During the crazy year that 2020 has turned out to be so far, the meme community has really stepped up to make light of our rollercoaster situation. I laughed for a good half an hour last week about one in particular that kindly reminded us that ‘in case we were wondering what the date is, it’s March 107th”… It has definitely started to feel a bit that way, with days blending into each other and isolation (albeit absolutely warranted – we are locking down to protect those we love) interrupting our usual routines and rituals. I’m certain that I’m not alone in finding it quite difficult to orientate myself with all these changes and to find a sense of calm in all the chaos.
To be fair, I think many of us find it hard at the best of times to find stillness and reflection time in the madness of our modern lives, let alone with the added layer of a global pandemic to grapple with. However, another meme has also resonated really strongly with me to help me surrender to the situation and embrace the silver linings – “it’s like the Earth has sent us to our rooms so we can think about what we’ve done”. We have all been gifted an unprecedented and forced opportunity to really slow down, go back into our cocoons and re-evaluate the way we have been doing things. While I felt a little lost to begin with, adopting the perspective of this time as a chance to reboot has helped give me direction and motivation again.
For me, this has really brought back into focus my physical and mental wellbeing routines. As often happens, these had started their usual cycle of slipping into the back of my mind and getting forgotten altogether. I thought I’d share a few things that I’ve realised or remembered and that I hope to maintain even after things return to normal – they’re so obvious, but apparently I need reminding so you might too! These are a few things that have been really helping me through:
1. Nutrition – Using the excuse of being ‘too busy’, we had really let our nutrition slip earlier this year and stopped cooking at home and eating balanced, nourishing meals. Especially as the weather gets cooler and our immunity is paramount, we’ve been actually taking the time to plan our meals and invest in cooking and it’s been so lovely to eat wholesome, home-cooked food again. I’d also been eating on the go a lot, between meetings or jobs, but returning to slow, mindful eating actually sitting down with the family has been so rewarding (and much more friendly to healthy digestion). What a time to start getting creative again and learning some new tricks in the kitchen! SO many chefs and restaurants have been sharing their recipes, so get cooking! You’ll emerge feeling so accomplished!
2. Gut health – Good gut health is so important for our immunity, energy and overall health. As a long-time anxiety sufferer, I’ve also realised how intimately connected my emotional or mental state is with how much I’m nurturing my gut. It’s funny how you slip out of routines without even realising and, while Nic and I usually eat gut-friendly foods and take daily probiotics for some extra love, we’d somehow forgotten over the early months of 2020 and have realised now is the perfect time to get back into good routines while we have the time. In the perfect divine timing, Swisse have actually released a new range of probiotics. I’m loving the Calm Ultibiotic specifically focused on promoting calm containing therapeutic herbs like chamomile as well as magnesium works as a comprehensive daily duo supporting both your gut and relieving nervous energy. It pairs a probiotic and prebiotic capsule with a herbal capsule and we’ve been taking these daily. You can try them out here.
3. Meditation – Again, I don’t know when I fell out of the habit, but I have been meditating twice a day for years since doing my Vedic meditation training with incredible results for anxiety and stress management but have somehow fallen off the bandwagon. Meditation is so powerful for helping you find calm and build resilience against the ups and downs of the world around you and, most importantly, ANYONE can do it. It doesn’t mean having no thoughts – just quietening the ones you do have and not adding any new stimulus so your mind can catch up with your body. The best thing is, the scientific benefits apply even if you don’t necessarily believe in it! You don’t have to do the full Vedic technique, you can even take a few minutes here and there which we ALL have time for at the moment! There are some great apps that can ease you into it too.
4. Movement – Again, so basic, but since we’re all out of our routines, it can be so easy to get complacent and forget to move our bodies. Our bodies but also our minds need regular movement even just gentle walks to stay healthy and strong so don’t forget to figure out ways you can move your body even if not at the gym or your usual classes. There are amazing online workouts and guides, many not requiring equipment, so make the most of them guys!
5. Play to yay – As you know, I’m a big fan of the activities that allow us to forget what time it is and that bring us pure joy. Now more than ever we all need a bit of an escape, so even though times are solemn, don’t forget to let yourself pursue pleasure and fun. You might have to find new ways to do this with all the changes to public outings, but how valuable will those discoveries be for you later on?? I’ve been reading a lot of fiction books, cooking as I mentioned above, and even playing around with make up because I thought I’d learn some fancy tricks!
Never before has the world given us time for all the things we always say we ‘don’t have time for’ so there’s no excuse not to. Of course, be gentle on yourself and allow yourself to feel everything you need to feel. But if you’re feeling a little lost, having a bit of a plan can help keep you focused and motivated. Remember, everything is temporary – this too shall pass – it’s just about deciding how we will spend our time waiting. Might as well make it nourishing, no?
This article was produced in partnership with Swisse.