The pandemic has turned our mental health upside down. The constant dread for the safety of our loved ones has been keeping us awake, and while we all are trying our best to support each other in every way. It is also essential to support ourselves to stay strong for ourselves and our families.
The battle has turned into an ongoing affair, and while setting up a solid routine must be the last thing on your mind- it is mandatory to feel safe and present. While walking, cardio and strength do help in freezing time for a while, combining it with practices to boost your mental health might help in surviving this year.
We have tried to combine a list of things one can do to feel an element of peace that has left our homes since a long time.
FOCUS ON YOUR MORNING HABIT
A peek into one’s every day routine might begin by looking at the phone with half-open eyes. A reflex reaction to check up on the news and health of your loved ones, nevertheless does more harm than good. Try to make a slight change to your morning routine by starting with a long body stretch and five deep breaths.
Spend some time to get your body moving with a long yawn, and a walk to the window or balcony to soak the beginning of a new day. Looking at your screen as soon as you wake up is only going to activate negative thoughts as that is how it is right now. Giving yourself a few moments of peace before getting ready for the day will give you more strength and quiet to spend a good day.
GARDENING DURING THE PANDEMIC
Waking up and watering your green family is probably one of the most calming activities being done by most of the world right now. We are aware of the steep rise of plant lovers since the pandemic, as it is a great way to fully invest your mind. Growing your own produce also decreases frequent trips to the store. Be it growing a tomato or lettuce plant all by yourself- the entire process of potting, watering, and nurturing a plant does reflect in your being. Watching the seeds turn into little saplings gives one a belief in growth, while letting your mind welcome it back into your system.
CLEANING WITH MINDFULNESS
Many people are going back to the basics to feel a sense of stability. Cleaning has been one the most fulfilling and calming activities for many people. If there is one thing that you like doing- be it washing the dishes or sweeping the floor, try doing it with a certain mindfulness. Being mindful of certain activities helps pause the constant clutter of thoughts to better one’s mental health.
Try to wash the dishes with a certain focus. Sweep the room with focussed music playing in the background. Give yourself time in the midst of the basic and mundane to feel a sense of stability. Even when you’re cooking, let your space be welcoming and clean before you prepare a fresh meal. Let the mundane tasks lead you back to the basics to feel mentally safer and stronger.
READ WHAT YOU’VE ALREADY READ
In a time like this, it is slightly tough for your mind to be ready to digest an encyclopaedia. It’s great if it works for you, but if it doesn’t calm your thoughts- try to give yourself a sense of safety by going back to the books you read as a child or a teenager.
Cozying up with a book that can take you back to a time that was beautiful, carefree and far away from the worries that exist today will help you gain mental peace, even if for a little while.
EAT RIGHT, DRINK RIGHT
All that we consume affects our mood, hormones and behaviour. Focussing on your diet is one of the best things one can do to feel an innate difference. Fruits, vegetables, balanced water, and foods rich in Omega- 3 fatty acids actually boost mental health. Keep nuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and dry fruits as your snacking diet to avoid feeling too full, and keep ordering to a minimum for your safety and health.
Even though many of us are sitting on the same couch most of the day, our breathing is rapid due to the constant thinking. Try to keep your gadgets aside and take long breaths by inhaling through your nose and exhaling slowly through the mouth. This focussed breathing exercise helps slow one’s breathing and empties the lungs. Breathing right is one of the most powerful ways to calm your mind, while also improving your lung capacity.
TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME
Try to do one thing that makes you feel better instead of clubbing it all together. Add meditation to the days when your mind has had too much to process, exercise when you feel extremely lethargic (although we recommend exercising daily to lift your mood), or read when you need to forget the present for a while. Just keep your options in front of you and do what you feel like doing on a particular day to look after your mental sanity.
While you try to add these things to your daily routine to feel mentally better, you’ll also be helping the world by staying home. The lockdown is only going to help make things better. Keep yourself safe and strong by staying home, and adding activities that make you feel better and safer.