In these difficult times, sometimes it may feel difficult to navigate life…
How often have you picked up your phone recently to go on News Websites, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google and any other form of scrolling? But what actually makes us pick up our phone to do this? Are we searching for hope that things are getting better? Are we searching for comfort that something will change, or confirmation that we are actually ‘allowed’ to sit at home and do nothing…
As a society we often find ourselves conforming to an idea of control. We may not even think it, but when you look at our day-to-day lives (pre COVID-19) we had some sort of structure, whether we liked it or not; we were able to control a certain amount of things that are not available to us to be in control of anymore. Who would have thought that if we wanted to bake a cake, we wouldn’t be able to purchase any flour, or hand sanitiser would be completely non-existent in any shop you are able to go to because everything is closed. Everything we knew, everything we did in a day, things we were looking forward to… Cancelled, Closed, Post-Poned! How can we gain control of our anxieties, emotions and lives in such uncertainty. Do we even want to, or are we generally quite content with the break from the whirlwind that is life…
There seems to be an urge to be in the know, to get instant updates and to be the first to hear if anything changes. But at what cost? We have been granted an opportunity to take a breath and just be. How many times in your working life do you desire the chance to step back and have a moment to yourself? This is our chance. Of course, the updates are important and we like to follow what is going on, but if you added up how much time you’ve spent scrolling, commenting about others on social media, looking at what other people are doing and possibly feeling bad about yourself. . . you may be shocked at the time you could be spending in better ways. Try to gain a sense of how you feel before picking up your phone or turning on the news, and decide if what you’re about to do will make positively or negatively impact your mood; there is a time and a place for everything.
Maybe there are a lot of anxieties around doing nothing. If you skip the relaxation in a Yoga Class, yes I am talking to you. But where has this come from? It takes me back to my previous blog, where it feels like we like to wear how busy we are as a badge of honour. Knowing it is ok to sit on the sofa in your pyjamas in the afternoon, or stay up binge watching Netflix, knowing you don’t have to get up in the morning (obviously if you have children and pets, or are still working from home it will be different). But I feel we can use the situation positively, to really get back in touch with ourselves, our families, our past-times.
We live in such a beautiful world, and I don’t know about you, but I have noticed so much more when out walking the dog because everything is so much more peaceful. The sounds of the birds, the crashing of the sea, the moonlight reflecting off the water. Is that down to less cars and general noise polluting our senses, or the fact that we feel we don’t have to rush, maybe a combination of both?
I would like to highlight some encouragement…encouragement to use this given time for yourself and not treat it as though we are waiting for this pandemic to end, but embracing the now and making time to be fully present in your life. We will all soon wish the time back when ‘normality’ surges back in.
It depends where we are, what we do and how we live as to whether any of this even applies to you, but it is certainly some food for thought; what can we control and what is this time good for?
My 10 Takeaways (positive ways to influence your mood):
- Think before you scroll – how will your mood be impacted?
- Find a meditation that feels right for you and listen daily (even just 5 minutes).
- The first hour of your day sets up the rest of the day, use it wisely.
- Get up before your phone (yes that is not picking your phone up and scrolling as the first thing before getting out of bed).
- Find a suitable exercise regime (maybe walks, cycling, yoga etc).
- If you are the type of person that needs structure, keep a structure to your day, as it has been proven to positively impact mental health.
- Make your bed every morning.
- Make little positive changes to influence your mood (it may be 5 minutes sat in the sunshine, listening to the chirping of the birds, or looking forward to an afternoon latte and slice of cake…whatever floats your boat).
- Make an occasion out of meal-time (maybe light a candle, play some music).
- Take the time to really reflect and get in touch with yourself – you may find out something about yourself you didn’t know.
- And a sneaky little extra: Do Not Compare! Everyone is different and comparing what we are doing and how we are feeling to others is not likely to enhance our mood.
Search for your own sense of Hope in Nature, in Yourself, in your Family; don’t allow the news, social media, other people be the ounce of hope you’re searching for.
My love goes out to all those who may have experienced loss during this time, and my gratitude to all those working on the front-line.
Mahalo to all