The pandemic may be our most immediate crisis, but another looms ominously. Mental health may be out biggest lost in Covid-19, with depression and anxiety at an all-time high. Constant curfew changes and almost house arrest is testing our sanity. Even waiting for the vaccine is an issue for many of us. Here are some ways to cultivate inner peace in these troubling times.
- Practice yoga
Yoga is a powerful practice packed with many benefits for the mind and body. It is a great way to reduce stress and to remain centred when everything else is chaotic. It also releases tension in the limbs, gives you more energy, and lifts your mood. Yoga improves balance, and promotes flexibility, strength, and better posture. It brings mental clarity and awareness and helps your concentration.
Taking a moment to stop and breathe even for a few minutes makes a vast difference in your day. Embrace a sense of peace before starting your day. Use a meditation moment to pause and reflect in the middle of stressful situations. Although you may fall asleep when you first start meditating, that’s a benefit, not an issue. Over time though, you will savour the mindfulness that meditation brings.
- Take breaks
The pandemic has made things busier for many of us. Take that much needed break in your daily routine to prevent burn-out. Step away from your computer or mobile device briefly to focus on something else. It will improve productivity and reduce stress. Ignore those messages and emails, they will still be there when you get back.
- Go outside
The outdoors, even your yard, does wonders for your brain. Open air and the sun releases serotonin, a hormone that boosts your mood and helps you to focus and stay calm. So escape the confines of your home and office as much as needed to centre your self in your life and the world. Of course, we should step outside safely, following all protocols such as wearing a mask properly and social distancing.
- Get Quality Sleep
Anxiety and stress from the pandemic may be affecting your sleep cycle. When your body is sleep-deprived, it goes into a state of stress. A lack of sleep also reduces your immunity, which helps you fight viruses and bacteria, key in this pandemic. A good night’s sleep, on the other hand, brings a more peaceful and productive day and puts you in a good mood. Aim for at least 7 hours of good quality sleep every night; the recommended amount for adults.
- Keep a routine
Routine gives you a sense of control and lets you cope with changes. It helps you form healthy habits, and reduces stress levels. It also saves us time, a valuable resource. But always include some form of relaxation in your routine so you get the balance that will make you productive.