Being in "lockdown" is not easy. It's not easy being apart from friends, family, loved ones and for some following 'guidelines' and rules seems the hardest part of all. With no end it sight it plays on our minds, as each day rolls into the next and the uncertainty builds. Newsflashes bring no warm glow as the death toll increases and we see more and more people lose loved ones via social media streams. Everyone's circumstances are different and we can never truly know how another is really feeling or suffering behind their eyes or closed doors so my message this week is be kind. Just as in life (before isolation was a normality), we never truly know what someone is really dealing with and therefore should approach every single person with kindness, humility and love whether that be i person, message, email or via Zoom / House-party app gatherings.
Some of us are luckily enough to be with our favourite people, some of us are not and some of us might be finding the sudden solitude hard to bare. There is no quick fix and I don't pretend to have all the answers or wish to preach but I do send you all courage and strength to help you find peace in the slowness. A friend recently said it's OK to not be OK and this is so true. We all have good and bad days and its totally fine (and normal) to not feel like you are nailing life all the time but it's also OK to throw yourself into new things and relish the joy a new found hobby can bring too - if you like. Navigating this new reality in a way that makes us happy, keeps us healthy and manages our levels of worry is paramount regardless of whether you choose to binge watch Netflix all day, bake til your heart's content or train for a marathon if that's what floats your boat!
Here are a few things that I've found help me:
MOVE - Obviously Yoga has been my go to to get me moving and it doesn't even have to be that long on your mat but any movement will release blockages and get the energy flowing. It could be a gentle jog, fitness session, dance or garden games but moving will help increase your blood flow which will in turn have a positive influence on your immune system and will awaken your senses and prepare you for the day ahead. I've set myself a challenge next week to wake up a little earlier, hit the mat and start the day with a little meditation and movement. Fancy joining me?
STRUCTURE - I am someone who likes some form of routine to my day to know whats to come, what I'm eating and when might be a good time to relax or have a bath. With two little boys at home under 3 this is just a given but even if you are by yourself having a plan for the day will do wonders for your mental health. Even if its a set time to set your alarm or you want to shower before 9am whatever it is make it happen. The day will go more quickly and you will be able to look back and feel good for getting things done.
VARIETY - They say it is the spice of life and especially in lock-down life. No one wants to be living like its ground hog day forever. So, why not inject your days with something different, Mix it up a bit. Change your work space, opt for a different screen saver, get the guitar out, make time for a new hobby (woodwork, needlecraft, baking) or just switch up the breakfast offering!
TALK - We are human, we need human interaction we are herd mammals and want to feel like we belong. I found this quote by Jean Houston " Humans connections are deeply nurture in the field of a shared story." which I think is so powerful at the moment to remind us that we are all in this together and it will be a shared history of our time. Make that call, write that email/letter/text and stay connected. TALK
GOOD NEWS - It is important of course to stay educated and informed but how much is too much? Why not sign up to receive good news? I love Emily Coxhead's Happy News you can subscribe and be sure to always receive a dose of the good stuff.
GET OUTSIDE - There is nothing better than a walk in nature and big dose of fresh air. So make time in your day to step outside. Maybe take your coffee on the balcony, veranda, patio, step and breathe in deeply.
CREATE A NEW RITUAL - I'll be talking more about rituals in my next post but doing something you do everyday in a spiritual way with love and attention could be just the tonic. Make the mundane sacred and enjoy it for what it is. It could be anything from brushing your teeth, making a cup of tea, folding your clothes but whatever it is notice and be present in this mini moment of preciousness.