1. Indulging in nostalgic TV
I have found so much relief in watching some of my favorite shows or films from when I was little. Think lots of the Simpsons, Disney films and the Vicar of Dibley!
Nostalgic tv shows, music or books can help us to escape when our current reality becomes overwhelming. One of the reasons for this is because we already know how the story ends. We don’t need to worry about how things work out.
According to Dr. Clay Routledge, Social Psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychology at North Dakota State University, nostalgia “increases positive mood, self-esteem, feelings of social connectedness, optimism about the future, and perceptions of meaning in life.”
2. Focusing on movement, not exercise
Rather than worrying too much about completing specific exercises, I’ve been making sure I include some movement everyday. For some reason, I feel less pressured thinking about it this way.
So depending on how I feel each day, moving might look like a run, a dance around the kitchen, a yoga tutorial or a walk around the block. It doesn’t really matter what it is, but using some energy always makes my mind feel a bit clearer and gives me a mood boost.
3. Using water as a checkpoint
At times like this, it’s easy to get lost in thought and to spend time worrying about the future.
Given that we are being asked to wash our hands more often, I’ve been trying to use water as a reminder throughout my day to focus on things right now.
So anytime I have a drink, wash my hands or have a shower or a bath I will try to really concentrate on the present moment and to concentrate on my senses. It helps give me a bit of a break from my thoughts.
Before lockdown my meditation practice was pretty inconsistent. It had become a ‘nice to do’ on my list. During lockdown meditation has become a must do for my mental health.
Balancing working from home and childcare means that there is always something else that needs to be done. I have to be really flexible and just try to grab ten minutes whenever I can. It’s not a lot of time, but the positive effects of meditation on my mood and mind are huge. I really notice if I miss a few days.
A shower meditation can be a really sweet way to sneak some meditation into your day and to imagine your worries being washed away 🙂
5. Keeping a diary
Given that we are living through such a significant event I wanted to try and keep a diary to look back on. I only write a small amount, but I try to make a note of what went on, how I feel and of anything sweet or funny that my daughter did that day to make sure there is a positive note. At the end of each week, I write down 3 things that went well.
Science shows that keeping a diary, or “journaling” as a stress management and self-exploration tool, works best when done consistently, but even occasional, sporadic journaling can be stress relieving when the practice is focused on gratitude or emotional processing.
Stay safe everyone and look after yourselves. Sending so much love.