Indoor Activities for Mental Health Patients: Enhancing Well-being and Promoting Healing

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on August 6, 2023
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Have you ever considered the power of indoor activities in improving your mental and emotional well-being? Or, are you a floor clinician who needs to keep residential patients occupied during slow hours of the day

Engaging in indoor activities tailored to your needs can be a fantastic way to promote healing and enhance mental health.

Our team comprises dedicated mental health professionals with degrees in psychology or related fields. Many have worked as therapists or counselors, helping individuals overcome various mental health challenges. With our team’s professional background in mental health, including experience at residential centers, we have the expertise to provide valuable insights and recommendations regarding indoor activities for mental health.

This comprehensive article will explore indoor activities that can benefit individuals with mental health conditions. We’ll discuss the benefits of incorporating these activities into your routine, provide detailed instructions on executing them, and offer tips for affordability, accessibility, and long-term sustainability. Let’s dive in!

So, let’s dive in and discover the transformative power of indoor activities for mental health patients. Together, we can pave the way toward a happier and healthier life.

The Benefits of Indoor Activities for Mental Health Patients

Engaging in indoor activities offers numerous benefits for mental health patients. Here are some advantages to consider:

  1. Emotional Release and Stress Reduction: Indoor activities such as art therapy or journaling provide an outlet for emotional expression, helping you release pent-up feelings and reduce stress. These activities encourage self-reflection and can serve as a form of catharsis.
  2. Improved Mood and Alleviation of Symptoms: Participating in indoor activities have been shown to improve mood and alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. Activities like yoga, mindfulness, or meditation promote relaxation, increase the production of feel-good hormones, and help regulate emotions.
  3. Enhanced Self-Awareness and Self-Discovery: Engaging in indoor activities allows you to explore your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a safe and controlled environment. Art therapy, journaling, or engaging in self-help courses can deepen your understanding of yourself, leading to personal growth and increased self-awareness.
  4. Building Coping Skills and Resilience: Indoor activities provide an opportunity to build coping skills and resilience, essential for managing mental health challenges. Engaging in activities that challenge you, such as puzzles or online courses, can help develop problem-solving abilities and foster a sense of accomplishment.

According to a scoping review of 14 studies, “available evidence suggests that serious games could be an effective format for an intervention to reduce mental health symptoms and improve outcomes of individuals.”

  • This scoping review aimed to provide an overview of RCT-evaluated severe games for mental health symptoms.
  • The review included 11 serious games, emphasizing disorders like anxiety, ADHD, depression, schizophrenia, alcoholism, and bipolar illness. The games were divided into cognitive/brain training, goal-oriented, and problem-solving categories.
  • Five games were goal-oriented and problem-solving: Project: EVO, Plan-It Commander, BIPOLIFE, Adventures Aboard the S.S. GRIN, and MindLight.
  • Six games were identified as cognition training games: Cognitive Bias Modification Game, Cognitive Stimulation Program with Several Serious Games, RECOGNeyes, ILFE, VOICES, and RehaCom.
  • Finding the best genre for particular mental condition symptoms will require more research and similar investigations.

Types of Indoor Activities for Mental Health Patients

Now, let’s explore different types of indoor activities that can benefit kids and individuals with mental health conditions:

  1. Art Therapy and Creative Expression: Engaging in various art forms such as painting, drawing, sculpting, or even coloring books can be incredibly therapeutic. Art therapy allows for self-expression, emotional processing, and exploration of thoughts and feelings. You don’t need to be an artist; the process is valuable.
  2. Mindfulness and Meditation Practices: Practicing mindfulness and meditation techniques indoors can profoundly affect your mental well-being. Set aside dedicated time daily to focus on the present moment, incorporating deep breathing exercises and body scans. Apps like Headspace or Calm offer guided meditation sessions suitable for beginners.
  3. Yoga and Gentle Exercises: Doing gentle movements, particularly yoga, can improve physical and mental health. Yoga promotes relaxation, flexibility, and body awareness. Follow online yoga video tutorials or join virtual classes to learn and practice yoga at your own pace.
  4. Journaling and Writing: Writing can be a powerful tool for self-reflection and emotional processing. Keep a journal to express your thoughts, emotions, and experiences freely. Consider prompts like “What am I grateful for today?” or “What are my goals and aspirations?”
  5. Virtual Support Groups and Online Communities: Joining virtual support groups or participating in online communities can provide a sense of belonging and connection. These groups allow you to share experiences, gain support, and learn from others facing similar challenges. There are even virtual therapy games available as well.

List of Verbal Games Are Great For Indoor Mental Health Patients

When engaging with adults in mental hospitals, it’s crucial to approach activities with empathy, understanding, and fun. Verbal games can be excellent tools for social interaction, cognitive stimulation, and building trust.

Below are some suggestions for indoor verbal games that can act as icebreakers and conversation starters:

  1. Two Truths and a Lie: In this game, participants tell two truths and one lie about themselves. The others must guess which statement is the lie. This game invites sharing personal experiences and fosters connection through laughter and surprise.
  2. Word Association: One person starts by saying a word, and the next person has to say a term associated with the previous word. This game encourages quick thinking and creativity, and it can lead to interesting conversations about why certain words were chosen.
  3. Storytelling Relay: This game involves creating a story collectively. One person starts with a sentence, and the next adds another, continuing until everyone has contributed. It’s a fun way to spark imagination and collaboration.
  4. Would You Rather?: This game presents two scenarios; each person must choose which they would rather experience. It’s a great way to learn more about each other’s preferences and values.
  5. 20 Questions: One person thinks of something, and the others have 20 questions to determine what it is. This game promotes curiosity and deductive reasoning.
  6. Favorites: People share their favorite things (like food, movie, book, etc.). This game allows sharing of personal likes and dislikes, fostering more profound connections.
  7. Complete the Sentence: Start a sentence and ask the next person to complete it. This game can lead to humorous or insightful responses and encourages active listening.
  8. Alphabet Game: Choose a category (like animals, cities, etc.) and take turns naming something within that category for each alphabet letter. This game can be both challenging and educational.

Remember, these games should be introduced and facilitated respectfully and inclusively, ensuring everyone feels comfortable participating. Keep the atmosphere light and open, and always prioritize the well-being and comfort of the participants.

Tailoring Indoor Activities to Your Needs

When engaging in indoor activities, tailoring them to your or your client’s needs is essential. Here are some tips to consider:

  1. Start Slow: Begin with activities that feel comfortable and manageable for you. Start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration or intensity as you build confidence and develop a routine.
  2. Create a Safe and Comfortable Space: Designate a specific area in your home for your chosen activity. Ensure it is a quiet, clutter-free space where you feel safe and comfortable. Personalize it with items that bring you joy and help set a calming atmosphere.
  3. Set Realistic Goals: Set achievable goals for yourself when engaging in indoor activities. Break down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. Celebrate your accomplishments along the way to stay motivated.
  4. Listen to Your Body: How your body responds to different activities. Adjust or try another action altogether if something feels wrong or causes discomfort.

Paint the Sadness Away

Painting has been recognized as a form of creative expression that allows individuals to channel their emotions and find solace in the process.

Using painting to alleviate sadness or emotional distress is not limited to professional artists.

  • Many individuals use art therapy to explore their emotions, promote self-expression, and find healing.
  • Art therapy has positively affected mental well-being, providing individuals with a non-verbal outlet to process their feelings.
  • While painting or engaging in artistic activities can benefit one’s emotional well-being, it is essential to note that it may not be a substitute for professional help when dealing with serious mental health issues.

Please remember consulting with a mental health professional is always recommended for personalized guidance and support.

Indoor Activities For Mental Health Patients Conclusion

Incorporating indoor activities into mental health patients’ routines can profoundly impact their emotional well-being and overall mental health. Engaging in art therapy, mindfulness practices, yoga, journaling, and joining online communities can provide a safe space for self-expression, emotional release, and personal growth.

Tailoring indoor activities to individual needs is crucial. And please keep in mind the information above applies to enhancing student mental health as well, as students are indoors and cooped up too!

Starting slow, creating a safe and comfortable space, setting realistic goals, and listening to one’s body are important aspects of making these activities effective and enjoyable. It is also essential to seek professional guidance and support, especially in trauma or severe mental health conditions.

By embracing indoor activities and incorporating them into daily routines, individuals can take meaningful steps toward improving their mental well-being and finding the support they need to thrive.

Finally, you may also learn more about mental health alternatives in diverse ways. Reddit, educator resources, benefits, rehab, inpatient, activities, summer camps, indoor, more activities, and daily habits.

The Mental Health Ambassador Certificate is an excellent way to get started.

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If you’re facing an emergency 

Waiting for an online therapy appointment may not be safe. In such cases, it’s essential to seek immediate help by calling 911. This includes situations where you or others may be at risk of harm. If you’re having thoughts of self-harm, you can contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988. They provide around-the-clock assistance.

Another option is to call the National Helpline of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 800-662-HELP (4357). This helpline offers free and confidential support to individuals with mental health or substance abuse disorders. They can help you find treatment options and provide information 24/7, 365 days a year.

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