Sometime in Jan 2020, if someone asked me if I could work from home for over six months, I’d roll my eyes and say, “That would be grand! I’d love to escape the crazy routine, traffic and of course getting dressed up”. But now, in Oct 2020, when I think of it, I couldn’t have been more wrong. This new normal of working from home coupled with the vagaries of life has hit us too hard; in ways that the world today is seeing a lot of mental breakdown across people of all ages and diseases in mental health. Unfortunately, these are trying times and one can only take precautions and stay indoors as much as possible.
Let’s dive in and discuss some practical ways to not just survive but to thrive during this pandemic.
1. The healing powers of solitude
When family time has become a “little too much” with kids and spouse in such proximity, space becomes a luxury- both physically and metaphorically. Take an absolute time off from your family an hour each day just to rediscover yourself. Take that walk, play that favorite playlist on a drive alone, exercise listening to an audio book, write affirmations on a journal; well, start a journal, watch the stars, befriend the nature, take an hour long shower, breath ,do nothing-just be present!
2. The social media detox
The information overload causes so much stress to our generation. Many of us are caught up in the black hole called social media that we become mere victims of its AI and algorithms not to mention the FOMO. Consider unsubscribing people, newsletters or posts that no longer serve you in a positive way and connect with your inner being. Because, life outside of hashtags can be foreign and exquisite now. This world truly doesn’t need another status update-let alone another instagram story of baking a cake 😀
3. Benefit of the Unknown
Our forefathers did enjoy privileges that is today deemed to be uncommon – Peace and mental wellbeing. You do not have to know what happens around the world all the time. It is okay to be ignorant of the depressing data of today’s death rate and the extrapolated figures of covid cases in your region. Frequent news update does more harm than good.
4. Become wary of depression and boredom
Thanks to mental health awareness and celebrity shout-outs, today, everyone seems to be suffering from some form of depression. The fact is that, tiny changes to your daily life can go a long way. Carve out sometime for your passion projects. Paint that wall, do that space, revamp your work area, change pictures in your photo frames, move furniture, learn new skills, paint your nails, plan that trip, become compassionate and practice gratitude. Listen to your partner, talk about life changes and ways to cope, play games during the weekends, do movie nights with home-made pop-corn, indulge in your comfort food and of course sing musicals.
5.Build your relationship with money
If covid has taught us one thing, it is life can be uncertain. Build up your emergency funds. Save your commutation expenses and invest sensibly. Be grateful.
6. Become mindful of your eating disorder
Someone said that you cannot treat your body like flipflops and except it to look like a Louboutin. Take periodic breaks to hydrate yourself and practice portion control. It’s 2020 and c’mon we all know this. But with stay at home, cheat days can be the new norm. Slice up some fruits and take some nuts to your work area. This way, you are less likely to make wrong food choices.
7. The 20 second rule
Practice the 20 second rule. If there’s something you can do in 20 seconds, do that right away. Make your bed, take a roundtrip to your balcony, stretch your body, kiss your loved ones, comb your hair, switch off the lights when you don’t need it, make a to do list of the day’s goal, refill your water bottle, clear your workstation, take a bio break, clean your couch and close the tabs that are not in use!
8. Play with your strengths
There is no such thing as an ideal state. We are all flawed and unique. Observe your internal clock and become aware of your energy levels. For example, I burst out energy in the mornings and hit rock bottom by the evening. I am more likely to be cross or eat a tub of ice- cream for dinner. Therefore, I cut up veggies and cook lunch and dinner right after breakfast and have one thing less to worry about. I even fill my water bottles and keep it in my hands reach in every room of my home. I also volunteer to do chores in the mornings as I get practically dead beat when the sun sets.
9.Significance of Time
If you think you can build an empire for your kids and expect them to love you, here’s a spoiler alert- your kids don’t value what you make as much as they value the time you give them. Did you know that your kids will look up to you only till the age of 14 and may have built their complete personality by then? Doesn’t it make sense to create their childhood memories than buy them fancy stuff? Think about it. What does “your” favorite childhood memory look-like?
Hope these suggestions inspire you to make small lifestyle changes to combat this pandemic with optimism.