow-burning sense of satisfaction, and, most importantly, you experience a welcome sense of control. Sure, control over juggling coconuts or conversational Spanish won’t solve every challenge in life, but the process reinforces to your subconscious mind that you’ve got this! And, with a little bit of luck, self-confidence will grow out of that realization.
So, now to the six-kazillion dollar question. What do you want to learn? Popular online learning platforms like Coursera, Pluralsight and Udemy, just to name a few, offer a wealth of brain-enriching goodness: Beginner Ukulele, anyone? Moreover, you could indulge your inner maker-nerd and head on over to the 5-Minute Crafts YouTube Channel, where you can learn everything from how to fashion your own kitchen utensils to the joys of advanced phone-case “blingery.”
2. Indulge in Some of Life’s Little Luxuries
Fact (Dwight Schrute voice): There’s no better time than now to treat yourself to a few of life’s luxuries. Quarantining can be monotonous, but bringing something new and self-indulgent into your life can be a great way to feel good in your own skin.
Ordering in a favorite comfort meal is a no-brainer, because … well … who doesn’t like good food? But you can get a bit more adventurous than that! How about an enormous box of luxurious chocolates for a taste of hedonistic excess? Or, you could go all out and find that perfect, new frilly piece of lingerie. Indeed, it’s a way to keep the romantic sparks alive and the ideal antidote for too many weeks of wearing those comfy around-the-house clothes.
3. Grab Some Exercise
You’re probably already broadly aware that burning a few hundred extra calories each day is good for you physically. Regular exercise makes it easier to lose weight and tones up those muscles long slackened by hours of binging an endless stream of Netflix true-crime documentaries.
But research on self-esteem also reveals that physical activity is excellent for us emotionally. Even a few extra minutes of exercise can release endorphins, boost your mind-body connection, and give you a warm glow of accomplishment. It’s also been found to have a positive effect on people’s moods and may even actively reduce anxiety and depression.
An easy option is to go for an early morning walk around your neighborhood. But, if you’re allergic to picket fences, you might like to explore the workouts available on a streaming service like Daily Burn or Beachbody.
Reclaim Your Mojo!
Bottom line: We all need to look after ourselves a bit more these days. If you’re feeling down in the dumps, spend some time pursuing interests or finding something else that will make you feel happy. A spot of learning, a touch of luxury and a few extra cheeky lunges here and there may not address all of life’s quarantine challenges, but these and other activities may very well be a great place to start.