It’s unnatural for us to be indoors 90% of the time.
We are social beings and we literally need sunlight (vitamin D) to thrive.
Without those two crucial things, we are like wilted vegetables; sad and undernourished.
And this may lead to unpleasant thoughts and irrational behaviours.
So what do we do? How do we combat this?
In this video, I share 6 habits I do to keep myself sane. And I’ll explain more in text below.
1. Keep to Morning Routine
I’ve been doing my morning routine for months now and this works for me.
Note that I don’t just wake up straight away immediately after I regain consciousness.
I’d spend about 10-15 mins just lying and rolling in bed.
I’m not the kind of person who can just get up immediately.
I mean, I could, but it’s not ideal for me.
Then, I’d go to the toilet and pee. I’d then wash my face, neck and armpits (or just take a quick shower if I’m diligent). This is my ‘fresh up‘.
After I’ve changed my clothes, I do a little bit of a stretching exercise. The ‘stretch up‘ includes cat-cow poses, dancer circles, deep squats and a full-body stretch where I reach my arms to the sky then go down to the ground, hinging on the waist. I hope you can imagine that.
Then I’ll take several deep breaths, place my palms together and on my heart. This is my mini-meditation where I set my intentions for the day. This is so important to get my mind in one focused plane.
Since I journal digitally, I’d then switch on my laptop and wait for it to come alive. I’d spend 5-10 mins on my morning journal before starting my tasks for the day.
2. Nourish Body With Wholesome Foods
Our best defence against the coronavirus is actually a strong immune system.
And how do we support our immune system?
We give it what it truly needs — nourishment in the form of fruits and vegetables.
I believe I have quite a strong immune system and a robust gut. And it’s all thanks to eating lots of vegetables and fruits every day. And without the toxic components present in meat, I’m allowing my body to operate at a near optimum level.
My major challenge is sugar. I’m addicted to desserts, especially the ones containing chocolate. I try to eat ‘healthier’ desserts, though, if there are such things.
But I’m glad that I decided to go on this vegan diet 4 years ago.
It has encouraged me to eat more wholefoods and my body is all the better for it!
I know that when I feel down, what I need 70% of the time is exercise.
I’d need to get some endorphins and sweat out. And then I’d be better.
And the easiest exercise to get myself hyped up is dance. When I put on some hip hop music, I’d immediately groove and just feel 50x better already.
Also, I’ve been keeping to a 20-min daily exercise routine involving some planks, lunges, leg ups, crunches and stretches. I mostly keep to this and only skip once or twice a week.
4. Talk to People
We may be in quarantine, but we still have to interact with people.
As I said earlier, we are social beings.
And the advent of technology gives us no excuse at all to check up on our family and friends.
With that said, I really dislike the term ‘social distancing’ even though it sounds chic.
It denotes that we prevent ourselves from socialising. This is a crude view where socialising means being physically close with people. But I’d say socialising can be done online or when two people are far away.
So instead, I’d prefer the term ‘physical distancing‘ to describe the current situation we’re in.
Talking to people is crucial no matter how much of an introvert you are.
I know I need this advice for myself as I’m the kind of person who can go a full day without any human interaction. I’ve been too comfortable with my own company.
But the longer I am without any human interaction, the more stressed out I become.
This is because I’m not putting my thoughts out to someone who could help unravel the knots, unlike a journal where it can only store your thoughts and not help solve them.
I’m grateful to be living with a super chill housemate with whom I can talk my thoughts out. And it’s not just a one-way thing as she also shares her thoughts to me as well.
Give and take.
As you exercise your body, you need to exercise your brain.
Besides glucose, the main brain food is knowledge.
The more you learn, the more synapses are formed between neurons. This means the more connections there are and the better your memory and understanding can be.
I learn mostly through reading articles or books and listening to podcasts.
I’d write notes down either in my notebook or on the Notions app.
Ever since I left university, my learning method kind of crumbled and I had to find ways to build it back up. So I’ve been learning from the likes of Thomas Frank and Ali Abdaal in terms of studying techniques.
6. Chill With Good Music
If I feel super anxious and not in the mood to move my body, I’d just force myself to stop working and just lie down with my Spotify turned on.
I’d either listen to chill beats music or classical music. It helps a lot.
And this is something I’ve recently incorporated: a lullaby playlist for me to fall asleep at night.
It includes a list of songs that are pleasing to my ears, not upbeat and would just get me to sleep. It took some time to find those songs but they were actually songs I already knew.
Later by emawk
Give Me Love by Ed Sheeran
Red Is The Rose by The High Kings
Heal by Tom Odell
The Hanging Tree by Peter Hollens
The only new song was the third one. I was searching for more Irish folk songs after listening to Ed Sheeran’s rendition of The Parting Glass which is actually withing the Give Me Love track. It plays a minute after that song ends.
I’d put on a 15-minute sleep timer and usually by the time it stops playing I’m already in dreamland.
Find what works for you.
This is a weird time and even in any situation, I think one should have a set of habits for when anxiety kicks in.
It’s either we succumb to it or we do something about it.