Making the Most out of Lockdown

Making the Most out of Lockdown

Read time: 7 minute read

So, it’s lockdown (again), but how lucky we are here in Canberra to have spent hardly any time in lockdown this year?

Plus, it’s only 7 days….. {crosses fingers}.

As much as I don’t like not being able to run my business freely, and my personal goals that I have been working towards for over 2 years are on the brink of not happening, I am quite the optimist and I like to flip things into a positive, every time they’re not looking so good.

Last year I read ‘Mans’ Search for Meaning’ by Viktor Frankl. He was a survivor in much, much worse times than we are currently in, but his message was clear – no matter what is happening around you, one thing you never lose power over is your reaction to it. You choose your reaction, and you never lose that power.

Anyways so I thought I’d share with you some ways I plan to make the most out of lockdown, starting with my favourite, absolute top number one tip;

 

  1. Turn off the TV

If you want to feel anywhere close to good, turn off your TV. Yes, there is a virus out there and these are challenging times, but watching a rolling case count, and testing stats aren’t going to add any value to your life right now.

Media is pretty much constant negative information and, in many cases, it’s misinformation. They don’t need to account a mistake or correction anymore; they can simply log in to their old news story and edit the details.

Social media is the same, filled with one-sided information layered with thousands of highly unqualified individuals (everyday citizens who have taken it upon themselves to tell others how to live). In hard and stressful times, people need their friends and family, not division and segregation.

Assuming people are following the rules, then no one is ‘better’ than anyone else based on how they choose to respond to the situation.

Stay informed, of course, but switch it off. We know the rules and we will get updates when the announcements come without sitting in front of the TV

 

  1. Go within

Lockdown is a kind of hybrid time – things are a little slower and the world a little quieter (especially for those of us who are not able to work to usual capacity). It’s a great time to ask yourself, what do I want to do? How do I want to feel? It’s a good time to try meditation or find some kind of relaxation technique.

Modern objectives would love to steer you into a life of fight or flight right now. You can’t divide or control people without instilling fear. Be a rebel and take your power back. Challenge yourself to see the good in every situation and see if you can find some calm.

For those of you who are thinking ‘meh’, I cannot do that! Here are some super practical things you could dig your hands into;

 

  1. Try new recipes!

Cooking is something I like, but rarely have the space for. I spent Thursday evening (last night) going over a bunch of recipes I would like to try, or cook and photograph for socials, which is another thing I rarely have time to do. So, check out some fun recipes and get cooking

 

  1. Enjoy a different style of training

It’s common to panic about the disruption to your training routine, many of my clients sure do. Won’t the lockdown set you backward? In a word, NO.

This is an opportunity to either take active rest (walking outside in the sunshine with a rest from weight training, which is great for your nervous system if you’re an avid gym person), or, explore other exercises.

You would be surprised how a change in training stimulus or method, even if it feels ‘easier’ than what you’re used to, will challenge your body and in many cases will even match or surpass your current training challenge.

 

  1. Go out into the sunshine!

Yesterday, the weather was beautiful! Lockdown means you can go for a walk at lunch time and soak up some Vitamin D, which, although I’m not sure I am ‘allowed’ to say this, is a crucial piece of your immune system.

 

  1. Clean a part of the house

Got a horrible part of the house that has been tormenting you for months on end? Got a pantry you can’t fit anything else in? Pull it all out and tidy it up. Make room for new things when lockdown has ended. Downward times are always the best time for re-jigging things, and bringing about new beginnings, no matter how simple.

 

  1. Get out into the garden

Getting out in the garden is therapeutic, not only because you’re in nature, so-to-speak, (unless you have fake grass), but also because you’re in the sunshine! Sunshine is so great at this time of year as it isn’t too hot. It’s perfect really.

 

  1. Research your fave topic or complete and online course

Dive deep online into a topic you would love to learn more about. Finish off that online course you started but can’t seem to make time for. Search online and purchase a short course.

I myself will be spending time completing meditation teacher training, which I have been doing after my evening clients when I am super tired these past few weeks. Now I can do a lesson or two in the morning. So, find something cool to explore and expand your mind a little.

 

  1. Tick some things off your to-do list

Do you have a bunch of tasks you can never seem to be centered enough to work through? (I speak of myself here). List those things out and get through them, so when lockdown has ended you will feel a thousand times lighter!

 

  1. Make a vision board

What do you want to achieve for the rest of 2021? I know some people are speaking of how you shouldn’t have goals, you should just be ‘surviving’ in these times, but I don’t buy that. There is always something you can be doing to lighten up your mood and situation.

We are very privileged here in Australia and we all have iPhones, start jotting down some goals you have, dreams you’re ignoring, things you want to do when this whole nightmare is over.

Collect quotes, imagery of your favourite idols, pictures of things that bring you joy and stick them up somewhere. Have a bit of fun with it! That way, when you are feeling overwhelmed and catch a glimpse of it, you can access that feeling of inspiration that is bubbling away under all this mayhem.

 

  1. Enjoy that rare time you have with your family

I know, I know, I don’t have kids and no idea how exhausting they can be. But from an outsider looking in, how much time do you have to spend time with your partner, kids, significant others? Usually you’re commuting, rushing, and unable to spend quality time. Now there is more time to do just that 😉

 

Keeping ‘extra’ essential items in your home isn’t a bad idea, either…

Last lockdown I was caught off guard and waited weeks for toilet paper and tissues, I ran out of rice, meat, veg and other items I rely on, so since then I have kept just that little bit extra at home. This way, a snap lockdown doesn’t instill panic as you have what you need already on hand.

 

So those are my top tips for now. I hope they help to bring some positive vibes and even a little stress relief for you.

What do you plan to do for this lockdown?

Do you face challenging times in the same way?

Jen x

 

Finding a Silver Lining in Times of Adversity

Finding a Silver Lining in Times of Adversity

Read time: 7 minute read

I’m kind of stating the obvious here by saying that these are trying times for many of us; things are going a little crazy out there, and there is contradictory, confusing and confronting information being spilled out of every media outlet in sight.

As much as I love to express my opinion on global issues, I like to stay in my lane when it comes to expressing them publicly unless they are directly related to something I know well, and practice often. Given the fact that I am in the health and wellness sphere, I will focus my attention on supporting you all in finding positivity, within crisis, as that is something I am particularly skilled at!

Finding silver linings to seemingly negative and hopeless situations is one of my favourite things to do, and something I have done hundreds (if not thousands) of times throughout my life whilst dealing with depression and anxiety growing up. It is really all about attitude, resilience, and where you choose to direct your attention.

When facing stress, or feeling blue, you need to do two things;  the first is to change your state, meaning, you need to snap your body out of whatever funky energy it is ‘sitting’ in. The second is to find a silver lining, something that brings positive opportunity to a negative situation, so you can move forward.

So in the spirit of contributing something to this weird and stressful time, I’ve compiled a few of my favourite ways to uncover that silver lining, change your perspective, and your physical state, so you can continue on thriving in times of stress.

 

PERSPECTIVE SHIFT

Perspective shifts are all about flipping a negative into a positive, moving from self-defeating mindset to a constructive one. It’s not an easy task, and sometimes you need to keep yourself accountable and snap out of victim mode in order to make it happen. It all depends on how ‘stuck’ you are.

STEP 1: Write down a list of all the benefits to your situation

You probably rolled your eyes when you read that. What positives!? In order to do this, you need to dig deep, as when you’re not in a good place these things don’t just jump to the surface. If you lost your job, did you actually like it? If you have no money, were you out of control with your spending? If you just went through a breakup, was that relationship really serving your highest good? Think outside the box a little and answer with honesty.

STEP 2: Write down a plan as to how you will make the most of the situation

A plan is where you take that benefitfrom the stressful situation that you uncovered in the previous point, and write down actionable steps to make something happen. This may be something like;

  • The problem might be; I lost my job, but I didn’t like it anyways. The actionable step might be; reflect on what I would actually want to do. Apply for jobs in a more desirable field. Seek out further education to bridge the gap between what I can do, and what I want to do.
  • The problem might be; I have no money, but I was overspending before. The actionable step might be; Make a budget; what can you afford, what do you need in your life, and what can go? When you do have money again, how are you going to hold onto it? What better way to reel in your spending when you actually have no money to spend anyways?

There is always a silver lining, you just need to look for it. Resilience comes along with stronger foundations after every ‘fall’, as when approached constructively, you climb out stronger than before.

STEP 3: Write down everything you have, that you are grateful for

Write a list and stick it on your fridge if you have to. When the coronavirus shutdown first occurred, I was pretty angry as gyms closed so now I am working from home, my income down, my business in limbo and to be honest I was feeling pretty apathetic for a day or two. Then a quote popped up in my feed, which I reposted, that put things way back into perspective;

“Ok, but honestly, how privileged are so many of us that during a global pandemic, we can just stay warm at home, reading, working, still being educated, creating, talking to our loved ones, with little worries and a fridge stocked with food?”

I have no idea who wrote the quote but what a reality check for us westerners who are complaining about lack of toilet paper and (these next two were me) closed gyms and the fact that it took me three hours and 4 grocery shops to find and purchase meat to fit my specific macro requirements??

Reality check. There is always something to be grateful for.

 

CHANGING YOUR PHYSICAL STATE

 Sometimes, this one needs to come before the first if you can’t seem to get past your negative thinking cycle, or victimhood. We’ve all been there, where we have a problem and are not even slightly open to solutions to those problems, whether being offered by friends, family, coworkers, psychologists, etc.

When you’re stuck, you need to do something to change your state before you go ahead trying to be grateful. And fun fact, you probably won’t want to change your state, because you don’t feel like it. Oftentimes, in order to surpass out limited selves, we have to do things we don’t feel like doing. So to change your state, here are some of my favourite suggestions;

Create a go-to playlist, with all those songs that light you up

I mean lights you up, from the inside. You know those songs you hear that bring you such joy and make you just want to dance around like a crazy person? I have a playlist of those; it’s called ‘Wake-up/Inspirational’. I put it on when I feel crappy and eventually, you get back to feeling good

Get out into nature

Nature changes your state, something to do with the negative ions and the sounds it makes. Whether your jam is the beach, rainforest, up on a hill somewhere, or the local lake, force yourself to get out there and sit still, in your fave place, until you change your state.

Express yourself through whichever means possible

Whether it be dancing around the house like a crazy person, singing at the top of your lungs, playing an instrument, drawing, reading, writing, do something that brings your soul to the surface. You don’t need to be skilled or talented at it, you just need an outlet. Having a go-to outlet is an easy way to change your state. Mine is singing, as I find it relaxing, or I have tribal music that I love to play loudly while dancing around in the lounge room. Weird, I know.

Meditate

If you know how, this is a good one. Breathing, mindfulness, sound mediation, or walking meditation are all ways of changing your state and bringing about inner stillness.

Exercise

Physical movement is crucial for releasing stored energy and reinvigorating your body. Whether for you this is running, walking, cycling, going to the gym, and whether or not you feel like doing it, just get it done. This will change your state.

So there you have it, I hope you find these suggestions useful! Once you change your state, you can return back to your original task of finding a silver lining to your challenging situation. There is one there, always, you just need to dig down a little deeper, and find it.

Note that I have steered away from focusing on more obvious things such as eating a healthful diet, getting plenty of sleep, avoiding the narratives of the mainstream media, though it is my belief that these things are crucial for physical and emotional resilience as well.

Happy digging!

Jen x

 

 

 

 

 

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