I hope you have been enjoying this very special Corona series that I have been anchoring. I have said this before and would like to say this again, no two days are the same and that is what “normal” feels like. One day you are supercharged and another day you are in a downward spiral, what’s important is to take a step back and just breathe. This too shall pass and we can already see the light at the end of the tunnel.
On the blog today we have, Sandrine Larive (from Kyrielle Coaching) and she talks about building resilience and staying positive during these uncertain times.
It’s critical to pay the same amount of attention to your mental well being as you do for your physical health. By mental health, we mean psychological, emotional and cognitive well-being. Here are my 10 top tips to make sure you remain well during the lockdown:
#1 Go on a deprivation challenge of live news and social media
Overload of information, live TV chains, rumors and fake news can create lots of anxiety.
I have a market research background and I used to do deprivation tests to see how consumers react when they experience an artificial lack of specific products. In these times, I highly recommend cutting back on your news and social media intake.
Challenge yourself to stop watching TV or at least live TV for a few days and notice what happens. What else have you been able to create instead? Your brain does not like void so it will probably try to replace this practice by new and more positive things. If you cannot stop watching the news, you can start by reducing the number of times you check on news/social media as well as select just one trustful source of information like WHO (World Health Organization).
#2 Spread good news and be part of the positive movement
Your brain is like a muscle that needs constant training. Find opportunities that create positivity – hopeful stories and positive images. Allow yourself to engage in charity – belonging in something bigger than us enables the brain to take some distance.
#3 Use breath control techniques to regulate your anxiety
Remember that the most important thing in life is breathing. Our life begins and ends with breathing.
Pranayama, one of the eight pillars of yoga teaches us alternate nostrils breathing to reduce health and anxiety. “The breathing technique was found to have a positive influence on blood pressure, heart rate, and vital capacity.” says a 2011 research.
Cardiac Coherence is another one. I use the KARDIA app to practice the 365 exercise – breathing 3 times a day, 6 breaths per minute, for 5 mins (means 1 inhalation for 5 seconds and 1 exhalation for 5 seconds). It activates the parasympathetic nervous system and decreases your level of cortisol, the hormone of stress, by coordinating breathing with your heart rate.
See my video on self-centering and cleansing your mind with breathing
#4 Find a way to lockdown during lockdown
Even if you are locked down with your family, carve out some time for yourself every day and do something that makes you feel good. Try to find a little space just for you and warn people that this is YOUR “me time” – you will take care of them after you’ve taken care of yourself. Remember how flight attendants are so careful to hammer the following information into our brains? “In the event of an emergency, put your oxygen mask on first.” …
#5 Keep or create a daily routine
Keeping a healthy and positive routine every day will help your brain regulate.
A lot of us tend to change our daily lives because now they are staying at home. However, I continue to practice my own version of the Miracle morning (from the 2012 best seller of Hal Elrod) which says that it takes around 21 days to establish a new habit. Now would be a good time to implement a new ritual using the time you’re saving working from home.
The Miracle morning encompasses 6 activities at the peak of the day in terms of energy (you can spend 5 mins on each to start with):
- Silence (Meditation, prayers)
- Positive affirmations, a vision of the person you want to become
- Visualization (for instance thinking of the day when lockdown will be over and all the things that you will do)
- Sport (any sport, sun salutations work for me personally)
- Journaling (a lot of people started writing their Corona journals)
Involve kids in your new daily routines, if age appropriate you will invest a great way to spend time together as a family!
#6 Stay connected and maintain your social networks…
It is important to stay connected with loved ones especially the most vulnerable ones. A number of new ways of socializing online such as the wave of “e-drinks” has started to become a trend! This could be a ritual that you take into the “new normal”; it is also a good way to reconnect with friends and colleagues you had lost touch with.
#7… but avoid toxic people
It is often said that you are the average of the 5 people closest to you; it’s important for you to be mindful of who this circle is for you. While it is important to be compassionate and kind, putting your mental health in danger is never a good idea. Do not let others take the power to drain your energy by undermining you. It is important to understand that the negativity which comes from toxic relationships is often reflective of the other person and not you.
Visualize a protective bubble around you, like an energy shield. This helps you remain energetically neutral without allowing toxic words or actions cut or affect you.
#8 Engage Creatively
When things go out of your control, it often gives birth to creative ideas. Covid, has brought in our lives a similar situation. One of my clients who is a mum and a banker started to play the role of a story teller in her community. She has started recording stories on her phone and sharing it on the parents whatsapp group, this initiative got her not just amazing feedback but also a positive sense of achievement.
There are so many talents and desires inside each of us that remain hidden, now might be the perfect time to unleash that artist within you.
#9 Travel from your sofa
If you’re an avid traveler and really miss it, why not try these amazing tours, concerts and walk in the parks which technology has made possible.
#10 Don’t hold back
Last but not least, sometimes just accepting that you are not a wonder woman goes a long way! I leave you with this poem by Rumi on how to welcome and entertain all the arrivals in our guest house.
Sandrine is a coach and a practitioner in Hypnosis/NLP and would be happy to advise via video-conference/teletherapy. You can check out her website and follow her on her Facebook page or on Instagram.
Stay tuned for more resources, we have some great content lined up with experts in various fields – marketing gurus, coaches, wellness experts, chefs, and teachers to get you through this tough time. Stay safe and healthy! Make the most of your quarantine with My Swiss Story.
To read more articles from this series, click here.