I have been thinking about this for a while, because now is definitely the time to be looking after each other, I wanted to share a post to see how everyone is coping with the COVID-19 lockdown.
Even though we have all been getting the same information and playing by the same rules, everyone’s experience of this event has been so unique and different. Throughout this time I have found reading about other people’s lives and choices during this time quite comforting. To know that I am not alone, and to know that there are other people feeling the same things I am.
So here's some real talk for you about my COVID experience.
I’ve been on a major emotional rollercoaster ride the past few months (I think it’s months now… I’ve lost track of how long this has been going on for…). Some days I feel amazing, full of energy and motivation, and other days I feel like the life has been completely zapped out of me, I’m moody & I have no energy to get out of bed and start my day.
I noticed in the first few weeks I was thinking very much short term and forgot to look outward at the bigger. It’s easy when stuck in your own house, in your own head, with all your own issues to forget that there are far bigger things going on in the world.
I am also the type of person who usually bottles up my emotions and then lets them flood out once every few months. It is something I am aware of, and am trying to get better at, but last week the banks broke and it all came flooding out. It came from multiple insignificant things layered on top of one another and I just cracked. While it was hard, I am trying to reflect and learn from these experiences, and I would love to share what I have learned with you.
· Embrace your emotions - This one has been hard for me, as I am not usually one to talk about my feelings or show much emotion. I have learnt through this isolation period that labelling and meeting your emotions is important. We need to embrace and nurture the emotions that you are experiencing. Ride the wave of whatever you are feeling & adapt your day and routine around what your body is asking for rather than trying to fight it.
· Let it out - Letting it out is so cleansing! I definitely need to do it more often! If you’re angry, upset, or even feeling really happy, just let it out! I had 2 mini meltdowns last weekend and I cannot tell you how much better I felt come Monday. Allowing yourself the space and time to express your emotions means you will stop them from having major effects on you. Remind yourself that it is perfectly fine to not be ok 100% of the time!
· Speak it out - Reach out to your go-to safe person and tell them everything you’re feeling. For me this is my husband and my dad. They definitely copped a crying earful, but the advice they gave me was absolutely gold! You might not even need the advice, but just sharing your problem can make you feel so much better. The old saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ has stuck around for a reason.
· Practice gratitude morning & night - This is something I have been trying to practice more of this year and I have amped it up to a daily practice during isolation because it’s so important to remind ourselves of how lucky we are. Every morning I have been going on a walk with my dog to our local coffee shop. Supporting local business and getting a smile from the owner starts my day right, but most importantly while I stand and wait outside for my almond latte I look up at the sky and list 3things I’m really grateful for – for example, this mornings were as simple as: I am so grateful I got up and got to move my body this morning, I am grateful for this fresh air, I am so grateful for my favourite barista to be making my coffee, I am grateful to be able to buy this coffee and I am grateful for my dog Alfie. I do this practice at night as well before I go to sleep except this time I list all the great things that happened for me that day. It really helps to keep my mind thinking positively rather than looking for the negatives.
· Change your thinking - This is similar to the gratitude practice, I have been really focusing on flipping the negatives that often creep in to my mind into positives. It’s sometime hard to catch yourself in a negative spin, but when you do it’s important to try to stop yourself and rewrite the narrative. A positive mindset can completely change your life.
· Move your body - I cannot stress this one enough! It can be hard to maintain motivation when you’re stuck at home but even if you just do a few stretches or go for a walk, it will make the world of difference. I have been mixing up my workouts every day because otherwise they get stale and boring. I have been swapping between Centrfit & Keep it Cleaner. I’m also loving the Salt Pilates Studio online classes, especially their sweat pilates classes! I feel so much better after a good sweat session and getting my heart rate up. My workouts are some of the highlights of my day! If you’re feeling blah or just in a bad mood sweat it out! Trust me you will feel better after, but feel free to take it slow!
· Get creative - I have been getting creative in the kitchen with baking & cooking, and also been expressing my creativity in the interior decorating of our house. It’s a great outlet and great distraction from work and the current pandemic. Find a passion project, find something that you love to do, something that makes you loose track of time! It’s so good for the soul! I’ve seen some other people drawing, painting, gardening, or even trying new yoga moves.
· Recharge your batteries - Our brains are working in overtime at the moment trying to figure out all the uncertainties. So allow yourself some time and space. Give your mind a whole heap of TLC :) and set yourself some breaks throughout the day. If ever there was a time to be allowed to slow down and not feel guilty about it now is that time! I usually never nap and I have been napping every weekend & it has been AMAZING! Take each day as it comes and remind yourself that you are doing an amazing job and we’re all in this together.
I really hope you are all doing ok, and know that you are not alone. Everyone is battling in some way or another at the moment, so be gentle on yourself. You are amazing! Take this time to go within, and get to know who you are without being influenced by others. Learn what really makes you happy and fills your soul.