It is important for us to nurture and replenish our minds along with our bodies to be able to power through this time.
Just as wearing masks and social distancing is important, it is vital to try our best to stay positive too.
"According to a study by the University of Queenland, having a positive mindset and healthy mood can greatly improve your immune system".
Here are nine steps that we can take in our everyday lives to bring about positive changes and uplift our mental and physical wellbeing.
Develop a routine and stick to it: Having to exist in a confined space for a long period of time whilst we work from home and restrict our usual social life is difficult. The monotony gets to us and we start losing focus.
Develop a healthy, constructive routine by setting fixed hours to work, exercise, eat and spend time with family. Make sure that you look forward to the next activity of the day. This will help you to stay positive and fulfilled throughout the day. Read more about how to develop a healthy routine whilst working from home here.
Rediscover a long lost hobby: We all have that one hobby or talent that went onto the backburner a while ago. Our priorities tend to push them back and we lose touch with them.
Take advantage of the bonus time you have at home and rekindle your long lost hobby. Going back to a hobby that you enjoy is therapeutic, and refreshes the mind. So go ahead and start today!
Know the facts: Convoluted forwarded information and social media frenzies can make us believe just about anything, especially when we are feeling anxious already. With facts twisted and sensationalised, we can struggle to differentiate the truth from misleading information.
Make sure to follow only the known and acknowledged sources of information, and do not forward anything that may be misleading. Sensational news may be a huge cause of anxiety and stress amongst those who are prone to being triggered by it.
Spend time with your family: One out of the few positives of the pandemic is the ability to spend more time with your family and loved ones. While we are mostly ‘stuck at work’ under regular circumstances, the pandemic has helped to dispel this excuse.
If you are quarantined with family /a loved one or working from home, make sure you spend plenty of quality time with them, balanced with alone time.
Stay connected: Technology has enabled easy connectivity. If you are away from family, be sure to connect with them via a digital medium. Speaking to a loved one can be immensely therapeutic and helpful in uplifting your spirits.
Stay healthy through food and exercise: The phrase "we are what we eat" is true! Our eating habits play a huge role in our overall wellbeing, and a nutritious, balanced diet can help us to feel energetic and positive, instead of sluggish and bloated.
While it is easy to succumb to an unhelpful eating regime and stress eating during this time, it is important to try to maintain a healthy diet. With controlled exposure to restaurant food, we can take the opportunity to cook healthy meals from scratch at home.
Make sure to exercise regularly, choosing something you enjoy and can stick to as part of your routine, to keep those endorphins up and ensure your body stays fit and strong.
Practice gratitude: We often take our blessings for granted. The pandemic has taught us to embrace what we have with gratitude. In the regular course of life, we are quick to complain and usually dissatisfied, however, the pandemic has brought everything to be thankful for into the spotlight.
Make a list of everything you have to be thankful for to focus your mind and bring a smile to your face. You can read more ideas for practicing gratitude here.
Seek professional help: Elevated levels of anxiety and stress during turbulent times are sometimes inevitable. One of the most effective ways of combating emotional upheaval and stress is to seek professional help and consequently address your issues and develop appropriate coping mechanisms.
Be mindful: When there is no light at the end of the tunnel, it is difficult to remain positive. Try your best to focus on the helpful phrase "this too shall pass", i.e. embracing the present moment and being thankful for being alive and healthy.
Be mindful of the present moment and try to stop anticipating the future. Specifically when it is uncertain, choose to think of positive solutions and outcomes. This will keep you at peace and in a happy state of mind.
You can take part in mindfulness classes on We Connect here.
A global crisis is extremely daunting. We feel confined and worried, and that can sometimes lead us to anticipate the worst.
In such situations, experiencing highs and lows at different points during the day or week is normal. It is important to follow a pattern of conscious effort to keep ourselves going and staying realistically positive, whilst also recognising that it is ok to have "off days".
Keep smiling, there is always hope that tomorrow will be a better day.