How do we keep up the momentum during this “lockdown”?
Quarantine may be longer than we think or with good management perhaps not as long as concerns us; either way, social distancing may be a concept to stay for some time. The beginning of a change can be liberating and devastating all at once. We are buoyed with change and full of bravado. Routines are determined and established and we go forth with all the vigour we can muster.
I know this story – I will exercise more, eat better, take the supplements I mean to. Reading will fill my days and Netflix watching reduce. Mental stimulation is everything and with the best endeavours, I want to work mine. Sugar will be a thing of my past and a vodka martini few and far between; this will be the “new’ me; a healthier and considered version. Caramels – something I once loved – gone, like a long-ago boyfriend, fond memories but no longing. Wasting time on unnecessary social media, reading throwaway titles and binge-watching TV series will be replaced with a deeper caring and more intellectual reverence for my time.
Who am I kidding?
If I set myself up like this, I am most certainly going to fail.
Momentum, gathering momentum and putting in place realistic practices is what will keep me together, mentally and physically, during this quarantine. Excessive behaviour is not sustainable; moderation and kindness are the clues.
How do we keep up the momentum?
How do we keep moving forward when all we want is to wish the world and all its problems far away? I hear so many recriminations about what we had and how it wasn’t appreciated. Yes, all very true but that’s a whole other subject. What we need to do right now is garner our strength and focus on energy, both mental and physical.
Practice routines and whatever they are, staying with them. Yoga has become part of my life so I’m finding ways to practice 4-5 times weekly. Sometimes I would rather drink tea and scroll Instagram, I’m not and this is where my discipline kicks in. Nobody can see me so why not skip the hard crunch and extra downward dog? Why? For me, it’s a slippery slope to life as a couch potato.
Stimulation is everything. Learn, read, play games, do jigsaws, sew, knit or whatever challenges take the mind off horrendous news 24/7. A mental escape is paramount to making it through and our brains, like our bodies, need exercise. I play card and word games when I want to sharpen up and the flipside is they alleviate my anxiety which I find much more prevalent in these isolation days.
Kindness. Be kind to us and to others goes without saying but so often we leave us to last. Working with our routines means we can treat ourselves on the other side. Deliciously scented oil bath, a facemask or time in the sun. Read the trashy online reportage for reward, maybe Saturday night is for pizza and Sunday means a couple more glasses of wine. The key to this type of kindness is recognizing it is not the routine.
Companionship and socializing, the lack of it, is tough detox. Pick up the phone, send a text or create What’sApp groups with besties. There is Zoom for group chats, which is weird but fun; it is key to making the most of the resources we have. Greet people, even if they are on the other side of the street. Who knows, a friendly wave might change their day and be what they really need?
Relaxing, hand in hand with kindness, is a must. Work it how you can and when you can. Switch off the depressing at night and read and watch the positive: it’s not denial, it is preserving our sanity.
Momentum, it’s worth working on. xv