Article by Pankhuri Agarwal
With speculation about an impending third wave of COVID-19 in India, and the anxiety around lockdowns and its effects on our lives, amidst work from home blurring boundaries between personal and professional lives, we’re living in stressful times. The ‘stay at home’ doctrine is working well to break the chain. But it may be detrimental to mental health in the long run. What are the ways that we can bring our lives to as close to normal as we can while being safe at home? Here are some suggestions...
Have a daily routine - It's easy to fall out of routine since there is nowhere to go. Be firm with your routine as it keeps the body clock in check.
Make exercise a part of your life - When we exercise it not only helps to keep us occupied, it also makes us healthy. Exercising produces endorphins or feel-good hormones in the body. This triggers a positive feeling in your body and mind. Seeing a fitter you in the mirror does great things for self-esteem and body image that are great mood uplifters.
Eat a balanced meal - It becomes both easy and tempting to snack on random things when we are bored or stressed. If you ensure three proper meals and are aware of what you are eating, you will be less likely to subject your body to mindless snacking or junk food. You can also spend time cooking your favourite dish or that rare recipe that you’ve always wanted to make!
Meditation, breathing and sleep - You can meditate on certain emotions you are feeling or meditate on self-improvement or even on stillness and silence. Meditation brings harmony to the physical self. A great addition to your routine is breathing exercises along with meditation. These boost immunity and help relax the mind. Finally, the most important thing is sleep. Sleep before 11 pm and wake up at a set time every day. The liver detoxes itself between 11 pm and 3 am and it's essential you are asleep during this period.
Laugh and play- Watch something funny or have a fun conversation. Laughter can dispel dark moods and bring lightness to life. Playing games gives the mind both pleasure and activity to keep it from feeling bored or depressed. Playing games also makes us smarter!
Connect and disconnect- Reach out to old friends and family. Rekindle the community spirit. We may not be able to meet in person, but we can still keep in touch. We can share our joys and sorrows and fears. Send a hand-written letter to a dear one - both the receiver and the sender feel good! Although it is very tempting to linger around social media to post selfies from the virtual catch up, excess use might leave you feeling drained and even lonely. Regulate and limit electronic use, and definitely don’t take them to bed with you.