During this COVID-19 pandemic, while we are all confined to our homes during the lockdown, we have inadvertently received a break from our usually hectic lives. Your outlook on this situation may be one of thankfulness for the break, or one of frustration and boredom. However before things go back to work as usual, rather than worrying or complaining about things beyond your control, this precious time can be used as a retreat for you to work on your personal wellbeing. Consciousness is in the heart of wellbeing. A desirable life balance is not possible unless we challenge our default.
Here’s how you can begin. The wheel below indicates 8 areas of wellness in your life. Give yourself a score between 0-100 based on your wellness in each area, and see how balanced your Wellness Wheel appears.
Now that you’ve scored yourself in each area, you have an idea of which areas to work on during this time. Below are a few things you can do during this period of lockdown to work on your Physical, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual, Financial, Social, Family, and Environmental Wellness:
Cut down junk food:
During this time of less physical activity, a way to stay healthy is not to eat excessively. Boredom and stress eating is a common reaction during this time. Cut down on the quantity of what you eat and make a conscious effort to eat less sugary and oily carbs, and eat more healthy fruits and vegetables.
Gyms are closed and curfew doesn’t allow you onto the street for a walk, but don’t make that an excuse – you can do some spring cleaning around the house, move furniture around to redesign rooms, play in the yard with your kids or your pets, crank up some music and dance, try doing yoga, or follow the endless at-home fitness tutorials on YouTube/Instagram. It is very easy for lethargy set in and keeping yourself physically busy is the best antidote.
Don’t break your sleep routine:
Enough sleep is crucial for your health. Don’t stay up later than usual just because you don’t have to wake up early for work the next day. Try to sleep and wake up at your usual times to maintain your internal body clock, and ensure that you continue to get between 7-8 hours of sleep per day (no more, no less!). If stress/anxiety is keeping you awake at night, try a few stress management techniques.
Brighten your outlook:
If you’re feeling negative emotions about the situation you are in during lockdown, try to look on the bright side of things and have a positive outlook. Take notice of your blessings and everything that you are grateful for no matter how small it may be. When you do this, you realise how much your gratitude list piles up and you inevitably start to feel positive emotions. Being positive and grateful helps you to be resilient in the face of troubles.
Take breaks from listening to or reading news stories:
Repeatedly hearing about the pandemic could have one of the following 2 effects. It can either upset you and create a negative outlook of the world and life, or it can desensitize you to the severity of what’s going on and make you apathetic. For this reason it is important to engage in topics of conversation apart from just the coronavirus.
Reduce your stress:
During this situation you are likely to feel stressed about your office-work piling up, how to manage your resources, worry about loved ones you are separated from, and a number of other things. Be mindful what may be causing you stress, if it is something within your control (like how to manage your resources or worry about loved ones), take action to ease your stress (like come up with a meal plan/financial plan or reach out to loved ones and check up on them). If it is something that is beyond your control at the moment (like your work piling up), try meditation or relaxation methods to let go of the unnecessary worry. Getting exercise also helps you manage stress.
Talk to your friends and family:
If you have work from home during this time it can be quite a challenge to stop yourself from procrastinating. Set out a daily list of to-dos, it helps you to plan out your day and drives you to complete each task.
Exercise your brain:
If you don’t have work, find ways to challenge your brain rather than let it be idle. Use some time to exercise your brain by reading, doing puzzles, engaging in a hobby like art/music/cooking, learning something new like a new language or how to play an instrument. There are many tutorial videos and apps that you can use to train your brain or learn a skill.
Get enough sleep:
Sleep helps you to stay focused, pay attention and improves your mental wellbeing. Also read Don’t break your sleep routine.
Increase mindfulness of positive things:
Try to change your negative thought processes to positive ones. Also read Brighten your outlook.
Take time for prayer, meditation, or reﬂection:
Reconnect with a purpose that drives you and consider who you want to be when the world resumes to normalcy. Spend time in reflection of the situation, keeping your ego at check and practicing gratitude for what you have. If you are of a particular faith/religion, spend time in prayer. Pray for the world, your country, your loved ones, and yourself, for help in dealing with the challenging situation.
It is easy for selfishness and ugliness to spread during hard times, but each individual has the power to make a difference. Solidarity helps communities to overcome and grow from challenges. Being kind and thoughtful of others during this time improves your spiritual wellbeing, as well as inspires others to follow suit. You can be an example of generosity and benevolence, through which your spirit will grow.
Also read Brighten your outlook
Live within your means:
During this time, your income might have taken a cut due to the halt of usual work. It is especially important to cut down on unnecessary expenses during this time. This is actually easy to do since during this time your usual expenses of traveling or going out are non-existent. Use the money instead to buy your essentials.
Track your spending:
Not just during this coronavirus lockdown, but in general, it is a good habit to keep track of your spending. It helps you to allocate money for the essentials, create a savings plan, and also to live within your means. It prevents you from falling into debt and to store up cash for a rainy day.
Contribute to the needs of others:
If you are financially well-off, think of those who aren’t and provide financial assistance to the deserving. During this time there are many daily-wage workers who are struggling to make ends meet during the unforeseen halt of work. Read also Spread kindness
Call a friend:
Due to the hustle and bustle of life, we lose touch with our friends. Even though you cannot go out and meet your friends, use the time in lockdown to call your friends and catch up on each other’s lives. It is also a great idea to initiate a group call, kind of like a virtual meetup with friends, and rekindle friendships that took a backseat because of day-to-day life. Speaking to a friend is especially helpful if you’re feeling lonely during the isolation.
Eat meals together:
This lockdown is probably one of the few times that the whole family is at home together at the same time. This is a good opportunity (if you don’t already), to start having meals together. This creates togetherness and is a good opportunity to converse with your parents, partner, children, or siblings.
Do activities together:
Keep each other company by helping your partner or parent to cook, or by getting the whole family involved in household chores. Make it fun with something like baking a cake, playing board games, playing in the yard, or a movie night at home.
Call your family:
Some of us may be separated from our family during the lockdown, take time to call your parents/grandparents/siblings/any other close family, to let them know that you are thinking of them. They will be happy to hear from you, and you will be happy to hear from them as well! It is especially important to do this at times like this so that your family doesn’t feel neglected by you.
Have a dedicated workspace:
If you are working from home during this time, ensure that you have a dedicated space free from distractions, with a comfortable chair and table at which you can work. Try to work away from your bedroom if possible because it can be awfully tempting to take a nap, and definitely don’t work on your bed!
Do a thorough clean-up of your home:
Being confined to your home is a good opportunity to do a major clean-up of your home. Grab a ladder and clean out the dust from hard to reach places, clean and mop the floors, change the linens, get all the laundry done, and tidy the garden. Make everything spick and span! This will improve your environmental wellness, as well as help manage your stress and get in some exercise.
Do some gardening:
Having a lot of greenery and plants is great for improving the air quality around your home and offers stress-relieving benefits. It also makes a positive environmental impact. Furthermore your garden can provide you instant access to fresh produce and this is a great time to be self-sufficient. Try planting some fruits and vegetables that produce crop fairly quickly. Even if you can’t reap the benefits immediately, nothing beats plucking your own fresh organic produce straight from your garden!
Depending on the types of wellness that you are lacking, make an effort to try any of the above tips make yourself an individual with holistic wellness. Consider your situation and think of other things that you can do as well to lead a happier and more fulfilling life.