The world is going through a tumultuous time right now. With the Covid epidemic spreading like wildfire, our busy lives have come to a screeching halt. We are unable to roam around, shop, eat outside, go to the gym, or do any other activities we used to before. On the plus side, nature is healing. We are again able to wake up to the cuckoo and watch the sky turn orange with a dash of cottony clouds in the evening. The lives of our healthcare workers and doctors are always on stake, but they still choose to serve humanity with sincere honesty and dedication. If you observe carefully, most of us are working from home with adequate supplies to meet regular needs. But, we are anxious, stressed, and panic-stricken. It’s not the pandemic effect, but the story with our minds even during normal times.
Is Lockdown Responsible for Our Panic and Anxiety?
Both yes and no. When governments are trying all their might to contain the situation, the only option is to ask people to stay home and safe. Both introverts and extroverts are going through turbulent times. As humans, we crave for outside comforts and constant stimulation to feel happy and energized. But, we have been conditioned this way to seek all the joy and happiness outside. We have to live 24X7 with our own body and mind first; however, there is little awareness about mental health and emotional management. That’s why we are feeling more stressed and anxious than ever before.
Our Mind is a Prisoner of Our Thoughts
According to experts, our mind generates 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day and 80% of them are negative whereas 95% of them are repetitive or embedded in our subconscious. And when we turn on the TV and watch people suffering, we enter a thought loop of events that are totally out of our control. We have been taught to look good, be presentable, and become more social, but it’s high time we learn to manage our own emotions to a large extent without external over dependence. Lonely thoughts are common and it’s alright. What’s not right is not finding a way to manage negative emotions and drowning in our pool of negativity. The lockdown is a blessing in disguise for us as the depression and anxiety can still prevail, even after the external factors are normal. It’s a battle that we fight with our mind, every single day. Truth be told, continuous lonely feelings can lead to depression and lack of determination.
Flipping Our Routine Can Save Our Sanity
We are not accustomed to the work from home lifestyle and therefore, our routines have derailed. All too often, we are munching that bag of chips or binge-watching Netflix for more than 10 hours at a time. A sedentary life is not only messing up with our mind but with our physical body as well. On top of that, we are looking for instruments for instant gratification. Online has become the new oxygen for us and breathing practices have taken a backseat. The amount of negativity that we accumulate, we are unable to drain it out of our minds. But, there’s a way out:
Positive Affirmations: Every day as you wake up, stay clear from your phone for half an hour. Stretch your body a bit and sit down in complete silence. Chant affirmations aloud or in our mind, “I am worth living this life. I am enough. I am going to make today a better day than yesterday. My body, health, and body are my priorities and everything is secondary.
Keep a Worry Journal: Many scientific studies have proved that worry has no place on paper. When we write away our fears, they can no longer keep us captive. However, my personal experience says writing a gratitude journal is a better practice. That way, you can find all thankful and positive thoughts when you leaf through the pages—another great way to boost your mind.
Go Health Hours from Happy Hours: Ditch all alcohol and sugary drinks and set aside 2 hours for your health every single day. Trust me, it’s not too much. Given that the commute time has reduced to zero, devote that time to your body. Your productivity is closely linked to how you feel. When you flex your body, the endorphin boost will elevate your energy and you can find the zest and zeal to breeze through the day. Start with only push ups; then you can gradually move on to planks, squats, and more.
Watch Out Your Water Intake: Make sure to gulp down at least 3 liters of liquid everyday in different forms. You can have lemonade, homemade juice, or a concoction made of ginger, black pepper, and clove for a refreshing taste and better immunity. Dehydration can cause physical problems and mental fog as the body requires enough fluids to supply nutrients to the entire system.
Practice Breathing and Pranayama: When you are getting started, getting fixated on the idea of meditation can prevent you from starting. So, it’s better to start with belly or diaphragmatic breathing to get into a habit. The process is simple; however, you can use apps like Headspace and Calm to follow the necessary instructions and make breathing a regular practice. Remember to steer clear of vigorous exercises, if you have a respiratory problem like asthma or bronchitis.
Increase Intake of Anxiety Reducing Foods: It’s the perfect time to cut down junk foods and replace them with high-fiber, anxiety reducing substances. Make sure to have almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and Vitamin A, B-Complex, and D rich foods.
Keep Your Walks to the Supermarket to a Minimum
It’s alright to feel bored and suffocated at home, but we have to be extra careful when we step outside. The air has become cleaner than ever; however, seasonal allergies and respiratory problems can trouble and cause breathing issues. Therefore, get into the habit of using nasal filters along with the usual masks that you use for enhanced protection. People with low immunity and pregnant women are more susceptible to develop pollen and mold allergy outside, so it’s advisable to stay indoors. If you have a high allergic response to the summer season or sinusitis, it’s highly recommended to use a combination of nasal filters and pollution masks.
It’s Your Opportunity to Supercharge Your Immunity
We might be living in dark times right now, but the sunlight will definitely pierce the clouds soon. By that time, our job is to supercharge our immunity and get into positive routines that we have struggled with our entire life. We might not get time to work on our body and mind so intimately, once we go back to our rushed routines. It’s the time to let go of your limiting beliefs, fix your sleep cycle, and reboot your entire life for good. The habits and mindset that you build now are going to serve you for the rest of your life. I hope you get better and closer to yourself with every passing day!