How to Find Healthy Activities to Cope with Tough Times

May 11, 2020 Martha Lueck

The uncertainty in life at this time can make anxiety and depression seem intolerable and participating in healthy activities nearly impossible. For some people, not having enough work to do can leave them with too much time to ponder their shortcomings. They might also question whether their lives have meaning. For some people, simply being by themselves can leave enough privacy for self-injury behaviors. The consequences of boredom and loneliness need to be taken seriously to prevent mental health from getting worse. To learn about how you can get through depression safely and proactively with healthy activities, read this article.

Things to Do Before You Brainstorm Healthy Activities

  1. Acknowledge your feelings. If you were raised to bottle up your emotions, acknowledging them might be a really hard step for you to take. It is important to remember that you do not have to feel ashamed of any emotions that you are experiencing. The first step in creating positive change is, to be honest with yourself when change is necessary. I find it helpful to write down my negative emotions.
  2. Identify your triggers. Are there any specific events that cause you to feel negative emotions? For many people, a breakup can lead to severe loneliness. Some people are more affected by poor grades or job layoffs. At this time, self-quarantine makes people feel more vulnerable to loneliness, boredom, and depression.
  3. Think about how you can respond to your triggers. Schools and businesses have been on lockdown for nearly two months. Not being able to celebrate prom and high school graduation with friends in the same room can lead to depression because those things only happen once in a lifetime. Getting laid off from a job causes a lot of stress because you need to make money to live. These realities are really hard to accept, but the good news is that you can control how you respond to them. You can stay more connected with friends and family from afar with video chat programs such as Zoom, Facetime, and Skype. You can also decide to look for jobs that you might enjoy more than the one you previously had.
  4. Know that even when life seems lonely and/or boring, you are still loved. During your worst times, it can be hard to feel like you have and/or deserve people who love you. Remember that not all of your negative thoughts are true. People love and care about you from afar. Friends and family probably think about you without your knowledge. No matter what you are going through, you are worthy of love and support.

How to Identify Healthy Activities to Help You Through Tough Times

  1. Identify one or two activities that made you feel good in the past. Now that many people are coping with unemployment and fewer opportunities to socialize in person, we have more time to focus on ourselves. It is very important to think about how we can be happy and healthy right now. When happiness seems far out of reach, it can help to try a few wellness activities that you have enjoyed in the past.
  2. Listen to your inner child. Even as an adult, it is acceptable to act like a child sometimes. Children are creative, resilient, and easily amused. All of these traits are important for stress relief and happiness. Two activities that help me feed my inner child include coloring and making up silly stories. Other activities can include hula hooping, drawing strange pictures, and building forts. Even if you do some of these activities by yourself, they can bring back a sense of youth. 
  3. Choose activities that match your needs and values. While feeding your inner child can help you find excitement and happiness, you might also be looking for a sense of accomplishment in your adult endeavors. If this is the case, taking a course or reading a book can help you sharpen your work skills or prepare for the next school year. Gaining skills and learning more about something that will be useful down the road will also improve your confidence and self-esteem.
  4. Ask your friends for advice. If you still have trouble identifying healthy activities, you can always confide in a friend for ideas. Talking to a friend might help you feel less alone. It might also give you a chance to learn something new about your friend's interests and what both of you have in common.

I hope reading this article helped you identify some healthy activities. Please share your insights and discoveries in the comments.

APA Reference
Lueck, M. (2020, May 11). How to Find Healthy Activities to Cope with Tough Times, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 17 from

Author: Martha Lueck

Find Martha on Facebook and Medium.

Betsy Perrish
May, 12 2020 at 7:00 am

Thank you! This is the actual and necessary information at the moment!
The activity I like is walking in the park. But since it is not advisable to leave the house during quarantine, I made a mini veranda on my balcony and enjoy the fresh air there.
You really need to listen to yourself and take care of your well-being in affordable ways. That is how things work!

Lizanne Corbit
May, 12 2020 at 3:32 pm

I love how comprehensive this post is. Not only do you discuss healthy activities but you talk about the mindset and space to be in before approaching them, and how to identify. I think this is a post we can all find some solace in as we do our best to navigate these strange times. Many of us are dealing with an increase in triggers and triggered behavior and this is a perfect example of how we can address that and work with it.

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