If you’re feeling a little apprehensive ahead of what the rest of 2021 might bring, we don’t blame you. It’s been a seriously stressful year (or more!) and thinking it's never going to end is probably the fastest way to a happiness nosedive.
Whilst our expectations might be at an all-time low, that doesn’t mean we should have a pessimistic outlook. With restrictions slowly easing many of us are turning cautiously to our calendars to make plans (within the guidelines) that we can look forward to. With this newfound optimism has come an unexpected sense of anxiety. How will we be able to remember the things we cherished about lockdown when life returns to ‘normal’? Namely the slower pace of life and ability to focus on our own inner balance and wellbeing?
We’ve put together some really easy ways you can safeguard (and keep on top of!) maintaining wellbeing across your mind, body and spirit going into this new post-pandemic life. Learning to adapt and overcome is the key to us all getting through this, together!
TIP 1 | REFLECT ON YOURSELF, WITH KINDNESS
People often say the definition of insanity is performing the same actions repeatedly yet expecting a different outcome. The lockdown(s) of 2020-1 certainly had us all feeling it was Groundhog Day and now is not the time to haranguing yourself about what you did ‘wrong’. Now is simply a great time to identify patterns and improve on them going into our new routines. Simple questions to ask can be: What worked well? What didn’t? With this in mind, what do I want to do differently? These can be applied to basic things like a neglected skincare routine, a mindful daily diet and exercise practice or to larger things such as relationships.
TIP 2 | THOUGHTS AREN’T FACTS
Those of you acquainted with practicing mindfulness techniques should know this one and once again it’s simple. Our thoughts often overtake our minds to shape our feelings. If your head is filled of negativity: ‘how will I cope with ‘normal’ life or ‘I don’t know what I’ll do if we go into another lockdown’, then you’re unlikely to feel balanced and fulfilled. Unfortunately, we are hard wired to take more notice of negative thinking patterns than positives, but one way to hack the system is to ask yourself ‘is this thought helping me?’. The answer most likely will be a firm ‘no’ and this action can provide the circuit breaker to head back to a more positive frame of mind.
Whilst we’re talking about negative thoughts, it’s also important to take a close look at what you allow into your safe space. That’s right, the news and social media notifications we’re talking about you! If you’re regularly absorbing content that brings your mood crashing down, it’s time to get (very) selective with when and how you tune in. Keeping informed is important but it doesn’t need to be thrown in your face x500 times a day. Your mind is a delicate thing, get protective of it.
TIP 3 | GET OUTSIDE
When diaries get a little busier try to remember the restorative joy that the outdoors brought your when we were unable to leave our houses. Combing exercise and getting outside (you know how much we LOVE an alfresco yoga session) is proven to have a dramatic effect on your mental and physical wellbeing. Need a tip to help you prioritise if you struggle to get away from your actual (or working from home) desk? Schedule it in your calendar like any other meeting and stick to it come rain or shine. You’ll thank us!
TIP 4 | USE YOUR TIME WISELEY. INVEST IN SOMETHING YOU LOVE!
Ok we’ve slightly cheated here as this is intrinsically linked to tip 3 but stay with us. You’re probably no stranger to our absolute passion for the self-care benefits of sticking with a regular exercise routine. Sadly, this can be the first thing to get squeezed out in favour of other activities or time pressures despite the internal balance and peace it brings. If this is you several weeks into a busier schedule, it’s worth reminding yourself that Yoga is primarily about two things: self-discipline and routine. The fastest way to get back on track is to commit to a time of day you’re able to consistently put aside for your practice. The emphasis being on consistency here.
Your time is incredibly valuable, so commit to things that you value!