COVID-19 Pandemic – Tips to stay sane and grounded in these challenging times

Bring joy into your life with funny dog videos

So we all are now finding a new normal.  Weeks seem to be flying by and although it is our first long bank holiday of the year, it doesn’t seem too exciting at the moment as a lot of us are furloughed and not got much to do.  Some people are also working harder than ever and keeping key services or businesses going.  Some people are living alone like myself and I am really missing physical touch and freedom to be out and about. Some people are living with challenging relationships. Whatever your situation, it has never been a better time for us all to practice being grounded and practicing some good habits around our well- being.

Here are a few of my top tips that I thought I would share:

+ Bring laughter and joy into your every day.  This is such a difficult time to watch all the awful and traumatic news but it is really important to try and find and experience some joy every day. Whether it’s really enjoying that cup of tea in the morning sitting in the sunshine or watching some of the fun memes and videos being shared.  It will do you good and do share this with other people.  I know I am loving some of the funny meme’s and videos that I am seeing on my Facebook and on You Tube.  (Check out my favourite dog video on You Tube: https://youtu.be/XAdL6GdURvl   WARNING: There is some use of adult language!)

+ Practice active listening with your family or people that you live with or work with.  We have all been in isolation for a few weeks now and whether that is living in a home with a partner or children or working via zoom and teams, it is never a more important time to listen well.  Be in the moment, and listen to that persons every word and they will appreciate you actively listening to them and finding what they have to say interesting and asking questions about it.  Practice the art of good conversation!

+  Use breath work to support you with any difficult and challenging times that might come up for you during your day.  You might be at the coal face, seeing the effects of this virus or you might be at home, not being able to earn much money and worrying about where your money is going to come from and how you are going to pay the bills.  So turn to your breath to support you through these times.  There are lots of exercises you could practice but one simple one is as follows – breathe in deeply for a count of 3, hold for 1 and then breathe out fully for a count of 5. 

+ If you are working hard and getting stressed out, why not turn your phone off for a bit and practice being mindful – whether that is eating your lunch focusing on all the tastes and textures of the food or taking a mindful moment to sit on some grass, being mindful of what you can see in nature and feel your feet being grounded.  Just having a few minutes practicing mindfulness in any of these ways will help support your wellbeing and mental and physical health.

+ Plan your day ahead.  Even if you are at home and don’t have to do a lot.  It is good to have a routine and plan your day and what you want to do and achieve that day.  It could be catching up with a friend, or tidying that drawer out or finishing that book you are enjoying.  For me the two things I ensure I do every day is a yoga class and going for a walk.  I plan my day out at the beginning of the day and cross off my goals for that day.  Even these small wins help build a sense of satisfaction. 

+ Be kind to yourself and listen to yourself.  Know that you will have a good day and get lots done and feel productive and then you may feel sad another day and hardly do anything.  Feel it, write about it in a journal or talk to a friend about it and then remember tomorrow is another day.

+ If you are busy working from home then make sure you agree and set your working boundaries with your colleagues.  Define what are your working times, ensure you step away from your workstation every 20 minutes (ideally) and make sure you take a break and go for that daily walk or do some of kind of exercise via a video.  Also define if it’s possible to when you shouldn’t be working.  Everyone needs some down time so perhaps you can agree with your manager and teams that everyone will not email in the evening or weekends where possible.

+ Finding purpose is really important at the moment.  Staying at home, makes a lot of us feel a bit useless so it’s really important to find a purpose in your day to day life.  Some people are organising house parties or pub quizzes, some people are becoming NHS volunteers and helping local communities.  I have made a decision to offer my expertise and time to support young people via the Princes Trust.  I have started my volunteer mentoring up again and I have offered to do some wellbeing talks for staff and volunteers.  I also am keeping up with my coaching and helping people over these challenging times. 

So I hope you find this post useful and do contact me if you are considering working with a coach.  I offer a free skype consultation and I am happy to talk about reduced rates for clients that want to work with a coach but are struggling with paying full rates in this rather challenging climate.  Contact me via sarah@arboricoaching.co.uk or call me on 0771 363 1565 today and let’s schedule a free 30 minute consultation. 

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