How quickly life has changed for all of us.
This time last year, we were happily heading off on holiday and making plans for other trips. Now, we have given up Public Transport, even though we have the travel pass. It has been made quite clear that we are not welcome. We could be taking up places for important people. Many of us have been locked down. It was fun for a while as we ;painted, gardened, cleared out cupboards, attended zoom seminars, but now the novelty has worn off, despite the 20% discount in Woodies.
Despite all that, we remain optimistic that we will somehow get through this.
What is important is that we maintain our own well-being. We will no longer trip gaily out to the airport. We do not even go into the city center. We scuttle, in our masks, to the supermarket. Anxiety levels, sleeplessness, spreading tummies, lack of fitness, general fatigue, outbursts of temper are all on the rise. What to do?
Luckily, I have some great tips.
Some , you have heard before...but, do you DO them?
Now, we are going to get going again.
We are doing this for ourselves.
Tapping. This , on first glance, simple technique is actually very powerful. It works on the underlying principles of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. This stresses that the mind can be guided. By concentrating on certain thoughts, the brain can discard the negative and adopt the positive. Sounds simple.? Actually , yes. The tapping points are side of hand ( karate chop), inside of eyebrow line, side of eyes, under eyes, under nose, under lips, chest, under armpit and top of head. We start by discarding negative thoughts; even though I am upset/anxious/not motivated... I let go of these thoughts. then going through the points, positive thoughts are presented and adopted. It calms the heart beat, it clears the mind, it raises the mood. Give it a try.
Establish a Daily routine and stick, largely, to it. Have a fixed bedtime, 22:30. Wake up around 7:00 and get up by 07:30. do some exercise, meditation, go for a walk, watch the news. Have breakfast and roll on to your routine. Include contacting friends and/or family, learn something new. There is a wonderful tour of the Louvre in Paris given by the director of the University of London , in Paris. It shows the top 20 exhibits.. It is so well done. Better than a real tour and then, when you can get back to Paris, you can do this tour on your own.
Eat real food at meal times. If you had a fantastic , expensive car, you would not fill it with left over fat from the local chipper. Surely, you can treat yourself better than you would treat a car, especially as we are now on countdown on our time left on this beautiful planet?, If you have not yet learnt to cook, include learning a new recipe in your daily routine. note the inclusion of 'meal times'. Lots of people have put on weight during the l,ock Down because they are worried and the fridge is right beside them. but if, in the fridge, is only healthy food, munch on a carrot.
Treat yourself like an adult. Know your limits re eating, exercise, screen time, sleep, relaxation, work. Moderation in all things, as my grandmother, Mary Rose, used to say. Don't throw strops-they are so unbecoming.!
Careful lIstening. The spike in anxiety throughout the country has to be laid squarely at the feet of both the media, chasing viewers/listeners and the politicians, chasing the dragon. . Personally, I am horrified, Speaking to people and hearing how fearful. anxious and frankly off the wall they have become. there is no perspective. We are the only country that has these daily death tolls. And yet, very little real information is given out. Who are the people who get the virus? How sick are they? Where did they pick it up? How is it affecting them? What sort of treatment are they getting.? Are they recovering? The treatment has changed as finally doctors are acknowledging the mistakes made. And they were dreadful. Slowly, some scientists are beginning to study the actual virus...or are there a few around? Now it is all about steroids and anti-coagulants. The news bulletins are designed to put you off balance. Cuia bona, to whom the benefit , was used by the Romans to gage who was profiting from certain rules and regulations. It is still a valid question. A question, we should not be afraid to ask.
Stay in contact. Ring, text or email friends and family. Do not be afraid to contact people you have not heard from in years. They too, are in lockdown. The conversation does not have to be deep, just how are you? Was wondering if you are all ok . Give a brief update on your own family. . They will probably all promise to visit. haha.
Nourish your Soul. We are spiritual beings in a physical body.. Do some meditation when you just sit down, probably just on the stairs and listen to your breathing, listen to your heart. Let you mind relax. You can use a word if it helps. Yum. Rhum, . only concentrate on breath. If other thoughts come, slowly and gently wipe them away, If any worries come up, tell them you will deal with them later when your miond is clear, just go back to concentrating on the breath. Feeling the air as it comes in your nose and then letting it gently exhale, either out through your nose or your mouth. Feel your body relax, slow down.. Then when you feel you have had enough. invite anyone who needs a blessing to come in to your thoughts, bless them and let them go. Bless your family, friends, house, the planet. give thanks for all you have-being able to breathe, your breakfast, safe house, kind family, friends. sunny day, nourishing rain. Breathe in. hold for a count of 7 and gently breathe out. There, you feel better already..
If meditation is not your thing, you can nourish your soul by doing what sparks joy-singing, playing an instrument, showing gratitude. think of someone who was very kind to you and send them a card. Just say. hope you are well.
Boost your immune system. Modern life is on direct collision with maintaining our immune system, which is way more sophisticated than our medical advisors appear to realise. Honed over thousands of years, our own system is programmed to work for us, but it does need some help. We need sunlight. Put us under a rock for a few months and we will wither away. Get out in the fresh air,Breathe in fresh air. Expel the used up air. Get some sunshine on your skin. As we live indoors, take some vitamin C and D. 80% of our immune system is regulated by our gut. We treat our digestive system very poorly, gulping down processed food, full of indigestible chemicals. Add easily digestible food to your diet. Chew your food. . Have porridge, lentil stew, chick pea curry. Make one or two days vegetarian, using home-cooked, good quality vegetables. Echinacea drops in a glass of water is a great start to the day. Fresh fruit with natural probiotic yoghurt make a lovely refreshing snack before bed. .
Smile . Laugh out loud, Even if you do not feel like it. Just smile at a total stranger . Do the laughing out loud at home on your own. But if you try it. you release endorphins into your system and will feel better.
Balance. The Japanese have studied balance as an indication of the deterioration of age and have found that by actively practicing balancing, we can maintain out physical capacity longer. I have noticed a deterioration in my own balance during lock down.. Stand on one foot. raise other leg in front and then swing, slowly to the back. Do both legs. When rising from a seated position, use your non dominant leg, usually the left.. In the beginning it is quite difficult, but stick with it and your balance and steadiness will improve. All these exercises should be done gently and slowly.
Stop and stare.
What is this life if full of care, we have no time to stop and stare. ?
A famous poem, but still very valid.
top, stare. give thanks.
There, you feel better already.