The current global situation is affecting everyone, but not everyone is feeling the same way. Being in quarantine or isolation is bringing up a lot of feelings for us all. From stress about the virus, protecting ourselves and our family, financial stuff, relationships, past traumas, and 101 other things. Regardless of what our anxiety is stemming from, it’s important to remember that there are still things we can pay attention to and boundaries that we can set to help us cope better.
Here are some reminders I’m giving myself and some ways I’m working on protecting my energy in order to keep my mental health in a place that feels good for me:
1. YOU’RE ALLOWED TO FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL: We're all in this together, but we’re all processing and expressing things differently, and seeing things from different perspectives depending on our work/lifestyle/income, etc. Every day, I hear about a situation that’s worse than mine, or talk to someone who is coping very differently from me. But it’s okay. Because we’re all human. It’s okay to feel what you feel. Whether that's missing seeing some of your friends, missing regular grocery store visits(this is me!), or just feeling sad about missing your usual lifestyle, it's all okay to feel and to express. I’m reminding myself that my emotions are still valid, and other people's struggles and the overall seriousness of the pandemic don't take away from what I am allowed to feel.
2. MOVEMENT CAN GET STUCK ENERGY OUT: Movement doesn’t have to be an intense workout with heavy weights, and it doesn't have to look the same every day. But I find that when I move my body, it helps me to get some of that stuck, anxious energy out, so I can get back to my work or my day with more calm and stable energy. Some days I follow a workout online(there’s lots of good ones available now), I go for a short walk around my neighbourhood, I do some stretching or a yoga flow on my bedroom floor, or do some handstands up against the wall! Anything to get things moving out!
3. SUNLIGHT AND DAYLIGHT CAN HELP OUR MOOD: I know the sun isn’t always out, but our bodies need to see sunlight or daylight everyday. This is how the body knows what hormones to release and what systems to activate - these are the hormones and systems that promote energy and wakefulness, which are all the daytime things. When the body sees the contrast of the night time or the lack of sunlight, it knows to deactivate things and shut things down to get ready for rest. I try to get some movement in each day, but it’s also important for me to get some sunlight too, to help my body to balance hormones that help to keep my mood balanced too. I might find a trail to walk through, or just a quick loop around the block. Anything to get my eyes exposed to the daylight.
4. I DON’T HAVE TO BE “ON” OR PRODUCTIVE ALL THE TIME: Even if we’re not physically around people, we're all still feeling and processing energy. So when I don't feel motivated or productive, I check in with myself and ask "what do I need in order to feel more motivated"? Sometimes I need to go for a quick walk and get some fresh air, but usually, what I really need is to just rest and do nothing for a period of time. Allowing my body that time to not be "on" for a moment has a funny way of sparking inspiration when I'm ready to return to work. Instead of beating myself up for not being "productive" enough during this time, I'm reminding myself that my body is taking in a lot, and sometimes a break and turning "off" helps me to feel better.
5. THERE IS A CONNECTION BETWEEN FOOD AND OUR MOOD: If you’ve been following along for a while, or you have my Blood Sugar Management Guide e-book, you know that our blood sugar ups and downs can have a big impact on our mood, focus and even motivation. I try to always try to pay attention to keeping my blood sugar stable for better energy and mood, but especially right now when anxieties are running higher than normal. I recommend making sure each meal of the day contains a protein source, a healthy fat and loads of fibre to keep it all balanced throughout the day.
6. I DON’T HAVE TO BE SOCIAL AND INTERACT WITH PEOPLE IF I DON’T WANT TO AT ANY GIVEN TIME: I get it. A lot of us are missing the face to face interaction from before the quarantine. For me, I want to be very aware of protecting my energy, and what that means is reminding myself that I don’t have to be available to talk to every one who want to talk to me right now, I don’t have to answer every facetime call, or respond to messages and DMs right when they come through. I can choose to interact at a time that feels good for me.
HOW DOES THAT FEEL FOR YOU?
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