Creative Ways to Add 'Pep In Your Step'

posted by Ashley Betz-Jones on Tuesday, April 28, 2020

April is Occupational Therapy month I’d like to share some tips for staying active to fuel your body and mind during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our daily roles are important factors for our self-identity, mental health, and that physical energy often termed “pep in your step.” Restrictions in our daily ‘norm’ force us to find creative ways to fuel our bodies in a positive way.

Ways to stay active and fuel your mental health during COVID-19:

Exercise: No matter your age you can exercise! Take a walk or bike ride to pair exercise with a little vitamin D! (If you live in a heavily trafficked area for walking/bike paths or are concerned about social isolation see (insert link) for guidelines on CDC recommendations for masking). Many gyms are offering virtual training options or virtual workouts!

Garden: Dig in the dirt, reap what you sew, add a little “canning therapy” to your resume this summer, or plant some flowers to channel your creativity and enjoy the beauty. Tip: Raised beds are a great option for those with physical limitations

Get outside: Vitamin D can be beneficial to your mental health and contribute to a healthy immune system. Take a trip to the mailbox, sit outside on your porch, or open up the shades and/or windows to let the sunshine in!

Cooking/Baking: Take this time to try the recipes you haven’t had the time to do. Join local groups on social media for ideas of new recipes tailored to your likes. Spencer Hospital’s very own Brad Smith has started a local Facebook group called “What’s everyone cooking?” On Facebook and many tasty recipes are being shared plus local take out promoting support for our local small businesses!

Board games or yard games: Get the whole family involved to interact with each other inside on those rainy days or outside with sunshine the sunshine. Fuel your mind with some card games that can be played on your own or with others.

Crafts: Make crafts to promote fine motor skills for your children, create learning opportunities, and share them with the sick, elderly or residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Sew: Do you like to sew? You can create masks for essential workers fueling both your own creative instincts and contributing to an important cause! Who knows you may have to dust off your skills (and maybe your machine) and find a new found passion!

Read: Do you have a book you’ve been meaning to get through but just haven’t had or made the time? Now or never!

Sidewalk chalk: Create artwork to share with your friends and neighbors while they are out on their walks or getting their mail. Boost your mood and others with a little creativity!

Music therapy: Listen to music, sing, or play an instrument. Whatever your preference music can be therapeutic and if you’re gifted and willing, share your musical talents with others virtually through social media!

Stay connected: Whether it is 6 feet apart at the mailbox, blowing kisses or sharing smiles through the screen of your window, or virtually through a variety of platforms to stay in contact with your loved ones. We need each other now more than ever and if we can’t be together like our usual “norm” then let’s find creative ways to be together.

Try something new: Whether it is participating in a TikTok video your child has been antagonizing you to play or clicking on a link to see all of your adult kids spread across the country to remain in contact you’re never too old to learn something new!

What are you doing to stay active? Share your ideas with us!

About The Author

Ashley Betz-Jones

Ashley Betz-Jones is the director of Spencer Hospital Rehabilitation Services. She specializes in neurological rehabilitation and is a certified LSVT Big clinician, which is a specialized treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Ashley graduated with her Masters of Science Degree in Occupational ... read more