To say this year has not been normal is an understatement. We are only in August, but it feels like it has been over a year since all this craziness started. Right now, it is normal to not feel normal. No one expected a crisis that would force us into isolation. There is craziness all around us and it would not surprise me if Godzilla or King Kong attack next month the way things have gone. This makes it more important than ever to make sure you take care of yourself. Let’s explore some key things that you should be doing right now.
1. Develop a daily routine
We are all creatures of habit and routines provide comfort and peace of mind. Set a daily schedule and stick to it with the same morning routine to help feel a sense of normalcy. This is especially important if you have kids at home.
2. Get outside
Many studies show the value of vitamin D (sunshine) and how it improves overall health and decreases anxiety and depression. Make sure to see 20-30 minutes a day of sunlight. Take a walk, ride a bike, just sit and relax, but make sure to get some sun!
3. Get some exercise
This can work great in combination with going outside. Pandemic or not, getting to the gym can be inconvenient; online alternatives can be used many times throughout the day and in any room of the house. It does not mean you need to spend a lot of money either. There are great videos on Amazon Prime for free and many workouts can be found online for free (i.e., YouTube or YogaWorks). If you like the idea of a trainer, use an app like FitPlan.
4. Make time for yourself
It is important to have a hobby or take some time to pursue your passions. Spending time doing things we are passionate about energizes us and provides a sense of purpose. What are you passionate about and want to spend more time doing?
There are several connection-based websites. One of them, Meetup, helps members find and connect with other people who share their unique interests. During the pandemic, Meetup began enabling members to meet virtually, which is a great way to form new connections. For instance, users can participate in book-club discussions or test their pipes with virtual karaoke.
5. Finally, unplug
It is important to stay socially connected these days and Zoom suddenly became a household name. However, be careful about how you use social media. Unplugging for a couple of days from it is invigorating and you will find your overall mood and mindset will improve. Take time to unplug from other media and technology as well. Take some time to write, enjoy nature, or start a business. Less social media and more time spent productively (this includes sitting on your porch watching a sunset) provide more fulfillment.
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