As we approach Thanksgiving and the end of 2020, it’s easy to start reflecting on what a bizarre year this has been. It can be really easy to think about what we’ve missed out on, or what we are going to miss out on because of COVID-19. It’s okay to mourn these things, to grieve whatever losses we have experienced, but it is just as important to feel gratitude for everything that we have done, and everything that we do have. And when you start to get anxious or irritated, remember these 5 things:
Be kind to yourself
I recently made the decision to move to Tulum, Mexico. Sounds crazy, but I am thrilled that it’s fairly easy to socially distance and spend ample time outside. Even still, just like many others, I am spending more time at home. There are a few things that have surprised me about staying home more often and doing less socializing. I thought staying home was going to allow me so much time to get things done. I thought I would get my laundry done, and do so much cleaning, and also tackle work with great efficiency. But no! The days seem to blend into the next and I keep eyeing my laundry basket getting fuller and fuller.
My advice on this one is to first, breathe. Deep breaths. Allow yourself some space and gentleness. This isn’t a time to rush or go overboard. Instead of being overcome by frustration or pressure to get things done, try focusing on gratitude for what you do have and have already done. Even if there are chores to be finished and things to clean, don’t forget that we are living in a time of greater stress and we completely deserve to be caring and gentle toward ourselves. Your laundry will get done…eventually.
Stick to a routine
When other pieces of life feel out of control, sometimes very simple things like a routine can make a world of difference. Getting into a bit of a rhythm with your day isn’t boring, it can actually help your nervous system regulate and decrease anxiety. You can even start some soothing, rituals such as taking some time to brew tea, having a bite of your favorite chocolate after lunch, making that perfect cup of coffee, doing a face mask, lighting your favorite candle. Whatever it is that brings you peace and joy, make sure to include it in your day and practice mindfulness while you do it. Oh, and make sure you are getting plenty of sleep – if this means going to bed earlier, do that!
Eat your fuel
Don’t get me wrong, I love some indulgent food choices every now and then especially during COVID times! But, when you load up on inflammatory foods like sugar, potato chips, and pizza, you’re going to feel it. And the feeling isn’t great. I’ve personally noticed food that weighs me down isn’t something I can sustainably eat every single day. Make sure that you are feeding your body the right food to keep it strong, healthy, and feeling good. This is one of the kindest and easiest things you can do for your whole body – your skin, your digestion, your liver, your kidneys will be grateful to you! Make sure you’re getting enough water too…dehydration can make anyone feel super sluggish. If you’re curious about adopting an “anti-inflammatory” diet, check out the new Yoga Prehab® Seasonal Meal Plans. Every meal plan is packed with easy to prepare, super-nutritious recipes you can start incorporating into your diet immediately!
Create some quiet time
Put your phone on do not disturb or airplane mode, turn off notifications, take a break from social media. Step away from the news, maybe put on your favorite calming music. Never-ending Zoom calls, noise, and notifications can leave us feeling exhausted. Quiet time can be both calming and rejuvenating.
Grateful for movement
Even if it’s just in and around your home…keep moving! Our bodies rely on movement for optimal lymphatic system and digestive system function. Our muscles that help us maintain our balance and mobility need to be strengthened through continuous movement. And movement of course helps with our moods, releasing endorphins and decreasing stress. For all ways that you can move, be very grateful! If you’ve been looking for movement programs that are safe on the joint, won’t hurt you, and are easy-to-follow, check out Yoga Prehab® – physical therapy-based yoga and fitness you can do right from the comfort of you home and at your own pace!