To help you get back on track here are some of my top tips on how to take care of your mind and wellbeing during this time.
None of us has had an easy time riding the emotional "corona"-coaster over the last 4 months. Our plans and dreams have been put on hold and we are trying to handle the loss of connection, freedom, financial solvency, and in some cases loved ones. Add to this increased levels of stress, fear, anxiety, and uncertainty, whilst looking after our families at home. It's no wonder our resilience is depleted - leaving many of us pendulum swinging between being motivated to thinking there's nothing left in the tank.
So, to help you get back on track here are some of my top tips on how to take care of your mind and wellbeing during this time.
1) Prioritise self-care. As we begin to move out of lockdown it's more important than ever that we take care of ourselves and our immune system. Sleep, exercise, eat healthily, staying hydrated - it sounds obvious but the impact that these actions have on our physical and mental health as well as our immune system is phenomenal and could be the difference between thriving and surviving during this time.
2) Daily mindfulness practice. Make time to step out of your day to calm your mind. Whatever your preferred flavour - mediation, affirmations, yoga, etc. The effect on your mental state, focus, and motivation will help you set your intentions and set you up for the whole day.
3) Structure your week - give yourself time. For many of us, the days have all merged into one and it can be hard to keep up the momentum. To counter this, structure your week to have variety, differentiate between a weekday and a weekend and give yourself time for work, you and your family. Time is precious, so make the most of it and put those boundaries in place.
4) Be kind to yourself. We all have an inner critic, one that is harsher on ourselves than anyone else. But this is a situation none of us are used to, cut yourself some slack. If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don't say it to yourself. Instead, treat yourself with compassion and support your mind and your own adjustment.
5) Focus on connection. As emotionally intelligent, tribal, creatures connection is paramount for survival and allowing our ability to thrive. During this time we have all been reminded of our need for connection. Everyone is in the same boat so now is a great time to build stronger relationship with loved ones, our community, or in business. Reach out you never know where it may lead.
6) Ignore the positivity porn. None of us are immune to fear or our human survival instincts. We are all on our own journey. Don’t compare yourselves to others and ignore the positivity porn, just because you are having a down day or are not feeling your best does not mean you are failing. Tomorrow is another day.
7) Guard your brain. Our minds are incredibly open to suggestions it is the reason hypnotherapy is so powerful. Be aware of what you are exposing yours to, not just in the media, but with friends and family as well. Don’t feed it your fear and anxiety, be informed not afraid.
8) Take five breaths. When we are stressed and anxious it can feel like we are struggling to breathe, it's the reason many of us experience panic attacks. This is your mind in survival mode making it difficult to think clearly/rationally. By stopping to take deep breaths you interrupt the response and allow oxygen to flow back to your brain. So - take five slow deep calming breaths!
9) Get out in nature. If you are suffering from anxiety or feeling triggered. Get out in nature. Being in nature releases the feel-good hormones oxytocin and dopamine. As daft as it may sound, hugging a tree increases your serotonin levels. These chemical releases have a calming effect on our emotional state making you feel relaxed and helping you to think clearly.
10) Treat yourself. We are more motivated by reward than fear. Always write down what you have achieved in your day, not just what you have to do. Also, write a list of simple things you can reward yourself with (having an ice cream, spending more time with your kids, watching that series you met to catch up on, etc. ), and start ticking it off.
Finally - remember you are an emotionally intelligent being who needs time to process events and to work out how you feel. If you do this, I promise you will be stronger, more resilient, and creative than ever before. Follow the guidance and trust in the process you are doing better than you think.
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The pressures of confinement coupled with trying to balance our work and home life are challenging to say the least.