01 April 2021 Posted By : admin

From keep fit to sex: how Guardian readers have boosted their mood during the pandemic

We bought some solar-powered garden fairy lights and set them up on our garden shed. We can see them when we are having dinner or letting the dog into the garden. It means that, during the day, we have the fun of the flowers and, at night, twinkling lights. They remind me of the stars, another mood-lifter – stargazing puts everything in perspective. Nicholas Vince, actor and YouTuber, London

Feeding the birds

I have been going to my local park – Pollok Park in Glasgow – and hand-feeding the birds with seeds. My friend started doing it and posted a video, so one day I went with a bag of seeds and soon had birds land on my hand to investigate, including coal tits, blue tits and great tits. They came swooping down, clasped my fingers with their little feet and then you could feel the whoosh of their wings as they flew away again. You have to be really still and quiet for them to come, so it’s like a form of meditation. I have taken four people to hand-feed the birds and it lifted their moods, too. Ella Van Loock, primary school teacher, Glasgow

Cooking and dancing

Baking and cooking while dancing to big band music in my apron has really boosted my mood over the past year. There’s something transcendent about creation and turning simple ingredients into something complicated and tasty. And the upbeat dancing around and being silly in the kitchen is really wonderful on the dreary days. Tom North, bank teller, Massachusetts, US

Exercise videos

Everyone told me that exercise videos would make me feel better and I initially I scowled at them and went back to my laptop. But they worked! I signed up to a fitness app and joined one of their plans which instructed me on the 20- to 40-minute video I should do four days a week. I now feel so much better. It’s a nice way to disconnect from my screen after work; I feel stronger and I am much less grumpy. Some videos consist of just stretching exercises, but I still feel better afterwards for having moved, and my various aches and pains from spending much of the day sitting also seem to have mostly cleared up. Hannah Sewell, software engineer, Sheffield

The joy of cycling

Living in Australia’s alpine region, normal recreational activities such as bushwalking, swimming and skiing in the mountains have been curtailed by state border closures. Ski season was cancelled. I have never been a serious cyclist, but upgrading to a new gravel bike gave me the mood boost to counteract the lockdown blues. I have discovered more than 100km of local cycle paths and I now ride three to five times a week. Swimming in the nearby Murray River has been an occasional summer pastime for the past 60 years but with the pandemic came a renewed appreciation of this refreshing and relaxing experience. It’s now an almost daily activity, putting the mind in a good place before we call our children and grandchildren in Europe. Stephen Jacobs, audiologist, New South Wales, Australia

Creating cover songs

I take part in a music creation challenge. Every month, a group of about 10 of us submit a song for someone else in the group to cover. The submissions are randomised and everyone has a month to create a cover version of the song they have been given. Then, the group meet on Zoom to listen through the submissions, have a laugh and experience the joy of shared creativity. The mood boost has been amazing for everyone involved. Matthew Trow, web developer, Oxfordshire

Having sex

I could say that baking or an impressive exercise routine are what had boosted my mood during the pandemic, but really it is sex with my partner. It is loving, indulgent, energetic and enormous fun. He lives alone, so is now part of a support bubble with me and my kids. This means that our sex life requires some rather precise planning – but when all the stars align, we feel very, very lucky. Anonymous, health care professional, Kent

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