With 4 months spent mostly at home, I felt it was time for a lifestyle post update. It’s been a while since I wrote my thoughts on things. This post is about the things I have learned during lockdown, with a more positive outlook on things. I have practiced Mindfulness now for over a year, which has really benefited me a lot this year. In this blog post, I talk through the things I have been doing at home to stay positive. It’s so important to take time out for your mental health and self-care. Hopefully, with this personal insight, it will inspire you with other things you can try also.
Positive things I learned during lockdown
staying positive during a global pandemic is pretty obscure and at times been really channeling. I have found my ways of coping with the weirdness of it all with a few things listed below. I already went through a Mindfulness journey last year, so I highly recommend starting there first if you are unsure what that means. Read my post all about it here. It’s is also important to note that everyone is different and going through different environmental things right now. People are losing jobs, not able to visit family, getting sick or dealing with loss. It is certainly a bizarre time for hard things, but also even normal everyday things. Regardless of your external issues that are problematic, there are ways we can react and respond to live more positively and keep on top of our mental health.
The biggest thing for me that I practice daily is a variety of Mindfulness techniques. Depending on how I am feeling I will choose a meditation designed for that. For example, I have felt lost, agitated, boredom, loneliness, physical pain with my illness and anxiety. There are lots of different meditations I use but I will pop a couple below for you that I have repeatedly used recently. The first one is a body scan meditation. This is the act of focusing on each area of the body, to be able to focus without judgment and relax each part of the body. This also helps if you’re experiencing any pain or discomfort because you can train your attention to focus on the entire body and not on the pain. When we focus on the pain we get tense and it can actually make it worse. By un-winding, learning to be present and to focus on our entire body, we can also learn to relax and unwind more and uncomfortable tensions.
Lastly, this video by Adrienne is an amazing meditation for balance, grounding, and clarity for any feelings of sadness or anger. I’ve listened to this one a lot recently for personal matters and it’s helped a lot.
Another meditation I like to do is one by my amazing friend and Reiki healer, Barri (Emerald Torrus). Her videos are amazing, and she has the most soothing voice. Her energy comes from the power of healing reiki, and she used the bodes chakras to create a more grounded, strong, and positive look at yourself. It’s very healing for the mind and creates great positive energy if you are able to listen with an open mind and imagine the things she is saying (like the white light energy around you etc). I love her videos for when I feel lost, negative about myself, or unsure of my emotions.
One of the things getting me through each day at the start of lockdown was being able to go for a daily walk. Being in a higher risk group due to my health reasons, I didn’t leave the house for over 2 weeks at one point. When I was able to go out again for a walk, I found it so positive for my mind. I’m very lucky to have a garden and a local park right behind where we live that doesn’t get too busy. Getting fresh air and leaving my phone at home during a walk was a great stress reliever.
I’ve been told so many times by my health providers that yoga is a great low impact workout for people with chronic health issues. I have always been intimated by it but I finally saw lockdown as an opportunity to just do it. I got myself a yoga mat and I have been practicing at least 3 times a week. Not only am I finding myself getting a little better each time, but it’s also another form of mindfulness. At that moment I am solely focused on the breath, the moves, and the stillness of it. Yoga by Adrienne on YouTube is my favourite as she has a yoga video for everything you can imagine. This morning I did one designed for cramps and PMS! So she really does have it all, I’m loving it.
A couple of months ago I finally purchased a bullet journal from Amazon and it’s been life-changing for my motivation. Even though I worked from home most of the time before lockdown, I found being constantly home started to negatively impact my productivity. Now I have a bullet journal I’ve been planning my week, writing todo lists and also writing down any thoughts I have. It’s been great to reflect on things, write down what I am grateful for and other reflections.
Another thing I have learned during lockdown is to spend time on my hobbies. I’ve taken time out to work on my scrapbooks and some punch needlecrafts. Both of which are things I love doing but never made time for. Being at home with no distracting has meant I can pick these up and enjoy it. I highly recommend learning a new hobby if you can, it’s also really rewarding when you finish something you have made.
As well as meditation and yoga videos, I’ve found myself searching more for motivational Ted Talks on YouTube. In case you haven’t heard of this, they are videos created by experts in certain fields and public speakers, talking about different topics in a motivational way. I’ve mainly focused on self-help, growth, and anxiety videos. I’ve linked one below that literally blew me away and I’ve found it so incredible for my development. It starts a little dark in terms of storyline but stick with it, as she makes some amazing points.
Slowing life down
Another big one is letting go of the fast-paced lifestyle I was living before lockdown started. I have learned in lockdown to slow things down and be okay with a more simplistic lifestyle. It’s helped defog my mind and get rid f the noise I had constantly humming away. I’m enjoying each day so much more now that I have accepted life can be nice without trying to do everything and seeing everyone.
Last but not least, is self-care. Learning that it’s just as important as therapy, going to the doctors or exercise. Self-care can be anything from a bubble bath with muscle soak, a massage or even painting your nails. Taking time to look after your body in whatever way makes you feel good and brings you joy is so simple, yet so necessary. In this time of uncertainty, it’s easy to let ourselves go but I found I was starting to negatively affect me. Wearing makeup or having some me-time in a bath meant I felt more like ‘me’ and it sparked my positive self-love.
That’s everything I have learned during lockdown. There are quite a lot of things there but I really hope even 1 thing gives you some inspiration. The rest of the year still has a lot of uncertainty, especially if like me you are higher risk. I’m taking each day as it comes, learning to focus on mindful living and trying to stay positive. No matter what happens I know if I continue to practice these things, it will be easier to get through anything.