Our daily lives are changing and, in some cases, have changed almost overnight. And we’re all trying to get used to it. While it might not be the easiest time to stay positive, at Bach we have been trying out seven different techniques that seem to help quieten our anxieties and fears and might do the same for you.
The main thing here is to take the pressure off yourself and to treat yourself as though you’re your best friend: with kindness, respect and a gentle, loving approach.
1. Mindfulness and meditation
Practicing mindfulness and/or meditation on a daily basis can help you turn your attention away from what’s happening around you in the world, and towards what you are doing at this exact moment. Here are a few simple steps to help you get in the right frame of mind:
- Sit in a comfortable place and keep your eyes open with a soft gaze
- Listen to the sounds around you and be aware of your environment
- As you start to take three slow and deep breaths in and out, close your eyes gently
- Imagine a steady stream of warm and glowing sunlight entering your body through the very top of your head and filling it up slowly.
- Visualise all 10 toes filling up; your lower legs; your thighs and hips; your lower back and stomach; your chest and upper back; all 10 fingers and arms; your neck; and finally, your face.
- As you visualise your body filled with warm, soft light, count your breaths until you reach 20.
- Reconnect with the sounds around you, and slowly open your eyes.
2. Daily routine
There are a few simple principles that we are living by at the moment, and having a structured daily routine is one of them.
Here are a few ways that we are keeping to a structured day:
- Waking up and going to sleep at the same time every day helps sets us up for a productive day
- Eating at regular intervals means that we don’t go rummaging in cupboards throughout the day
- Making sure we’re showered and getting changed every day. This doesn’t mean being in a full suit or rigid jeans every day; just try not to be in pyjamas all day.
3. Reach out
Staying connected with friends, family, colleagues and neighbours will help us get through these times with a smile on our faces. Whether you’re in need of a shoulder to lean on, or you can help support someone, checking in with people is the only way you’re going to know.
Use modern technology to chat to loved ones over the phone or FaceTime; have regular group calls with your friends; don’t be afraid to chat openly to colleagues about how you’re feeling; and help your self-isolating neighbours by dropping round a note to offer your help. There’s no better time than now.
4. Be patient
Patience is a virtue we all need to live by at the moment. Wherever you are –at home with your family, housemates or by yourself – practicing patience will help you through this. It’s a time where we must give each other and ourselves space to breathe and take on a long-term view of life. As the saying goes: “this too shall pass”.
5. Healthy living
It goes without saying that healthy eating and regular exercise can help us all through this difficult time. But it’s not always that easy. Here are a few ideas to keep you on track.We know that getting fresh food can be difficult, especially if you’re not able to go to the shop. But it’s a good time to reach out to your friendly neighbour and ask them to pick up a bag full of bits. Here are a few thoughts for your list:
- Fruit and vegetables: tinned(chickpeas and chopped tomatoes),root(potatoes and butternut squash)and frozen veg(peas, spinach)keep for longer. And add in a few fresh vegetablesif you can.
- Protein: tofu is a great option if you’re vegan as it keeps for a while, or fresh meat and fish can be frozen
- Carbs: pasta and rice might be the obvious (and very popular!) choice, but now might be a good time to experiment. Why not try couscous or bulgar wheat that are easy to cook and add a bit of bulk?
- Snacks: healthy snacks like fruit and hummus are great, but we all know that it’s hard not to daydream of chocolate and ice cream. Why not try dark chocolate and pots of frozen yoghurt or ice lollies as a healthier alternative.
When it comes to exercise, the global fitness community seem to have put modern technology to the test and are connecting with anyone who wants or needs it. Your local trainer might be hosting live workouts that you can join in virtually. Or bigger brands and influencers are adding pre-recorded sessions to their websites and channels. A few great examples are:
-Yoga: Yoga with Adriene
-Aerobics: POPSUGAR Fitness
This is a marathon, not a sprint. Now is the time to take care of yourself; try to slow your day-to-day life down, focus on the important things and practiceself-care every day. Here are a few ideas on how you can do this:
- At the start of the day, as yourself: “What will I do for myself today?” It might be reading a book, taking a bath, doing some exercise, or watching your favourite programme in bed. Stick to it and enjoy it.
- Write a to-do list every morning and one or two achievable tasks.Make a point of stopping after each one, taking a break and celebrating what you have achieved. Anything you do beyond these is a bonus, but there’s no pressure to do them.Take the time to enjoy the smaller things: making a coffee in the morning, the light at dusk, a quiet moment to read.
- Practice the mindfulness and meditation techniques above, and remember to breathe. It’s an anxious time and you deserve to slow down.
7. Positive news
The news and social media can be difficult to look at at the moment. So why not fill your life with positive news? Here are a few simple steps that can help you disconnect from the negative and reconnect with the positive:Remove any news apps from your phone and bookmarks and delete any social media apps that are dampening your positive spirits.
- Leave or mute any groups that are overwhelming; where people are talking non-stop, sharing information and links, and not giving you the positivity you need and want.
- Wherever you feel comfortable, ask friends and family not to share any negative or ‘forwarded’ information about the global pandemic
- Ask friends and family to share one happy thought, memory, photo or video whenever they can.