Suddenly many of us find ourselves at home either alone or in a house packed with our closest relatives.
Taking some time to unwind and watch tv for a while is great but when we are faced with weeks of at-home time, it could get old quick. On top of which it can begin to affect our feeling of self-worth and ultimately our view on life.
Let’s keep ourselves feeling good so we can find the silver lining to this awfully big cloud.
Three components of mental health that will prove effective to address:
Autonomy: self-governing, being under your own direction
Whether you’re working from home or not, a routine can be very grounding and offer stress relief while providing an opportunity to create positive daily habits to preserve the self.
A great place to begin is with a sleep routine.
What is the ideal time for you to hit the sheets? I find that going to bed by 11 PM gets me awake naturally between 7 and 8 AM and feeling well-rested. If I choose to write or watch tv well into the wee hours of the morning, I won’t want to get out of bed in the morning. The more I postpone getting up, the less writing I do in the morning and mornings are my creative time so it makes sense to make good use of it.
Once that’s sorted, build in the important bits… Movement!
I need to do some sort of movement each day to feel descent within my own body and it’s as simple as going for a walk. I make sure to hit up my yoga mat every couple of days, and the alternate days I go for a long walk and get some fresh air. And yes we are still able to go for walks, keeping our distance and still being safe.
Important for me every day but especially now is meditation. I need to have a moment to myself to escape the news, the barrage of social media and the viral discussion in general, at least once per day. This is my opportunity to look within and focus on the things I would like in my life. It is powerful stuff.
If you’ve never meditated and do not know where to begin, may I suggest this live stream from the studio or one of the many available free apps? Just download and listen. You might just love it.
Leave space in the schedule for indulging in the things you’d otherwise not have time for. Mandatory reading in a hot bath or coffee and crosswords. Whatever speaks the loudest.
Relatedness: the social nature of human beings and the connectedness of others
If you find yourself at home alone, like me, be sure to schedule some time each day to focus on your people. Give someone a call or send them a fun little voice clip.
If I seclude myself for too long I begin to forget the value of my friends. I get into a regimented routine and get super serious about my achievements and self-development and often with that, I forget to laugh.
Remember to laugh.
If you find yourself in a full house, it could be a great idea to make a plan with your family members and discuss personal space and respecting each other’s boundaries. Perhaps setting certain spaces, like the bedrooms, or a bean bag chair devoted to chill out alone time will aid to draw lines of respecting each other’s space. Having a discussion together so everyone is aware of the expectations can be a great survival technique.
Competency: the feeling of being effective
In order for me to feel good about myself while I am at home self-governing, I need to feel some sense of effectiveness or productivity. I like to have some writing done and chores ticked off the list.
What makes you feel effective and productive?
The silver lining
This is an incredible opportunity to slow down and be guilt-free about it! You do not have to hustle right now, so listen to that body of yours and have that nap in the middle of the afternoon if that’s what it wants.
A perfect time to reconnect with family. Maybe involving the children in prepping dinner and sitting down as a fam becomes a new ritual.
Get back to the craft you love, go ahead and be creative, it’s a beautiful thing.
That work on the house or in the garden that you’ve been meaning to get to but haven’t had the time or the energy… now’s your time to shine baby, go for it.
And remember to indulge!
~Renee Peltier RHN @sweetserenityyoga