I suspect we are all learning a lot of life lessons during this time.
Watching the news certainly gives me a huge dose of perspective. There is so much suffering out there right now. As one of those people ‘staying home’ I feel I am in a very privileged position. I have had an opportunity to slow down, learn, and reflect, and appreciate everything I have more than ever before. A daily gratefulness practice is brilliant for our mental health, and I can think of many reasons to be grateful.
I am very grateful for the brilliant key workers keeping the country going, and so inspired by the wonderful people really making a huge difference at the moment. The Thursday 8pm clap has become a brilliant weekly event and we have all been so inspired by the wonderful Captain Tom Moore this week.
I am so grateful for time to spend quality time with my family, for time for family bike rides on empty open roads, time to appreciate nature and the beautiful blossom tree blooming in our front garden, and time to sow vegetable seeds at the allotment.
I am also learning to live day by day and to very much ‘live in the moment’. There are no social events or gatherings to fill up our diaries and we can’t make any future plans as none of us know when life will return to ‘normal’ again.
Many of us will be surprised by our resourcefulness. We are all learning to adapt to a very different way of life, and I suspect some things will never be the same again.
I have let go of all expectations on myself and it is wonderfully liberating. Friends have said ‘I expect you are making lots of wonderful food for your family’, but I haven’t. I have stepped back and watched my son do a frequent ‘take over’ of the kitchen at lunchtime, and just made things when I feel like it. I made a rhubarb cake when I had the urge and made a feta filo pie I’ve been meaning to make for a while, but I certainly haven’t been spending hours on end in the kitchen. It’s been very much a family affair!
I have slowed down considerably and am reaping the benefits.
I made a conscious decision to create a new daily habit of yoga first thing after my first cuppa, and I think this has had a massive effect on me. I have been reading various books and podcasts as per usual and am as ever fascinated by the mind-body connection. We will all be familiar with how tense our bodies become when we are stressed. Stress has a real physical effect on the body and can cause tension all over from headaches to achy, knotted shoulders. However, we often don’t realise that this can also actually work in reverse. By purposefully releasing tension in our body through how we move we can send powerful messages back to the brain that we are in fact calm and relaxed. I have spoken previously about the positive effect of breathing on the vagus nerve, but yoga and breathing is clearly a very powerful combination.
This one small simple change has had a real knock on effect on the rest of the day. I am considerably calmer and more relaxed and because of this I fully intend to continue this daily practice when we come out the other side. I tune into yoga with Adrienne. Sometimes I do five minutes, sometimes ten, sometimes fifteen. It really doesn’t matter how long I do, it’s just simply this consistent daily practice that is important.
Learning to live a simpler way of life is perhaps what we all needed. This situation won’t last forever. It will pass eventually. But I know I will be maintaining this and other small changes I have made long after this is all over.
If you would like to make one small simple change to improve your health and wellbeing during this time but lacking inspiration where to start, then why not join our weekly’ Feel Better Together’ zoom call. We set up the call to keep people connected and support each other. It has been wonderful to hear other people’s stories, and I look forward to it every week. This week we heard from the wonderful Helen Exeter as she shared her story and inspired us all by sharing her passion for Pilates.
There are a lot of health and wellbeing experts on the call sharing their stories and wisdom and it has been wonderful to hear that many people are really benefiting from it. If you are interested in health and wellbeing, I would really encourage you to join us. It takes place every Wednesday 12.30-1.30pm. Please get in touch if you would like me to send you the link.
Take good care,