Have you struggled to stay positive in 2020?
It is safe to say you’re not alone. There is uncertainty around work, finances and health. We aren’t able to spend quality time with loved ones. Communication has become predominantly technologically-based with the likes of Zoom and FaceTime. Planning too far into the future is futile as we are forced to take one day at a time. It really has been a challenge to keep calm and stay positive!
I have come up with a list of ideas to help keep you healthy and sane during the pandemic.
Mindfulness – what’s all the buzz about?
Now, more than ever, is the time to focus on what we can control. Mindfulness is being able to focus on present experiences without judgment. The practice of mindfulness is originally derived from Buddhism. It is now widely practised around the world. Mindfulness is understood to be of huge psychological benefit.
Ways to improve positivity and mindfulness:
- Body awareness techniques. This involves scanning the body to focus on how you are feeling. This practice assists in recognising where you hold your tension (i.e in your shoulders). Once you are aware of these areas, you can learn to relax them more effectively.
- Diaphragmatic breathing. This type of breathing can help you relax by lowering blood pressure and heart rate. Doing 5 deep diaphragmatic breaths once a day can be beneficial. Check out this Youtube video to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ua9bOsZTYg
- Guided meditation can help you to learn to be more present. There are many useful apps out there – Headspace and Insight Timer to name a few.
How much news are you watching or reading?
It’s important to stay informed with what is happening in the world and your local community. Too much negative journalism, however, can increase feelings of anxiety and helplessness. Make sure your news source is a credible one and be sure to limit your daily exposure.
The downside to social media:
Social media platforms can be uplifting and informative. They can too, however, promote ideas that you may not agree with. It is important to use social media sparingly and take other people’s opinions with a grain of salt. Are you following many inspiring social media pages? There are clever people doing great things in the world and these pages can help you stay positive. A few uplifting pages include:
- Humans In Melbourne https://www.instagram.com/humansinmelbourne/?hl=en
- Smiling Mind https://www.instagram.com/smilingmind/?hl=en
- Penguin Bloom https://www.instagram.com/penguinthemagpie/?hl=en
- Mindbodygreen https://www.instagram.com/mindbodygreen/?hl=en
Work/life balance isn’t just a catchphrase!
What comes to mind when I say ‘working from home’? Pyjamas all day? Endless cups of tea? Unfortunately for many, working from home consists of long hours and minimal breaks. Very few people have ergonomic workstations. This can contribute to pain and repetitive strain injuries. It is important to have dedicated breaks for meals and set start/finish times.
Get your body moving!
Exercise is a great way to stay positive during lockdown. Not only is movement brilliant for your body, it does wonders for your mind. Endorphins are chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. These are released when you exercise. The effect of endorphins can improve your mood, sense of wellbeing and sleep quality.
Spend time outdoors:
When possible, spending time outside every day is so beneficial. This has been affiliated with reducing stress, blood pressure and improving mood. We also need some UV exposure to maintain bone-density. A little bit of sunshine can literally brighten up your day.
Find a new hobby!
Whether it’s cooking, home DIY projects or learning an instrument, 2020 is your year! Create a goal around your hobby and get others doing the same. Who knows, you might be better at cross-stitch than you’d ever imagined!
Make a list of 5 things you’re thankful for:
Whether this is daily exercise, your health or the opportunity to still be working. It doesn’t matter how great or small these things are, it’s the recognition that is important. Keep a gratitude journal so you can reflect back in years to come.
Nourish your body:
Now more than ever it is important to eat well for health and immunity. Be sure to eat lots of greens, stay hydrated and control your portion sizes. It’s ok to indulge every so often but it’s all about balance.
Bella, PMPP’s dietician, is available for Telehealth consultations during lockdown. Bella is an experienced dietician and can help you achieve your nutrition goals.
Check out Bella’s blog on nutrition through the pandemic: https://portmelbournephysio.com.au/nutrition-through-the-pandemic/
Let go of things that are out of your control:
We spend so much time stressing about things that we have no power over. In order to stay positive, we need to recognise what is and isn’t in our control. This takes practice and patience but will ultimately enable you to feel more at peace during the pandemic.
Stay safe and well