Updated: Feb 28, 2021
I like to think I'm pretty good at carrying on with my day to day, for the most part. Despite my efforts, I'm often slapped in the face with a random bout of pandemic blues.
It's okay to miss your old life.
It's okay to feel overwhelmed.
It's okay to feel pessimistic.
It's okay to feel lonely.
But it's not okay to idly observe these emotions without any effort of remediation.
Here are some practical tips that I leverage when I'm feeling low/stressed/anxious about our current environment, I hope they can help someone else!
First and foremost, please prioritize your physical & mental health by consulting your healthcare provider. Changes in mood can be due to underlying nutrient deficiencies, chronic stress, infections & illnesses (physical/mental).
1) Write a to-do list each & every day with gratitude statements at the very top.
This will help maintain a sense of routine & normalcy. At the top of your list, include at least 3 things you're grateful for. Yes, there is hard science on gratitude exercises & their impact in positive psychology. You can find several studies proving the efficacy via a simple search on PubMed/National Medicine Library, but here is one study to get you started!
2) Find 1 new recipe to try each week
This will help with creativity & excite your taste buds.
3) Get outside
Fresh air is a wonderful thing. Read more here.
4) FaceTime someone at least once a week
This is a 2-for-1 in that it will combat your own feelings of isolation, and make the recipient feel cared for.
A professional therapist will equip you with practical strategies to help you sort through & manage thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
6) Move your body
Breathwork (pranayama), yoga (asana), strength training, cardio. 20 minutes everyday is so much better than 1 hour once or twice a week.
Write down what you're feeling. I personally write down everything I miss, and then I'll write down everything I can still do. It may be helpful for you to keep a list of everything you CAN do, that way you can reference this list when you're in need of inspiration. I'll have a new blog post on journal topics later this week!
8) Find a new hobby!
Playing a new instrument, painting/drawing, learn a language, growing your own plants, cooking/baking, etc. Remember, you don't have to be good at something to have fun!
9) Change your mindset- view this time as a transition period
COVID19 and everything it has brought with it is unarguably terrible. If there is any silver lining, try and grasp it. Maybe you now have more free time without a commute? How can you use this time in a constructive, productive way? Yes, productive can also look like self care and taking things easy-- maybe that is what you need to work on. Maybe you need to brush up on personal finance, build strength, develop expertise to excel in your career. Ask yourself- What areas in my life need attention? Where can I improve? How will I get there? For me, I'm using this time to really focus on my knowledge of yoga, and improve my skills as a manager at my job.
10) Read & Sleep
Personally, I'm trying to read for 1 hour before bed while my phone is on airplane mode for the night. This is another 2 for 1 strategy- I'm building in time to read, and it is also helpful for sleep quality.
11) Limit screentime
Social media is a helpful tool to connect with friends & family, but it can also be a comparison trap. Try and limit your screen time as you see fit. I like to have my phone on airplane mode for the first hour I'm awake, and the last hour before bed. By doing so, I'm telling my phone that I start & end my day, not the other way around.
12) Tell people you love them
About a month ago, a girl I wasn't super close with said "love you!" to me. I was surprised, but I can't describe how good it felt
13) FaceTime/Zoom happy hour or game nights with friends
Establish a set time for you to meet with a few friends. I would keep it to max 4-6 people. The more participants there are, the more likely it will be that one person tends to dominate the conversation. I've done virtual game nights using Jackbox.TV with my friends and it has been SO fun.
14) Live > Recorded
Whether it's a yoga/Peloton class or your favorite instagram account is going Live, definitely tune in. It'll give you a sense of real-time community.
15) Ask as many people as possible what they've been doing
As a market research professional, we always strive for greater sample size. I'm a huge proponent of polling people in my own life. When it comes to perspective, the more the merrier. Talk to as many people as possible, and ask them how they stay busy or combat pandemic blues.
Is this helpful? Do you have anything to add? Please comment below or message me @yagottayoga and I will add your feedback to this post.
Love and light,
Disclaimer: Please consult your healthcare provider for medical advice. None of the information expressed on behalf of Ya Gotta Yoga LLC should ever be considered medical advice. We do not intend to diagnose, treat, or inform any sort of medical condition or symptom.