We’re a few weeks out of lockdown and like many of you, I’ve had some time to reflect on how these challenging times have changed our perspective on life and our health. For many people, lockdown has provided time to pause, reassess and commit to a new, healthier way of life. For others, it has been about enjoying the simple things in life and letting go of the stress and daily demands.
I want to take the opportunity to remind you of the value of meeting friends for walks and talks. When all we could do was go for picnics and bushwalks, I saw people really connecting to nature and each other. We had time to prepare our own meals at home and think about the food we would share. It also enabled us to cook more at home – and sit down and enjoy meals together as a family. We weren’t in a frantic state as we ran from one event to the next, nor were we walking through the door late home from the office only to reach for a snack on the go.
We had the time – but now it is important to continue to make the time.
- Make time to take care of ourselves (self-care) and make time to connect with others. Write your name in the sand on a long walk at the beach and invite someone over for a cup of tea – after months of being socially deprived people are driven for the connection, not the perfection of someone’s home or outfit.
- Switch your thinking too – instead of saying, ‘I have to see this person and I can’t not go to this event’, think about who you want to connect with and how you can fill your cup with the time you do have each week? Remember that saying no is okay. Saying no is actually good for you.
- Set yourself healthy boundaries – what are the non-negotiable health goals you want to achieve this week? It could be as simple as pre-roasting some veg on a Sunday for the days ahead, agreeing to a yoga class (try Yoga with Adriene!), starting meditation practice, or making at least one family meal together – a non-negotiable for all members!
The truth is, there are only a few weeks of this crazy year left and most of us have spent this year with our nervous system in overdrive, in some level of fear. Fear of not being able to achieve what goals we set out for the year, fear of catching covid, fear of lockdowns, fear of not knowing when we would see our friends and loved ones again. What has become apparent now that we’ve embraced the ‘living with COVID-19’ notion, is that people know what they value more than ever – family, friends and our health.
It’s cliché, but our wealth is really our health. So, don’t get bogged down in the particulars of what fancy restaurant is next on your list to visit or if the house is clean enough – just reach out, connect with a walk or a meeting in the park – and your friends and your nervous system will be forever grateful.
Try and move with grace – don’t rush, breathe, rest and restore. Go gently and move with kindness to yourself and those around you. The year wasn’t perfect but we learnt that connection is vital. That was the one thing that was most valued and many missed out on. Social connection is an important contributor to our overall health.
I hope you can continue to embrace the slower pace of life and take the time to enjoy life’s special and everyday moments. When the kids are tucked in I like to finish the day with a guided meditation to prepare for a good night’s sleep.