COVID-19 Pandemic – Tips to stay well through these troubling times

Enjoying Spring Watch on my daily walk

I live on my own.  I have just been furlonged from my job.  I could choose to be sad and lonely or I could see this as an opportunity and a time to embrace a slower pace of life.  We all have a choice in how we handle stressful times like this COVID-19 Pandemic, and as a Transformational Life Coach who has done a lot of personal development especially working on my resilience, I am making a choice to stay present and be grateful for being well, having a warm and comfortable home, having good nutritious food to eat and some lovely friends and family to stay connected with.

I thought I would share a few tips to cope in these challenging times as well as some thoughts on how to stay well, both physically and mentally.Really try to stay present today.  When we worry and think about the future and how long this lock down could last, we start stressing ourselves out and wasting energy on things we can’t control.  Stay in today and control what you can today.

+ Do make sure you get out and take that daily exercise. Whatever works for you, but do get out in the fresh air and perhaps do what I have been doing on my daily walk.  My daily walk is called ‘Spring Watch’ and I am looking for signs in nature that Spring has arrived and how it is developing and really appreciating the beauty of blossom coming through, daffodils or primroses popping through and buds unfurling on trees.  Everything is coming to life and it helps me stay present to mindfully notice and appreciate this on my walk rather than worrying about what is happening in this mad time.

+ Bring a gratitude practice into your life.  Every morning I write down two things I am grateful for in my life and this really helps me set my day up in a positive way. Keeping a gratitude journal or having a practice can be done at any time – some people write this down at the end of the day or you can just perhaps talk about this with your family at the breakfast table (that is if you are isolated in a family household).  Be grateful for what we do have in our lives!

+ Try to practice some kind of routine.  I am really trying to maintain a week day routine and then allowing myself more freedom at the weekend just to try and distinguish between the two times.  I make sure that I do stick to my daily yoga practice and walk every day though.

+ It is even more important to stay well and healthy at the moment so I would recommend that everyone tries to practice good sleep habits – that is putting your screens away and switching the WIFI off and getting that 8 hours of sleep and try to eat as many fresh fruit and vegetables.  Remember you are what you eat!

+ There has never been a more important time to stay well mentally – especially that we can’t perhaps keep to our usual ways of keeping our mental health in check.  So I strongly recommend that you give meditation ago.  I use a free app called insighttimer.com/ and I do a body scan every morning.  I didn’t start my regular meditation practice until I hit my 40’s as I always thought it was going to be difficult to do and how could I not think about stuff….  But the simple answer is you will think about stuff, you notice it and you go back to meditating.  The main thing is you are trying this and one day, it might be hard but you go back to it the next day and try again.  Give it a go!

+ Why not use this time to learn something new and improve your skills or challenge yourself?  If you do select something that you would love to learn about then there is no better time to start learning and keeping that mind active (especially if you aren’t working at the moment).  You can find some good free courses at the Open University course website: futurelearn.com and you can start a more substantial course at a reduced price (use a special code to get all courses at £29) at: centreofexcellence.com/

I really hope that this might help a few of you and I keep reminding myself of the quote ‘This too will pass.’  Life will go back to some kind of normality and this lock down will end so the key thing is that we get through it day by day, being kind to ourselves, being present and come out of the other end with love, kindness and let’s carry on supporting each other and appreciating what we do have.

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