Lockdown restrictions have caused our environments to be restricted to a revolving walk from our bedrooms to the kitchen, to the bathroom, and an occasional trip to the grocery store. Working, playing, eating, and doing everything from home has become the new normal. As the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months, this strange period has made us all feel like the concept of time is a part of history, as going to a restaurant or sporting event. Life has been halted and it seems we have no metric to measure our progress now. In these weird times, it is important to stay motivated and to cultivate our lives in a way that is flexible and productive. Below are five tips to help you chisel your way to your best self and remain balanced during this pandemic:
1. Practice Yoga
In these trying times, it is important to indulge in practices that will add to your mental and physical health. Yoga does both; as it is often practiced to calm the mind and as a source of exercise. According to a survey conducted by the National Center for Cognitive and Integrative Health, 86% of people who practiced the ancient discipline said it reduced stress and 82% of people said it improved their overall wellbeing. Until outside opens back up, it’s time to get out your mat and head down to Youtube or use phone applications, such as Daily Yoga, to begin your practice. Namaste.
Although very serious things are happening, don’t let stress and anxiety from the external world overtake your being. Be sure to carve out some time to exercise your spiritual muscle by connecting yourself to your inner consciousness. Research has shown that meditation has a myriad of health benefits including decreased anxiety, stress reduction, pain relief, and increased overall efficiency. To start reaping the long-lasting benefits, downloading the Headspace application or listening to guided meditations on Youtube in short intervals will lay the foundation to build your spiritual stamina.
3. Create a Daily Schedule
We all enjoy vacations and breaks from our normal routine, however in this time of crisis, it’s easy to get stuck in a cycle of inactivity as the chaos outside of our living rooms unfolds. Days can begin to blur together unless you actively take the time to make a daily schedule. It is important and beneficial to organize your time according to your priorities during this layover. This daily routine should be structured for each waking hour from Zoom meetings to lunch breaks. Remember, systems provide us with structure and less time to waste on decision making, which may lead to procrastination, so start planning!
4. Stay connected and informed with limits
Staying updated on the most pertinent information as it relates to the coronavirus matters, however being constantly bombarded with updates can take a toll on your mental health. Stay informed by only choosing to indulge in the most updated information about the coronavirus at certain times of the day. It is better to be present on focused activities in accordance to your daily schedule than being distracted and constantly bombarded with bad news. So, put your phone on « do not disturb », and limit how many times you check your social media along with news apps.
5. Keep a journal
Journaling will not only allow you to reflect on these unprecedented times, but it will also keep you grounded. Journaling also allows you to gain perspective over your history by becoming in tune with yourself and your thoughts during this period. Studies have also found that writing journaling can increase your discipline, communication skills, and healing.
Some will use this time to catch up on their favorite shows. Some will use this time to reinvent themselves. Some will use this time to work. Some will use this time to invest. Whatever you choose to mentally adjust to our new normal be sure that all of your experiences are positive and intentional. Stay safe out there!