My father was a music composer for advertising, my mother used to write the lyrics. Together they wrote a song that had sustained me over the years, “Un paso más”, or “one more step” in English. “One more step” might be that extra push you need to get through a situation when you think you don’t have any more strength left. But we can’t rely for long on that extra push, like having the engine always in maximum revolutions, it won’t last long.
In this post, I will share my learnings on how to live through this pandemic in the best way possible.
After several months with Covid-19 around, having shifted from compulsively cleaning everything that went inside my house to remaining aware of the stupidity of many norms established to “take care of us” I finally got to a point where I had to admit I was tired. On March’s confinement I thought it was a pause, which in many ways felt good, but weeks ago I realized this was not a short race, but more like a marathon, and with this in mind, I came to the awareness that I had to establish a set of rules to stay healthy in mind, body, and spirit.
So, this is what I am doing!
#1 Recognize your inner state. First thing in the morning, take some time to feel how you are. Just close your eyes and feel. Give yourself some time to process, if possible, plan your day accordingly or, at least, adjust your approach on how to do things. Your inner state may change during the day, but in general, avoid pushing hard if you feel low or tired. If you can, use those days to do more automatic activities and trust that the energy will change. Use the moments when you feel more energized to get more things done and to let your creativity guide you!
#2 Prioritize rest. Rest is our superpower ( check this out: https://www.ted.com/talks/
In yoga, we call this type of energy Tamas, and its charm is, if we don’t abuse it, that it allows us to heal, process and then let go and continue feeling more energized. So, whenever possible, choose rest over doing.
#3 Avoid the excess of information. Being careful of the amount of information we receive these days is crucial. Even people like me that usually consume a low amount of news are now overwhelmed by them. Be conscious about how you are feeding your mind, consider having rules about how many times you check the news feed and which type of information you are consuming. If you notice signs of anxiety, reduce your intake, and try reading an inspiring book instead. It is also a great moment to drop movies, documentaries, or books that might make you feel low. Go for inspiring, fun, and happy instead!
#4 Ask for help and offer help. Now, more than ever, let us be honest with ourselves and ask for help when we feel we might need it. This goes from talking to friends to asking for professional assistance. A great example is parents, if you need half an hour free to have time with ourselves, ask someone to give you a hand. And do the same for your friends, offer your help. Together it will always be easier.
#5 Actively take care of yourself. Establish easy and short daily routines to take care of your mind and body. Is the moment to actively take care of ourselves and learn a little bit more about what is serving us and incorporating more of that, and also noticing what things are not actually doing us any good and gently beginning to drop those. Keep moving your body and nurturing your mind and spirit.
#6 Keep in touch. We are social animals, so even if we are amid confinement, we must find ways to stay in touch with people that uplift our day, find new ways to have fun together, and try sharing good things instead of bad news, because good things are happening and we can choose to share that!
#7 Take small steps and focus on today. I have learned to take small steps when times are challenging. Do what you have to do, but do it slowly, focusing on today and not on what may or may not happen. Keep going step by step, take a pause, rest, value yourself, and then continue. Little by little you will feel more confident to take bigger steps and you regain the strength to plan for the future.
There is no “magic formula”. This is my attempt to find a routine to stay in balance, look for your, share it with us, and let’s keep nurturing each other during these times. Remember fear is contagious, but also love is contagious. We shall stay away from judging and criticizing, be aware of what we share, and how we do it, let us use this marathon to learn about ourselves, to keep growing, and to be more conscious than ever about the impact we have in this world. Life is not on pause, it is just different now!