We have only just turned the page on 2020, and what a year it was. Although it's safe to say that we were all happy to transition into a new year, one which brought with it a clean slate and some considerable progress, many of us have had to u-turn back into lockdown conditions. Quarantine has proven to be taxing on people's mental health and overall motivation levels. For this reason, we thought it would be a good time to put together a list of seven useful hacks to help you maximise your potential during this time.
Create Daily Structure
Whether you are currently working or not, aim to set your alarm at the same time everyday so that it creates a structure. When you have a certain time at which you need to be up, it also indicates when you should aim to go to sleep. Now more than ever, you should optimally be getting your eight hours of sleep a night. The formula is simple, if you sleep at 11pm you should get out of bed at 7am etc. When we have absolutely no sense of structure or time it’s incredibly easy to go off track, stay up late and then roll out of bed at midday feeling disjointed and defeated before your day has even begun.
It is a sad fact that many countries’ gyms and fitness classes are no longer available to drop in on in person. However, businesses have adapted and streamlined their offerings in order to cope with the current circumstances, offering online classes. Frame, Barry's Bootcamp and Psycle all have online subscriptions which are lower in price than the usual on-site offers. There are also many free options that you can utilise on Youtube or even Instagram to keep training and to keep your fitness levels up. All you need is a small space and either a towel or a yoga mat. Exercise creates endorphins and the production of this happy hormone can serve to lift your mood, lower stress and give you more energy. Aim to do some form of physical exercise at least three days a week. If you are not physically up to these more intensive movements, you can always try yoga or simply take a walk outside.
To learn more about the benefits of yoga read our post.
It is crucial to train our minds to find the silver linings in our current circumstances, and to be grateful for the simple pleasures and things we already have. Taking the time daily to write down five things we are grateful for, helps to not only create time and space to reflect and tune into our thoughts, but also to shift our mindset when it would otherwise be easy to become both pessimistic and negative. Doing this as a daily habit helps to reprogram the mind, causing an overall shift in perspective; training it to look at the positive in every situation.
To learn more about the benefits of gratitude journaling read our post.
Meditation has the power to transform your mood, your sense of calm and your overall productivity. When it comes to fleshing out a structure and healthy habits every day, aim to meditate just for ten minutes, either first thing in the morning or last thing at night. You will be amazed at the sense of calm it gives you and the clarity of mind you can feel. The practise of meditation helps to dilute feelings of stress, anger, anxiety and could greatly benefit both your productivity and feelings of positivity. If you have been experiencing breakouts that are due to stress specifically, incorporating meditation into your daily routine could help to combat this.
To learn more about the benefits of meditation read our post.
Eat Nourishing Foods
What you eat can change the hormones you produce, which in turn can impact your mood. Eating as balanced a diet as possible is important, not only to maximise your energy levels, promote healthy digestion and organ function but also crucially to boost your mood. In a previous post, we sat down with health coach Mana Hattat and asked her to recommend which superfoods she found beneficial to turn to during periods of stress or isolation. She recommends incorporating turmeric to your diet, either through adding it to a drink, your cooking or taking it as a supplement. Turmeric has been proven to help treat symptoms of depression and anxiety. It single handedly can help to elevate your serotonin levels and lower your cortisol production. It is also a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory superfood. She also recommends steeping grated ginger for 5 minutes in hot water and adding some lemon juice, to make a quick ginger tea. Ginger contains high levels of antioxidants which can boost your immunity and it also contains calming properties that can lower your stress levels. To read our full Q & A, click here.
For some healthy recipe ideas take a look at our Nutrition section on the blog.
Set Limits on Media Consumption
Whilst it is important to stay informed and abreast of new developments, it is also important to protect your mind, setting boundaries and limits around how much media you consume on a day to day basis.
This applies to reading and watching the news, as well as to your daily consumption of social media. On your social media applications, you can set a daily time allowance, preventing you from over consuming something which could otherwise be harmful. Twenty minutes a day is a reasonable window that allows you to check in and stay up to date without getting sucked down the rabbit hole.
Make Time For Skincare and Self care
When you think back to the pace we were all operating at pre Covid, making time for skincare and self care was often scarce, or even forgotten. Take advantage of any additional time you may have now to really indulge in your routine and to nurture your skin and self as much as possible. Make the time to double cleanse every evening. Every week, depending on your skin concern, apply a face mask. Lastly, during your morning or evening routine, reap the benefits of using a crystal face roller.
When quarantine is over you will come out feeling like the best version of yourself, allowing you to transition as seamlessly as possible back into the world.