Keeping it simple to remain positive, to look forward to the future and step out of the confines of lockdown… well at least the easing of some restrictions. Avoid 'clutching at tools' and use the KISS principle; Keep It Stupidly Simple.
Many clients and friends that I have spoken with are a mixture of anticipation, excitement and nerves. We are all keen to step back into the normalcy of our lifestyle yet bound by stepping out of our 7-month hiatus of well, life.
Simple, pragmatic exercises to step back into the world without the social awkwardness, the anxiety of a mere cough from a passing stranger clearing their throat, and enjoying the simple aspects of life that many of us to for granted when we were privy to them such as sitting down for a coffee.
Simple is the most effective, don’t overcomplicate things.
Some simple ways to integrate with our community, to connect with loved ones and start to regain our lifestyles once more will help to ease the anxieties and lift our spirits.
Here’s what I’ll be doing:
Take a Hike; exploring the natural world, yes still within our 25km for now, will help to build the connection we hold with the natural world. Simply walking in nature, along the beach or your favourite trails will help to ease anxiety and promote a positive sense of wellbeing.
Coffee dates: with cafes open, I’ll be taking the opportunity to support local business with a coffee/lunch date with friends. Connecting over a shared vision for a brighter future and providing financial support to these businesses struggled during these times. Hubby and I have an upcoming anniversary so I’ll be dressing up and heading out for a nice dinner to celebrate.
Limit social media- Set a time limit and alarm for when you have reached your daily limit and stick to it. We have come so reliant on socials for a form of connectivity but many aspects of too much screen time can play havoc with our nervous system and plays to our comparison complex.
Meditation- re-wire your brains neural pathways help to make us more resilient to stressors. Use an app like Calm, Insight timer or similar, set a time limit (10 mins is a good start), put your legs up the wall for added benefits and tune into your body.
Sleep- this is a biggie for me and particularly that I train each day, I require adequate sleep for my body to rest and repair the working muscles, process my memories and optimise the healing benefits of sleep. I generally switch off the lights from 9-9:30 pm and need about 9 hours to feel rested. Everyone works differently so tune into what works for you.
Create- expressing ourselves creatively is a great mindfulness tool to relieve tension, anxiety and has been linked to is great therapy, allowing you to distract from your mind and create something that brings you joy and sense of accomplishment. This could be poetry, painting, writing or even gardening. Find something that works for you.
Healthy entertainment- its easy to find ourselves searching socials for updates on the restrictions or simply numbing out stuck in our bubbles so find a healthy entertainment. I love to put on my favourite upbeat music and complete a barefoot workout or cook a family meal. It could be a card game, a funny sitcom to make you laugh.
If we preoccupy our time doing things we love and that bring us joy, we are able to get out of our heads and this helps to manage any anxiousness. So as our lockdown state starts to ease, sign up for that Pilates or Yoga class you have been thinking about, book the hike that challenges you a little, and catch up with that friend you have missed so much, over a coffee/ lunch at your favourite café.
It will take some getting used to. It’s a little strange now after so long to step back into what was so normal only the start of this year. Just know that everyone in Melbourne that has lived this nightmare, they are experiencing this too, so reach out. Call your mum. Do the things that bring joy.
Be kind. Mostly be kind to yourself as we step forward into our new world.