Last week, I had a terrible headache that lasted four days. FOUR DAYS! Ugh. I felt exhausted, overwhelmed, and anxious. Sleep. What sleep? My mind was racing like a hamster in one of those spinning wheels. ALL. NIGHT. LONG. Can anyone relate?
I was working too many hours, with minimal nutrition, and poor quality sleep. You know the zone where adrenaline is keeping you going and if you slow down it feels as if everything will fall apart? That lie can be so detrimental to our health. In an effort to adjust to my new “norm”, many of the things that provide serenity in my daily life had gone by the wayside.
As I have been checking in with people close to me, I have learned there is another type of overwhelm from this whole quarantine/COVID19 situation. Many people are struggling with boredom and loneliness, which is also causing immense amounts of anxiety. Some people are overeating. Some are undereating. Some people are trying to fill every minute of the day with activity and others are sedentary much more than usual.
In these times of uncertainty, have you created a new normal yet? Is the routine you have established over these last several weeks filled with habits that are in line with your goals? Maybe your goals have shifted. For me, that is most definitely the case. Since COVID, my goals now are much more focused on my mental health. My daily habits are my survival strategies.
If you have gotten away from those habits that keep you sane, it is time to get back to it.
If you have never established habits to give you peace and reduce anxiety, there is no better time than now.
Here are three essentials for me:
Create a schedule. Type/write it out. Include times and specifics. Here is my morning schedule:
6:30am- Wake up. (Yes, I set my alarm clock even for that early even though I currently do not have any appointments until 9am.)
6:35am- Make my bed. Personal hygiene.
6:45am- Drink large glass of water. Sun salutation (yoga).
9am- Work or Workout (depending on the day)
Plan out your exercise. Put it on your calendar including the time. Set it aside as if it is a very important meeting or doctor appointment. Here is mine for this week:
Thursday 12pm or REST
Plan out meals and snacks. I know right now it is difficult to deal with everything related to food. Going to the grocery store can be anxiety producing. Lack of accessibility to our normal quantity of food items is a reality. Too much time in the day for some. Not enough time in the day for others. If you have the time, plan out your meals and snacks. Do not buy items that are not inline with your goals. Especially now with so many hours at home. Cookies/baked goods/junk food is a literal recipe for disaster right now for those of us spending nearly 24/7 at home. If you are in the essential services, first off, thank you! You may want to consider hiring a meal delivery service if that option is in your budget. We use Fit4YouFoods. Healthy, reasonably priced, and right now Josh is offering a discount of 25% for all orders and FREE home delivery. If you are unsure how to combine proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates to make a meal and snack, you are not alone. Please reach out. I am here to help.
None of us have ever experienced this unusual situation in our lives. We need to pivot from our old ways of doing things and create our new normal. These circumstances do not have to define us. We CAN come out of this with a renewed sense of priorities. Right now, focus on what you CAN control. You CAN control the three items above. If three is too overwhelming, pick one, do it for a week or two before adding the next one. Start with exercise. Exercise gets blood flowing, releases endorphins to make you feel better, and boosts your immune system. Need I say more.