Whatever we think that is going on today in the world, there is one thing that remains a fact – in most parts of the world we need to quarantine at home. For some of us that is difficult, for some even excruciating.
Being forced to stop with the life as we once knew it, brought different things to each of us. From much needed down time or more time with the family, catching up on that book you plan to read for months, to wide range of negative emotions such as fear of getting sick, anxiety over the future, anger for being helpless or even boredom. We are going up and down with our moods as if we are on an emotional roller-coaster, having regrets over the life we once knew.
Disheartened and dispirited, we maybe feel that we are losing ground below our feet and it seems that a sense of hopelessness lingers over our heads. Sometimes we wake up to a good day and looks like we found our balance, only to realize that those gloomy news we just watched took our shaky balance away in a second.
Is there a way out of this spiral? There is, but it requires some effort. It requires awareness, discipline, and continuity.
I have developed some tricks to play on myself to make this whole thing easier for me, and I would like to share it here:
- Daily routine: Developing daily routine that will nurture your body, soul and mind is crucial.
- Daily meditation or quiet moments will help silence the chatter in your mind and turn your focus inward for there is the only stability and security you will when the times are hard like they are now. 15 minutes a day suffice.
- Breathing exercises whether it is some form of pranayama, Wim Hof breathing or simply conscious deep breaths will ground you and significantly reduce stress.
- Physical activity, whether you are doing yoga, running, cycling, walks (if you are allowed to go out to exercise) or any other another form of exercise will contribute to your physical health, reduce stress and increase serotonin – hormone that increases feeling of happiness and satisfaction.
- Healthy diet rich in fresh foods and meals prepared from a real food, reducing red meat, avoiding processed food and removing sugars and alcohol from your diet will contribute to your overall health and well-being but especially enable your system to remain calmer and more balanced.
- Make a schedule when you do what within your day and stick to it. These are all activities which are easy to incorporate in your daily life, even if you are homeschooling and/or working from home.
- Turn off the TV and reduce social media consuming. Restrict reading or watching news to once a day.
- Dedicate some time in the day to nurture your mind as well. Work, read a book, enroll one of the free online courses, engage in conversation with your family and friends. Keep yourself busy.
- Engage in some creative activity; whatever it is to make your heart sing. If you don’t have creative outlet just yet, try different things and see what it is that speaks to you. Painting, writing, singing, dancing, making models, cooking, photography, working with plants. Alone or with your kids. Options are limitless.
- When you notice your mind wandering into worry and thoughts that bring anxiety and stress, take few deep breaths and let the feeling be there. Be mindful not to engage into those fearful thoughts; rather choose to change your focus to something else. This is deliberate, conscious action of the mind. Transfer your focus to something that is less emotionally engaging or has different emotional charge.
- If possible, go out to nature; if it is not possible, the best next thing I found is opening the window, putting my headset on and playing some sounds of nature on YouTube.
- Be aware, present and active. Fill your day with activities. Open space for new ideas to come in. Try to not attach yourself to situation going on in the world. It does affect us all, but it is up to you to shift your own inner perspective and make your life in quarantine at least a tiny little bit better.
These are first steps for self-help but reach out and seek help of professional if you need it. Nobody knows how future will look like, and how long this will last. Make maximum you can on your own to make your life the best it can be in given conditions.