Anxiety is your body’s way of keeping you safe.
So, we all need to be mindful of how we are feeling in our minds during this lockdown.
Although the feeling of anxiety isn’t a pleasant feeling, it is our body’s way of inviting us to be aware of it but not to tell it to just GO AWAY. Our new reality with COVID19 is conjuring up all sorts of fears and anxieties, the ones that we may usually have but then also the uncertainty, our vulnerability as a human race and leads many of us to think of our mortality and I suppose question our lives pre-covid.
‘When all this is over’
There are so many conversations that I am having with people about ‘when this is all over’ and that is fine to take stock and see the things that you really want to do when all of this is over.
But, what is keeping us in the now? We are not allowed to go out so we must be at home to keep our communities and each other safe. We can’t wait to grab life by the horns ‘when all of this is over’ but in the interim, we are living in a semi-trapped state.
Are you being grateful for what you have? This time could be one for reflection and to really take stock of what you are grateful for, the gifts you have been given and maybe see this time as a rejuvenation time where you can try to be relaxed and focused on repairing and creating a better you.
It is normal to feel fear and anxiety at this time – as this is a global pandemic so how you are feeling is SO NORMAL.
So, I ask you to shift your focus and just look at these 4 main areas that affect your mental wellness at this challenging time:
2. Your movement
3. Your environment
4. Your mind
It is very easy to slip into hibernation mode and eat what you like because you may as well – you are stuck at home. But when the novelty wears off and the holiday mentality seems to wane slightly, we are left feeling sluggish, undernourished, tired and grumpy.
We are designed to eat well and eat a balanced diet to live a healthy life and I know that we ALL really know this deep down, but with easter approaching it can be hard to motivate yourself (Try my 5 minute trick for motivation) to stay away from chocolate, wine and goodies and we all need to treat ourselves of course. But moderation is key at this time as we aren’t as active as we normally would be in our normal routines. Our bodies are 70% water so we need to make sure that we are staying hydrated whilst at home to fuel our brains and bodies.
- 11 of the most Nutrient Dense Foods on the Planet
35 Healthy Easter Recipes
- Get Creative with Drinking water
I invite you to think about this: The food that we eat determines how we feel, how we feel determines the thoughts that we have and the thoughts that we have determine our mood and how we act (behaviour).
So, if we are eating large amounts of chocolate, watching tv and sky rocketing our alcohol consumption each week,(although it’s bliss at the time) we are going to end up feeling rubbish.
Good food=good mood + clearer thinking +good thoughts + better behaviours + good relationships
The relationships that I refer to are the relationships with yourself and with others. Good foods that can help you to feel better overall which will help those negative thoughts and interactions with others.
2. Your movement
As humans, we are agile and built for movement – from the moment we were babies; we rolled, we crawled, we walked, we ran, we climbed, we skipped and we jumped. We are built to move.
Moving around first thing in the morning is like a drug for the body as it gets your blood flowing, releases Endorphines and sends energy around your system. In our houses we don’t have loads of places to go but we can get creative by reminding ourselves to move as much as possible and when we can.
Here is a simple exercise that requires no skills or level of fitness whatsoever and is especially good for when you ‘don’t feel like it’:
Morning jumping for 2 minutes only
When you wake up, put your two feet flat on the floor and stand up straight, take a deep breath, smile and just start jumping up and down. Just keep jumping for 2 minutes. As you jump, make sure that you smile – even though you don’t even want to smile. If after the 2 minutes you want to keep jumping – do it! And maybe turn it into jumping jacks or hip twists as you feel more confident. This can be done a few times during the day when you are feeling sluggish or demotivated. Jumping can drain your lymph nodes and send the right amount of energy around your body leaving you feeling amazeballs!
Dance – dancing is a great way of exercise and remind yourself that it doesn’t matter how you dance just as long as you move as much as you can. Have you ever looked at how a child dances with no inhibitions? Well, try this.
If you have earphones listen to this track which is in 8d and you will find your body moving in ways that you may not have seen before:
Exercise when working remotely – We all now have to work from home, make sure that you take regular breaks so that you can move. Stand up from the desk and jump or do jumping jacks. If you have a garden you can do them outside.
3. Your environment (for all of us is home right now)
Our environments at the moment are our houses and we have to stay inside for everyone’s safety. This guide below will help you to continue to play, learn and plan during isolation:
It is also important to try and take stock of your environment and see if there is anything that you want to change. Our wellness depends really on where we are, what we are doing and how we are doing it. So, if there are areas of your house that you are not happy with ask yourself what you would like to do about them. Our environments lack variety and we don’t have the leisure that we usually do. We can’t go where we want and when we want so we should try to ensure that our home is exactly how we want it to be.
Ways to ensure that your space is set up for enjoyment, work and for purpose. When we are in our space for long enough, we may see flaws in the space or things that we really don’t need.
Just give this some thought:
As humans, we are designed for movement and survival by eating well and living active lifestyles. We were supposed to be born to live a life that has a limited number of triggers – all of which the body and mind would be able to cope with. But, in today’s world there are at least 500 more triggers a day that we face and these figures lead to chronic stress.
Today we spend a lot of our time feeling tired, sitting for hours, using escalators, watching tv and driving to most places. Yes, we get out for bursts of exercise, go to the gym, go cycling etc but looking at a human by design we are not fulfilling our true potential as a human race.
There is less nature around and we are surrounded by pollution and man-made structures.
Social media consumption
We get overwhelmed and engrossed in the speed of information and innovation and consume social media, news and tv more than we ever have because everything is at our fingertips. With all of these advancements we move further away from nature and we need to be near nature, that is why getting out for a walk in the fresh air in the park or near some greenery makes you feel way better.
There are ways to get close to nature at home too, even by having a shower you are connecting with the elements and that is why you feel refreshed after – not to mention nice and clean. Showers are great for hygiene of course but also for your personal integrity not to mention regulating your body temperature. I know that we all know we have to wash ourselves but with groundhog days happening day after day during this lockdown it can sometimes be hard to motivate yourself to do it if you feel you have nowhere to go to. You are doing it for you and your body and to connect with nature.
|Humans as originally designed:||Humans today|
|Nutritious foods||Consumed by Products &processed food|
|Calm||Stressed & overworked|
|Active and dynamic lifestyles||Sedentary lifestyles|
|Natural environment||Man-made environment|
4. Your mind
Our mental wellness is determined by many factors. There are wellness gaps when your food, movement and environment are off balance. Your optimum health = the best possible level of health a person can achieve. Your body and mind need nutrition to function correctly.
Having a peaceful mind is challenging during lockdown. Being mindful is being fully present with your direct experience of the moment. Fully present with whatever you are thinking, feeling and doing RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. Being mindful is not allowing the ‘what ifs’ to take over – just be. So if you are feeling anxious, recognise it, don’t hide it or try to quiet it and tell yourself that you are safe at home. Staying in the here and now and being present in it through mindfulness will help us on our way.
The keys to be mindful with yourself are:
- Be non-judgmental – we are constantly generating judgments about our experience, we can surprise ourselves with the amount of judgments we make on ourselves. Try not to judge yourself – if you are tired, feeling lazy, feeling anxious, lonely, unheard – whatever state you find yourself in just recognise it but try not to judge it. Saying things to yourself like ‘I wont judge myself today’ or ‘how I am feeling is okay with me’.
- Be patient – patience itself is a form of wisdom, we recognise, understand and accept that some things take time and will unfold in their own time.
- Open mind – if you are willing to experience things as if you are experiencing them for the first time that is a good start.
- Acceptance – mindful living is based on accepting things as they are right now and not what they could have been or were like before and should be. Look at things in the actual present.
- Trust – basic trust in what you think and feel is a very important part of mindful living
- Letting go – non-attachment to things, places, people or relationships is a good practice to try to cultivate. Try to practice the attitude of letting go what has passed
Go gently with yourself and if you want to chat – human to human – I am available on all platforms for video calls or phone calls. Just drop me a line if you would like any free tools on any of the above
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