As a society, we are collectively facing the outbreak of COVID-19. Experience and fear are unprecedented. People are panicking and consuming copious amounts of news and food. It is evident from personal conversations and also media that so many are taking to erratic eating and sleeping patterns.
With social distancing, self-isolation, remote working, and lockdowns becoming our guiding mantras, we are continuing to become best friends with Netflix and YouTube videos. Let’s not forget mindless scrolling on our tablets and phones and constant message notifications from WhatsApp, Facebook, texts, and more.
We wake up and tune into the news, and the last thing we feed our souls before turning off the lights is more updates on the coronavirus. Continually listening to the negativity in the news can disrupt our body and make our energy low.
Mindfulness During Coronavirus Isolation
We are subconsciously replicating our offline, pre-coronavirus world into our current online life. Too much noise. Too much mindlessness. Too much busyness. Excessive eating and talking. Uncontrolled messaging and phone time. The universe has forced us to re-evaluate how the human race exists.
Use this opportunity to get to know the real you. Discover your purpose. This is a great time to go within. If you can learn to be friends with your own company, you will do well under any circumstances.
When I was a kid, there was no internet or social media. There was a television but with minimal channels and programming. In the early days, people in the neighborhood got together at the person’s place who owned a color television. Hopping on a plane wasn’t always accessible or an available option.
So, many relied on long trains rides to visit the grandparents during summer breaks. The journey was incomplete without several strategically packed homecooked meals, small budgets, and frightening few entertainment options. As a result, we spent more time with the family and didn’t indulge in constant instant gratification.
We were a lot less selfish. We got to know our neighbors (sometimes even during long-distance train rides). We learned to bond with people without conditions of what they can do for us. The connections were deep.
Those were some fundamentals of life. I think we should look to go back to now for happiness, centeredness, and peace. It also supports health and well-being.
1. Connect Intentionally
Now is the time to connect with family and friends. Because we are all at home and a lot more rested, many more in your business networks might be more unprejudiced and open to connecting. Deepen and strengthen your existing personal and professional relationships. But be mindful of who you connect with.
Yoga reminds us to hold space with compassion for others. Yoga also reminds us to protect ourselves from negativity and build boundaries to survive the wrath. Depending on who is processing their anxiety, how don’t get caught in the crossfires.
Now is the time to intentionally bolster YOU by surrounding yourself with the nourishing company. I remember the first week when NYC went on PAUSE, and we were asked to work from home and maintain social distancing, I must have done Zoom video calls with at least 50 people.
This is including friends, family, and colleagues. But by the time the weekend turned up, I felt depleted. I am an extrovert, but I also need a lot of quiet in my life and for my creativity. I cannot chat nonstop—be it on the phone or group chats. The mindless discussions impacted my sleep and productivity. I have learned to pace myself now.
2. Eat Mindfully
There is a school of thought that tells us that the coronavirus doesn’t thrive in the heat. It’s simple; eat warm, cooked foods at this time. Ayurveda reiterates no cold drinks or refrigerated foods. Drink warm water first thing when you wake up in the morning as it aids in digestion and expels toxins.
Sip on herbal teas throughout the day, if you like. Avoid or decrease your intake of animal protein and eggs as they are acidic in nature. Alkaline foods, like green leafy vegetables and lentils, boost your immunity, so increase their intake. Include ginger, basil, turmeric, black pepper in your meals.
Whether or not you have a day job or your own business or a kid you need to help with homeschooling at this point, having a routine in place can be great for your mental health(1). Rolling out of bed in pajamas and logging into work or passing out on the couch while watching television hardly adds any value to your mindset or well-being.
If anything, lack of discipline can be a constant reminder of the scary, erratic world. A hot shower can feel relaxing and positively impact our thinking. Dress up in the mornings. It can not only help you manage any anxiety but also help you acclimatize to navigating the world.
Dressing up can give you a sense of purpose and stability in times when everything feels out of control, and it’s hard to keep track of days of the week.
4. Maintain Positivity
It’s heartbreaking to lose your job and/or loved ones to COVID-19. It’s not easy to adapt to this new normal overnight. It’s difficult not to be impacted if people you care about are in the hospital because of COVID-19, and you can’t even visit them. But know that nothing is permanent in this world. If anything, the only constant changes.
A positive mindset can help you handle all the triumphs and stop you from going into a spiral. Be resilient. Know that this too shall pass. Also, know that it is okay to not be okay on some days. It’s perfectly normal to experience a range of emotions when life feels so fragile.
Pay attention to what makes you happy and lifts your mood. Music. Books. Meditation. Focus on what’s working for you versus what isn’t. Including gratitude in your life can shift gears and show you there is always something to be thankful for.
Spend time at home without complaining. There are people who don’t have homes or meals or jobs or health insurance or health. If you have the luxury to feel bored, think about them for a moment.
5. Move Daily
While it’s easy to hide behind a box of cookies and not feel motivated to do any workouts or include any daily movements, you should be doing quite the opposite. Most of us partake in emotional eating when stressed. If you aren’t moving, you are probably not mindful of your health.
The last thing you need is lifestyle-induced diseases caused by increased calorie intake (from refined sugar and alcohol) and no exercise. Moving your body is imperative for your mental health too, as exercise releases endorphins, which can help bring about feelings of euphoria and general well-being.
Daily yoga and pranayama practice can lower stress, boost your immune system, and strengthen your respiratory system. Pranayama can keep your nasal passages very clean. Meditation can help you stay focused, centered, and grateful.
Pay attention. Cultivate mindfulness. Following your dinacharya (daily routine) and aligning yourself with the circadian rhythm of the universe during this mayhem can help you stay healthy physically, emotionally, and healthy.
About the Author:
Sweta Srivastava Vikram, Wellness Coach, Global Speaker, & Author
Sweta Srivastava Vikram is an international speaker, best-selling author of 12 books, and Ayurveda and mindset coach who is committed to helping people thrive on their own terms.
As a trusted source on health and wellness, most recently appearing on NBC and Radio Lifeforce, Sweta has dedicated her career to writing about and teaching a more holistic approach to creativity, productivity, health, and nutrition.