Nurturing our health and wellbeing is more crucial than ever as we navigate uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Collectively, we are experiencing more anxiety, grief, and disruption to our daily routines and life as we know it. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to understand and honor our needs. By staying present, we avoid sacrificing our inner peace to the uncertainties of the future.
10 wellness habits to help you build more present moment awareness as you manage the many changes quarantine brings.
1. Honor Your Energy
Firstly, honoring your energy is the umbrella that all other wellness habits fall under.
In experiencing the ups and downs of being human, we can expect our energy levels to rise and fall, too.
Some days you’re killing it in the gym or going the extra mile for your loved ones. Other times, your body might be signaling you to take a nap or unwind with a good book or show.
Ask yourself, “How am I feeling? What do I need and desire? What can I do to put myself in a positive place?” In order to experience more peace of mind, we must live less with force, and more in flow.
2. Spend Time Away From Social Media
While staying informed of current events is important, there’s a fine line between awareness, preparedness, and overwhelm.
Overindulging in stress-inducing news, apocalyptic articles, and posts that make you worry only harm your wellbeing.
Feeling gloomy after consuming content? Try stepping away from social media to pour more into yourself. A break from the noise could benefit your mental health.
For instance, screen time boundaries, app limits, or shutting your phone off completely will free up plenty of time and brain space.
3. Ramp Up Your Self Care
Now is the perfect time to check in with yourself and decide whether you’re practicing enough daily self care.
For example, journaling, running, yoga, reading, cooking, crafting, and bubble baths are all forms of self care.
Can you think of your favorite self care activity? Take what you like and leave the rest. The key is to do things that you actually enjoy, rather than dreadfully do things you think you “should” do.
4. Tend to Your Health
We all know the pandemic best practices of thorough hand washing, avoiding touching your face, and social distancing.
Although usually brushed off as common knowledge, don’t forget the wellness habits of good sleep, a balanced diet, movement, and plenty of hydration.
Knowing these wellness habits, and actually implementing them, are two different things. Rank yourself on a scale of 1-10 in each of these four areas. So, what do you need to prioritize to bolster your health right now? You don’t have to be perfect, but there’s always room for improvement.
5. Seek Support From Your Network
Just because we are social distancing does not mean we need to sacrifice being social.
Feeling isolated and lonely can take a toll on your mental health and augment feelings of depression.
Connection with others is a basic human need, and moreover, how we will get through these trying times. Schedule time with supportive people to chat about things other than the doom and gloom of the virus. Virtual coffee date or wine night, anyone?
6. Set and Stick to Your Boundaries
Boundaries vary from one person to another, but the important point is to make yours crystal clear, and actually stick to them.
If you are quarantined with family, significant others, or roommates who are feeding into your anxiety, kindly assert your boundaries. This can sound like:
“I don’t want to talk about the virus right now/ today/ anymore.”
“Please let me work uninterrupted for the next two hours.
“I would like us to do something other than watch the news tonight.”
“Let’s reschedule our plans for a better time.”
Setting boundaries can be tough. However, remember that you have the right to advocate for yourself, regardless of how the other person responds. Similarly, try setting boundaries with yourself. For instance, shutting your phone off an hour before bed may help with overwhelming thoughts keeping you awake.
7. Help Others
Research shows that helping others can boost our own positive feelings.
In addition to making someone else’s day, helping others in need is an easy way to boost your own mood. However, don’t feel pressure to do more than you are able.
For instance, call a loved one to ask how they’re doing, pick up groceries for your elderly family members, or donate canned goods to a local food bank. So many people are working tirelessly to ensure the health of our society. Expressing genuine gratitude to those working on the front lines, and letting them know they are truly appreciated, goes a long way.
8. Regularly Practice Wellness Habits to Avoid Burnout
Burnout is not something that suddenly sneaks up on us.
In other words, the daily wellness habits you practice now can prevent other health complications in the future.
With many of us experiencing changes in our working situations, it’s important to practice sustainable work-life balance.
For example, if you’re working from home now, don’t forget to take breaks and put your work away at a decent hour. There will always be more to do, so don’t feel pressure to do everything in one day. De-stressing with other fun or relaxing activities is crucial to your wellbeing and in preventing burnout.
9. Explore Your Creativity
Now is a great time to do more of what you LOVE.
Bored or unsure of how to occupy your time? Try creating just for the pure enjoyment of it, without judgment of the outcome.
For instance, test out a new recipe, print a coloring sheet, paint, draw, sing, dance, write, or do a puzzle.
Bonus: combine this habit with number seven and create something for someone else! As a result, you’ll bring a smile to someone’s face while having fun in the process.
10. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is defined as maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and environment.
Some ways to practice mindfulness are through meditation, prayer, spiritual or religious support, or personal development books. Pick a tool that resonates with you and practice cultivating more mindfulness. Above all, staying present helps us to take everything one day at a time without stressing over an uncertain future.