Stop Staying Inside: How it Affects Our Mental Health

I noticed a lot of my fellow millennial peers, and sometimes myself, shirk any remote chance of having an adventure in favor of staying inside. I realized that is bullsh!t. People are already building up walls for themselves through phone addiction, anxiety, and being lazy. We don’t need to check off the preference “always wants to stay inside.” But I understand.

Humans aren’t meant to spend the majority of our days inside. We need shelter for survival and to store things we like. Humans have been shown to get depressed and anxious when indoors for so long. It is a pitfall for happiness. If so, why are people choosing to rush to isolate themselves?

On the bright side you can do whatever you want inside your home. You could cook an extravagant meal. Paint a 5ft x 5ft painting. Do an at-home workout. Read that book that has been collecting dust. But really, most people collapse on the couch and watch TV. This is after work. Before work. On the weekends. People are missing out on real life. And you have to make life happen the majority of the time.

The risks of too much time indoors are:

  1. Depression
  2. Little exercise
  3. Anxiety
  4. Less vitamin D
  5. Insomnia
  6. Too much TV/social media = depression
  7. Obsessive thinking
  8. Isolation from loved ones

Do you recognize any of these?

Last year I wasted my summer break from being cooped up in my apartment because of social anxiety. Besides working the midnight shift, I never left the house more than once week. I missed out on so much, which I have no excuses for. But what makes me mad is that I convinced myself that I will still have an enriching, interesting life. Well, I was wrong.

The longer I stayed inside, the more nervous I became of leaving the house. Thus, I got even more miserable. It doesn’t take social anxiety for this to happen. If you spend all your time inside, one day it will probably be hard for you to leave too. Don’t be a wimp like I was.

Inside your apartment, reality is almost warped. Everything is to your own low standards if you don’t know otherwise. Spending time out in the world forces us to experience new activities, also gives us feedback on how we are thriving in life. Without those experiences, we become the socially awkward generation that tries to pretend our awkwardness is cute, but it is really just our own incapability. We also are becoming a very unhappy group of people.

Going outside and having new experiences jumpstarts ourselves. Spending just 45 minutes outdoors can help our mood, circadian rhythm, and our overall energy levels. That can just be running errands, Or it can be planning out a solo picnic at the park with your dog. You have the choice to make it as cool as you want it to be.

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4 thoughts on “Stop Staying Inside: How it Affects Our Mental Health

  1. One of my far flung, eventual dreams is to work from home as an entrepreneur. I keep having these wonderful thoughts about being able to experience life and my surroundings. Thanks for the tip about it being harder to leave the house. I never thought of that.

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    1. That’s different to work from home. It’s your job to. The difference is a lot of people choose to isolate in their homes and don’t do much of anything, besides later develop social anxiety. So, working from home isn’t problematic in my eyes. You’re working, and getting paid for it. I suppose it’s all about balance in the end.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So agree !! We need to move our bodies and get busy in life . I also feel like when you stay home and you waste time watching tv and scrolling through social media every single day your life seems so meaningless. It’s a beautiful world out here and we have to enjoy it while we can ! Depression is so high now a days , it’s sad .

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    1. Exactly! That’s the main reason why I don’t really go online anymore besides work or to look something up specifically. As for TV, I have only watched TV two times in the past two years. Cutting out time-waters makes being productive and choosing meaningful activities to be the default.

      And yes, depression is common. Some of my college research was studying the link between technology, millennials, and depression. There’re a lot of confounding factors, but a general correlation between technology use, isolation, and depression is seen in millennials all too often. Very interesting stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

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