GETTING YOURSELF RIGHT BACK ON TRACK
If the last year or so has left you wobbly, here’s how to find your post-lockdown equilibrium.
None of us has had an easy time riding the emotional “corona”-coaster since March 2020. Our plans and dreams were put on hold and we are still 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 and it’s no wonder our resilience is depleted. Now what we’re facing is a pendulum swing between being super 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 start to move out of lockdown it’s more important than ever that we take care of ourselves and our immune system. Sleep, exercise, healthy food, 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.
Whatever your preferred flavour – mediation, affirmations, yoga, etc make time to step out of your day and take care of your mind’s effect on your wellbeing. Calming your mind will help you set your intentions for the whole day.
3) Ignore the positivity porn.
We are all on our own journey, none of us are immune to fear or our human instincts. Don’t compare yourselves to others who seem to be thriving. Ignore the positivity porn. Just because you are having a down day or are not feeling it does it doesn’t mean you are failing. Tomorrow is another day.
4) Be your own friend.
We all have an inner critic, one that is harsher on ourselves than anyone else. I always think 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)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 deep breaths!
6) Get out in nature.
If you are suffering from anxiety or feeling triggered, get out in nature. Being out among the trees and birds releases the feel-good hormones oxytocin and dopamine. As daft as it may sound, hugging a tree really does increase your serotonin levels. These chemical releases have a calming effect on your emotional state, making you feel relaxed and helping you to think clearly.
7) Focus on connection.
If this time has taught us anything it’s reminded us of our need for connection. As emotionally intelligent, tribal creatures connection is paramount for survival and allowing our ability to thrive. Everyone is in the same boat so now is a great time to build stronger relationships with loved ones, your community and your business and work contacts. You never know where it may lead.
8) Guard your brain.
Our minds are incredibly open to suggestions – so 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 with fear and anxiety – be informed not fearful.
9) Structure your week.
Many of us are feeling that the days have all merged into one. As a result, you need to 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.
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 left to do. Also, write a list of things you can reward yourself with when you achieve things and tick your rewards off as you receive them.
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.
Words: Nichole Farrow, Mindset & Lifestyle Coach