The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the entire world in a way that no one would have ever imagined. It has been over a year since we were confined to our homes. Initially, there was not much problem as reruns of various tv shows, social media trends and several activities kept us busy, but it lived for a short period. Currently, the situation outside is bad, the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging us in ways we could never have imagined. This uncertain situation can be overwhelming and can be a reason to get stressed and disheartened. While we always hear that staying positive in such strange times would help but it can be hard to implement. Here are some suggestions that can help you to lift your spirits up amidst the lockdown:
1. Wake up early and watch the Rising Sun:
This is a great way to start the day. Staying up late has kind of become everyone’s thing now, but it disrupts the entire sleep cycle, can lead to sleeping problems, and can have long-term health effects. Waking up early and watching the rising sun can help you to stay positive throughout the day. It also helps our circadian rhythm, naturally alerting our body. Studies have shown that watching a rising sun is also good for the eyes.
2. Exercise and Meditation:
When it comes to boosting your mood, exercise and meditation are the best options available. Exercise is responsible for the release of the hormone, Endorphin which relieves stress and pain. It also helps in strengthening the immune system, better blood circulation, and better sleep.
Meditation can help you to beat pandemic anxiety and stress. It also helps to increase concentration, improves certain functions of the brain, and produces happy hormones.
3. Schedule your day:
Scheduling can help you to stay right on track and to finish a task in the stipulated time. A daily schedule establishes discipline and increases productivity. An unscheduled day just leads to overthinking, procrastination, and stress, which is why scheduling is beneficial for your mental and physical health.
4. Eat Healthy and Stay Hydrated:
An unhealthy diet invites diseases. That is why it is very important to eat healthy in the current situation. A balanced diet provides all the necessary nutrients and reduces the risk of diseases. It provides energy to the body and improves brain functions. People who regularly eat vegetables and fruits have a low risk of some chronic diseases.
Staying hydrated is equally important as dehydration can cause a change in mood and hamper your brain functions. Although many studies have determined the amount of water you should consume a day; the actual amount differs from person to person as there are many factors responsible for it, such as body weight, weather, etc. Set a reminder and stay hydrated!
Also, it’s summer. You can replace that glass of water with a refreshing glass of lemonade, juices, coconut water, buttermilk, and whatnot!
Music has proven to be an instant mood booster. And when I say music, I don’t just mean listening to it. It also consists of singing and/or playing an instrument. Many scientific studies have established a connection between music and norepinephrine & serotonin. Serotonin helps regulate mood while norepinephrine improves energy and attentiveness.
So what are you waiting for? Plugin your earphones and enjoy!
6. Practicing a favorite Hobby:
There are many hobbies that you can practice in the lockdown. Because of our busy schedules, we can’t get enough time to do things that we like. But the lockdown can be a great reason to start it again. Practicing a favorite hobby keeps you busy and helps in relieving the pent-up stress. Hobbies bring you fun and flood your brain with dopamine, which instantly boosts your mood. Practicing a hobby regularly ensures a disciplined life and can make you smarter.
7. Learn something new:
You can keep yourself busy in such times by learning something new such as a new language or a new skill. It is a great way to exercise your brain and helps in improvement of the cognitive brain functions such as concentration, attention, memory recall, information processing, etc.
8. Playing Indoor Games:
We spend most of our time in front of screens. In our free time, we reward ourselves with a smaller or larger screen. Studies have shown that this can give rise to numerous problems such as blurred vision, irritation, lack of sleep, headache, backache, etc.
An alternative to this is playing indoor games such as cards, carrom, and various board games. This will result in the reduction of screen time and can be a fun family activity.
Reading has always been and will always be a great way to stimulate your mind. It improves your brain connectivity, concentration, reduces stress, and increases your vocabulary and comprehension. It helps you to gain knowledge which well equips you to face any challenge.
Reading for 30 minutes before going to bed calms your mind which leads to a good night’s sleep. It also leads to a reduction in screen time before going to bed, which makes it easy to fall asleep.
Journaling has proved to be an efficient stress management tool. Not only does journaling help in reducing stress and anxiety but studies have proved that it offers many physical benefits too. It allows you to vent out, relaxing your mind in the process. Journaling right before going to bed enables you to fall asleep faster than usual. It also helps you to realize triggers and ways to help them, improves your communication skills, moves you closer to your goals, and enhances creativity.
Last but not the least, BE YOURSELF! No one can understand you better than you; identify your needs and wants and try to fulfill them. Express all your feelings, do not suppress them as it gets held in the body and can lead to stress, anxiety, depression. Don’t be too hard on yourself, celebrate all your achievements.
Stay safe, stay happy!