We are all in the process of adjusting our lives to these daunting and social distancing times. I saw a couple of articles on the subject that inspired me to share my ways of handling anxiety and support my creative practice and general well-being. In a minute, I will share with you some thoughts, daily routines helping me to maintain good emotional and physical health, and some interesting questions that may help you uncover your fears, upgrade your beliefs, and shift you into a more conscious way of life 😊
But before that, I wanted to ask you something. Don’t you think that we live in very turbulent times? We’ve reached the point of never thinking anything through to the end, before doing it. We strive to do more and feel less. We abuse our bodies either with not eating right, not sleeping right, taking medications to keep up, or just scrolling through our social feeds looking for something that is never there.
This is why I try to look at this COVID-19 quarantine as a breath of fresh air, distancing ourselves from the rush to do more, be more, and always have the excuse that we don’t have time for the things that bring us joy. Now, there are no traffic jams, no rush to finish your job before 6 pm and do sport till 7 pm, pick up the kids from tennis at 8 pm and have a late dinner at 9 pm. Instead of doing what we have to do, we can take inspired actions towards things that we love to do.
Now, life is not moving at such a fast pace and it no longer seems to pass us by before we can really enjoy it. This is the moment when you can ask yourself “what do I really want”, “how can I achieve it” and think through how to better enjoy it. This is why you will see how many of our friends and loved ones are being more open to their intuition and creativity — they are painting, composing music, choreographing dances, cooking, and knitting sweaters… and I believe this creative process is unlocked by the isolation from all distractions and obligations that we daily put ourselves in, and mostly by the opportunity to really distance ourselves from everything and everyone while staying home.
Consider this situation as an opportunity for you to find the power to upgrade your life and the world around you. If I have to summarize this period with one sentence, I will say that it helps me to take responsibility for some of my recent actions and consciously choose my emotional state.
I believe then and only then we can respond to the world around us instead of unconsciously react to it.
Enough with the sweet talk 😊 Let’s move on to my flexible but consistent daily routine list:
🧘♀️ Meditation — Pause. Give yourself time each morning and evening to become more present, focused, and conscious of your choices. Find time for one relaxation activity that you can do whenever you are feeling stressed or anxious. Find your comfortable position, lay down or sit and just close your eyes. Don’t think, just feel your body, focus on your breath, just listen to it as it goes in and out. Reflect the anxiety, “listen” to your thoughts and while you face them, just accept them and comfort yourself, let them pass like clouds in the sky… and breathe.
Meditation decreases cortisol (sleep’s enemy) but it also increases melatonin (sleep’s close, personal friend). With meditation, you are teaching your body to enter a more relaxed state more easily and release more of the hormone that’s going to help you sleep better and prevent stress. In short, meditation is safe, effective, and free to try.
Here I want to mention that I am using a smart device called Oura ring, which helps me to track my sleep, daily activity, and meditate — it measures the physiological signals of my body, understands my lifestyle, and guides me to make my own optimal daily choices.
“The better your physiology, the better your psychology”. And these are the exercises that I strive to do three times a week:
1.“The art of stair Climbing” 😅
I live on the 10th floor (600+ stairs) so in my case, that’s easy. This will slightly increase your heart rate and prepare you for what is coming
2.HIIT series (Tabata) 20 seconds exercise/10 seconds rest for 4 minutes — Jumping jacks, Pushups, Plank, Burpies — repeat.
3. And again HIIT series for the core, belly fat burning mostly — High knee jumps, Russian twist, Side mountain climbers, Plank with mountain climbers — repeat.
According to my Oura ring, this workout is with medium to high difficulty and helps me burn more than 400 calories. With specific goals in mind, you can begin looking for different patterns and make adjustments that help optimize your health, energy, and productivity. For example, I was aiming to improve my deep sleep, and starting with these regular exercises helped me with that. With the Oura app, you can view different types of activity and sleep data and discover that your body prioritized deep sleep after a heavy workout.. and a lot more 💍
🍜Cooking — Now, more than ever, we have the time to stay home and cook. Nope, I am not talking about boiled eggs, nor what’s the fastest — I am talking about actual food. Here I want to mention that having this unique invention called multicooker, is great. It literally saves you a lot of cooking time and cleaning afterward.
🕺 Dancing- just play your favorite track, pump up the volume and let your body do the rest. If you want to clap, jump, sing or shake your body — go for it. Don’t try to put a definition of what you are doing, just listen to your favorite song and express it!
🎨 Painting — Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways. Have you heard of Paint-By-Number Kits, it’s great for a start.
📚 Reading — No more excuses. I often hear “I wish that I had the time and availability to read this book.. ”. Well, now you do! Although I agree that reading is something that cannot be rushed. You should feel it, the desire to go on an adventure with a good fantasy story, or just read something inspirational to check your inner self and be ready to find a better version of it.
“Where your attention goes, energy flows. What you choose to focus on in life is magnified “ — Daily Habits Journal
Check out my ’18 and ’19 reading lists, I hope you’ll find them interesting.
✍ Journaling — If you want to work on focus, presence, and self-awareness, then I strongly recommend to just write down your thoughts on paper. Let them flow, word by word, sentence by sentence, even if it doesn’t make any sense at the moment, trust me, soon it will 😊
“The practice of writing can enhance the brain’s intake, processing, and retrieving of information… it promotes the brain’s attentive focus … boosts long-term memory, gives the brain time for reflection, and when well-guided, is a source of conceptual development and stimulus of the brain’s highest cognition.” — Judy Willis MD
If you wonder “Do I need a live adjustment” or you are searching for a way of handling anxiety, try answering the questions below. As I said earlier, I believe they will help you uncover your fears, upgrade your beliefs, and shift you into a more conscious way of life:
- What baggage do I have that holds me back (emotionally)?
- How can I have more fun, what do I love to do that makes me happy?
- What is the one thing I can do every day to take better care of my body?
- What are my talents and what is the best and highest use of them?
- How can I bring more love and joy into my (any) relationship?
- Think of one idea that you haven’t yet acted on, that might be a successful venture?
- What do I feel passionate about and want to support more openly, my one passion that can positively impact the world?
Give them a try, you will be amazed with the results.
“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do “ — Goethe
Now tell me, how you support your creative practice and general well-being during the quarantine? 😊