Hi everyone! How is your “new normal” going? Too stressed? Too bored? Both at the same time? Classic! I am happy to share with you today some tips if you feel too overwhelmed or too apathetic and how to find back some balance in your daily life!
We could easily believe that staying at home is synonym of full-time well-being and relaxation; …a dream coming true! But why isn’t it really the case then?!
When chatting with your family, friends, or colleagues, have you noticed that we all have different ways to experience the situation?
Some people might feel extremely exhausted and under the water. They have too much to do, juggling between work, children, house care, cooking and trying to appear a minimum sociable! For others, it is the opposite. They feel completely bored out, not that they have nothing to do, but rather that they are completely demotivated, leaving them with no energy to have anything done.
Obviously, we are all unique, so we will all react differently to this new structure, in different ways and in different intensities. Both extreme situations are generating a lot of frustration, dissatisfaction, stress or worry. It is a real challenge to keep a healthy peace of mind in these conditions!
But, why is that? What is happening behind the scenes?
The abrupt outbreak forced us to face a drastic and sudden change, for which we were totally unprepared. This created an imbalance on 3 aspects of our life: physical, mental, and emotional.
- Physically, we are experiencing an important lack of movements. This can generate additional stress, as some frustration is not released by exercise, even just walking. And the less you exercise, the less you want to exercise!
- Then, we are mentally disturbed by the lack of diversity in our daily activities. Routine is great, but not every day, right?! To top that, we have no clue about what the future will look like. This opens the door to our brain towards negative patterns and mental projections, which can lead to depression or anxiety.
- Finally, emotionally, we are facing a total chaos! Losing the face to face contact with our loved ones is one thing, but when mixed with the worries caused by a strong sense of insecurity, it can be very painful to handle.
On the positive side, this crisis is making us stronger and allows us to make greater progress. It enables us to be even more resilient once the situation improves.
Good work! Keep it up!
Now, how can we make today more pleasant?
It is proven that a little stress is beneficial, as a positive challenge to make you do things. With too little stress, we lose motivation to do any efforts. And conversely, above a certain level, too much stress can be very damaging; psychologically and physically.
To find balance and increase your motivation and therefore your performance, keep in mind to adjust your level of stress, right in the middle. Allow yourself some time to relax and recharge your batteries, after intense physical or mental activities.
If you want to feel better, bear in mind these 3 aspects – physical, mental, and emotional – and search for balance between them. I share with you some exercises, on each of these aspects, which you can include in your daily routine to feel more at peace.
1. PHYSICAL: Probably the easiest to figure out
A little bit of exercise every day can go a long way! No need to set too high expectations for yourself.
- If you are very stressed, you can just do a few arms and back stretches and some shoulders and neck relaxation movements. Try to stretch your whole body to the maximum by taking as much space as possible, and then release everything. Repeat as much as you want!
- On the other hand, if you feel too sluggish, you can try to do 10-15 minutes of abs and core exercises, like planks for example. How long can you hold today? Or just go for a dynamic walk. It will boost you up!
2. MENTAL: Now we want to align with the mind and slow down the process of thoughts.
As we discussed before, your brain has a terrible tendency to get mixed up between reality and mental projections. Most of the time, it loops around negative thoughts which puts us in a bad mood. But we can turn it around and use this to our advantage to find balance!
Try to picture positive thoughts and empowering beliefs. Put your mind in a positive mindset around a nice outcome of the crisis, for example: a family barbecue, vacations at the beach, laughing with your friends, etc. Working on your subconscious will have a positive impact on your conscious mind with time and practice!
- If you are particularly stressed, take a few minutes to think about some place you really like. Imagine yourself being there, all happy, content and completely relaxed. It should bring up your inner smile naturally. How do you feel?
- To get out of boredom, start visualizing yourself doing or achieving something you particularly enjoy, something that challenges you in a fun and exciting way. What is that thing? Who is with you? Maybe something to look forward to!
3. EMOTIONAL: Finally, we bring full balance by managing our emotions, our spirit.
The easiest way to manage your emotions and reactions is through small breathing exercises. It helps bringing you back to the present moment, either to calm your rhythm or shake things up a bit.
- If you feel particularly tense, spend a few minutes noticing and following your breath, and particularly your outward breath. You can place your hands on your belly if it is easier to feel your breath. Try to have the longest cycles as possible. How long can you make them? Another exercise you can try is the “4-7-8 technique”. Breathe in in 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, breathe out in 8 seconds. It is known to help deeply relax and even fall asleep.
- If you feel too apathetic, try the opposite types of breathing exercises. Fast and short breaths for few minutes will help pump your blood faster and let the energy flow again. Try to do 30 to 50 inhalations and exhalations in 1 minute and see how you feel! What differences can you notice?
I hope these insights will enable you to bring a little bit more balance, inner-peace, joy, and happiness in your day to day life! Please share it to those around you, hopefully they will feel better too. If you want to know more, I would be happy to discuss much longer about it with you.
Let us know in the comments how it goes for you, or if you have other exercises to recommend!
Contact me if you want to know more !