7 tips to keep you well
This week I attended my regular yoga class where I was one of a small class of 5. Was this unusual class size in response to the COVID-19 pandemic or did the others just have important adulting to do? Either way, they missed out! It was a great class physically and mentally and for me one where a moment of clarity and inspiration came to write my thoughts on a topic I feel very strongly about, especially at this time during the world pandemic, self-care.
Here I was in class, doing the do, listening and following instructions given by the teacher and towards the end, as is part of every class, we had a moment of stillness and quiet. It was at this moment where the realisation came…. I hadn’t thought about the ‘outside world’ and all the chaos that is unfolding from the COVID-19 situation for the entire time of the class. It was an escape and I loved every moment of it!
There was peace, calm and clarity of mind. An energised feeling in the body. A stillness which soothed and nurtured the soul. And it was through immense joy and happiness of this moment that inspiration arose.
The drive home was a pleasant one, even though as soon as I left the studio the air seemed full of anxiety and commotion, and I pondered on what else could help in creating this same or similar peace and calm I’d just experienced in everyday life.
The importance, of course, has everything to do with our mental health and mindset. Anxiety, fear and stress has such dire and negative implications on our health, strength and immunity it’s important to keep it all in check, especially now with so much uncertainty and concern. Research has proven stress (especially prolonged) can lead to illness and yet, when a tricky situation arises our initial reaction is generally some sort of stress response. If we’re trying to fight infection or disease stress will decrease our immunity and in fact increase the chances of becoming sick.
So self-care. Being mindful of our thoughts and actions and doing what IS possible to control whatever situation, pandemic or not. Here’s my top 7 suggestions:
YOUR HOME IS YOUR SANCTUARY
I love my home. It’s a haven away from external stimulus and the noise of the outside world. And over this last week, it has become more of a sanctuary than I’d ever thought possible. It has lots of love and positive energy within, conversations that are uplifting and fun, good healthy food (and chocolate and wine, also healthy), things that make me smile and happy and of course a fur-baby. It’s my little cave where the outside world cannot penetrate, unless I choose. And I choose to:
TURN OFF THE NEWS AND SOCIALS
Self-explanatory. Stay in the loop and know the important stuff, but limit time viewing all the news on tv and social media. It doesn’t need to be drilled in your mind 24/7 – it’s depressing and creates chaos and fear which equals an unhealthy mind and stress.
STAY AWAY FROM THE SUPERMARKETS
What a confronting and sad trip to the supermarket (and butcher) it was on the weekend. A little shocking for sure. And so it’s been decided not to go unless necessary. The visual representation does no good for the mind by creating scarcity, fear and panic, doubting ourselves and creating thoughts ‘I should buy’ and purchase needless supplies. (This household has enough toilet paper in the cupboard, but if an apocalypse comes we’ll fail lol).
CRANK UP SOME TUNES
Music has so much to offer. But choose wisely. What songs or artists make you happy, carefree and energised? Listen to these, dance to these, tune in to the music and tune out of the stress and worry (even if just for a moment).
TAKE TIME OUT
For me this week, it was yoga. But you may choose to sit in the garden with a cuppa, go for a massage, take a walk, meditate, read a book, get crafty, draw, watch some netflix – anything which can give you space in thoughts, a break in life and a moment away from this strange time in the world.
ENGAGE IN GOOD POSITIVE CONVERSATION AND LANGUAGE
Limit (or avoid) interactions with people where the conversation is about the pandemic and lots of negativity. These continuous conversations are not useful in maintaining good vibes and managing stress levels and if it’s hard to disengage with certain people and situations, perhaps try creating boundaries. Check out the photo above!
Be mindful of the language you use. For example, rather than self-isolation or social-distancing (depressing and lonely – all that humans are not) try ‘retreat’ or ‘social responsibility’. Using language that is more positive changes the way our brains work and feels and therefore increases a sense of wellness.
EAT WELL AND KEEP HEALTHY
You may have been stockpiling pantry items, but while there are still plenty of fruit and veg around I encourage you to eat these. As suggested by my Naturopathic friend Carolyn Hall:
- Eating heaps of Veggies & 2 pieces of Fruit
- Sipping water throughout the day to keep the body hydrated and flushing out toxins & germs
- Using medicinal herbs liberally in cooking and herbal teas such as turmeric, ginger, garlic, thyme, chilli, rosemary & cinnamon.
- Avoiding Sugar & Dairy which can make the immune system work hard
- Limiting alcohol & caffeine (especially if anxious)
- Maintaining good Vitamin D levels
- Aiming for quality Sleep, avoiding late nights
- Keep exercising gently – don’t overdo it, don’t under-do it!
We’re all in this together! Let’s stay positive, be kind, look out for and after each other and choose love!
I’d love to know what you’re doing for Self-Care! Please share as I’m always seeking new ways and tips for myself and sharing with others.