I wanted to reach out and check-in to offer any support I can while we are riding the wave of physical distancing and social isolation. These are very strange times and we will all process and experience things quite differently. Some of us may be enjoying the “down-time” to catch up on things we have been meaning to get around to, while others may be quite anxious about basic needs and employment uncertainty, among other things. And just the “unknown” (how long will life be like this?) can stir up some harsh emotions (fear, sadness, depression).
In an attempt to offer some support, I am sharing something I posted on my Instagram page. Regardless of how you may be feeling these days, I think the following are some good tips to help navigate the weeks ahead:
1. Create a NEW routine for yourself. We are creatures of habit and change often produces anxiety. So if you were going to work but are now working from home, still set your alarm, shower, get out of your pjs! You may be surprised at how this affects your mood. If you are no longer working, still create a routine that gets you up and moving.
2. Start and end your day without distractions. Avoid watching the news, looking at your phone or answering emails right away. I like to say “ease into your day”! Read a book, listen to music, meditate, do some yoga, have your coffee in silence…or do anything that brings you joy. Even if it is only for 5 minutes…we all have 5 minutes now ;) Again, bombarding your brain with negative stuff like the news and negative social media is NOT helpful and only sets the tone for the rest of your day. Same goes for before you fall asleep…put your phone down and don’t watch the news (or anything negative) before bed. Understand that this stuff has a negative impact on your sleep cycles. I would even suggest creating “device free” time in the morning, some times throughout the day, and definitely 30 minutes before you go to bed.
3. Move your body. Turn off Netflix and go for a walk. Stretch in your chair, move your body in anyway you can! I cannot emphasize this enough. Exercise is the best antidepressant. Again, we all have the time to do this now so NO excuses! :) I would even suggest scheduling time in to do this (referring back to point #1). When you make something a part of your scheduled day you are more likely to follow through with it. I actually write in my daytimer “walk” or “yoga” or “read” and I look at my “to-do” list each day to make sure I follow through. We as humans want to do what's easy…but staying on the couch will come back to haunt us later!!
4. The Food-Mood Connection. It is well known that unhealthy eating patterns cause mood swings. Low levels of zinc, iron, magnesium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids are associated with worsening mood and decreased energy. Try to eat as healthy as possible. With so many restaurants closed, take advantage of this time to cook fresh and do some meal prepping!
Check this out: https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/external/2018/03/relationship-food-mood/
5. Connect with your tribe. Humans are social beings - no matter how introverted you feel you are. We all need our circle…our peeps. I would suggest daily check-ins with those you care about and love. Even though we can’t hug or kiss these days, we are fortunate to have FaceTime and Zoom. Even hearing someone's voice can brighten spirits. Don’t underestimate the power of connection. Those of you who are more extroverted may really be struggling with social isolation. You are not alone. Set up Zoom parties and social media challenges. BTW I started a Zoom bookclub if anyone is interested!
And don’t forget that connecting with others might be helping the person on the other end too! It’s a win-win!!
6. Fear is an illusion. Fear is something we make up in our mind. It is anxiety lying to you. You know what I would be saying right? “Is your thought a belief or a fact?” 95% of the time, our thoughts are just beliefs that never come to fruition and therefore cause unnecessary stress. Now more than ever we must keep the faith and become proficient surfers of this wave!! Focusing on “things will work out” versus “things won’t work out” require the same amount of energy, so why focus on fear when you can focus on the positive - and the most likely outcome! Also, it is proven that negative thoughts affect our cells and weaken our immune system..and we need our cells to be rockstars right now!
Lastly I’d like to remind each of you that I am available by Doxy.Me if you need support. You can also follow me on Instagram (whitelotuswellness4) and/or Facebook (White Lotus Wellness) for tidbits of support.