One of the biggest challenges living in lockdown is the complete destruction, or rather reconstruction, of our daily routines. The current lockdown experience varies for most of us, so whether you’re a student working from home, a key worker having to regularly commute to work, and all else in between, we could all do with taking some time to consciously and intentionally adapt to this new “normal”.
1) Face each day with a sense of purpose
In the morning or the night before, write yourself a “To-do List” of 3 key things you want to achieve in the day ahead. This doesn’t sound like much, but in practice, if you set yourself more than 3 personal projects to work on, you will either feel rushed, stressed or simply not doing all of them. So, if you want that “smashing your To-Do List” feeling, make it a realistic list.
When you set yourself goals, make them specific and measurable. Writing down “Work on project X” will not be as clear as “Create 20 slides for presentation X”. Being vague can trick you into doing less than you planned since “work” alone can mean 1 slide, as well as 20. When you have a measurable target in mind, it will be much easier to keep track of your progress, and feel like you’re closer to the end, which will, in turn, motivate you to keep going, and finish faster! Because we’re all about working smarter than harder, right?
The “To-do List” doesn’t have to be all about professional work, though. If you don’t have any set projects to do, use this to your advantage and create some for yourself. This can include picking up a new hobby, learning a new skill for fun or professional development, or simply doing all the fun things you always wished you had the time for. Well, now you have this time. Make the most of it.
2) Do a mental-health MOT
We are experiencing the most extreme global events we have seen in decades. Naturally, it will leave many of us feeling lonely, anxious and all-round not so great. It is therefore really important to acknowledge those emotions since the first step in fixing a problem is understanding it. Allocate a few minutes to have an honest conversation with yourself. Offer that same level of care, love and kindness to yourself, as you would to your best friend that is feeling down.
Once you have navigated your emotions, try to think of ways you can improve them. If you are feeling lonely, arrange a phone call with a friend or relative. Think carefully about what kind of interaction you are lacking. Is it a catch-up and a laugh with your friends? Is it reduced communication with your partner? Or perhaps an overall chit-chat with your parents? Make the time for regular *quality* communication with those people. Arrange a phone call, a video call or an online games night. Texting can help too, but we can all agree to hear your loved one laugh is much more enjoyable than reading “haha” on your phone. Schedule those appointments in, as you would if you were actively going out to see them. Knowing that you have regular “virtual meet-ups” planned ahead will make you feel far less isolated, and leave you with something exciting to look forward to.
Most of us are also left feeling pretty anxious with everything going on. Try to explore new relaxation and mindfulness techniques. Now is the perfect time for experimentation! One of the key and clinically proven ways to reduce anxiety naturally is through CBD skin and food products. The CBD field is new and exciting, as we regularly discover more and more health benefits of this incredible, plant-based compound, which is proven to be effective in relieving various forms of anxiety. “But doesn’t it give you a “high”?”, you may ask. The short answer is no. The long answer is that the natural, plant-based cannabidiol (CBD) compound is not addictive, nor psychoactive, which means you won’t be experiencing anything other than increased relaxation and natural pain relief! If you are having a particularly anxious day, treat yourself, your skin and your mind with a pamper evening including some cosy pyjamas, CBD skincare products (or snacks), and a good film. Thank us later.
3) Don’t forget to care for your body, as well as your mind
Staying active to maintain a healthy lifestyle is not a revolutionary discovery. But it is perhaps the fact that it is so obvious, which often makes it so overlooked. Alongside the previously mentioned CBD products for calmness and overall anxiety relief, physical activity has pretty similar effects. Exercise provokes the release of endorphins, which, similarly to CBD products, decrease pain, make you feel calmer and all-round happier.
Make sure the activity you choose is actually enjoyable. If you hate running, don’t torture yourself with a 5K run! It will simply deter you from exercising in the future.
Try to schedule some form of physical activity daily, whether it be a social-distancing walk or a Zumba party for one in your living room. If you wish to add a social element, why not try out an online fitness class, such as Yoga or Pilates? The fitness world is your oyster.
There is no quick fix for a happy, healthy life. But there are daily habits we can develop, which can make our days just that little bit nicer.