Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Pt 2: HOW ARE YOU?



As promised this post is a follow up to the previous one >> read it here << where I mentioned a few things that have been helping me through lockdown, including: Routine/ Goals, Exercise, Media Restrictions, and Faith


ROUTINE:

I think there's something about having a few constants in a time of so much uncertainty that seems to provide a least a mild sense of stability. 
Personally, I tend to be quite resistant to routines and schedules and to say I have an issue with time management is an understatement, but lock-down has really given me a chance to address that side of myself, and actually appreciate routine, and how stabalising it can be.  
I have a very loose routine which has 4 basic goals everyday, and each goal has a target time, as opposed to a specific time, because I find myself more willing to commit (and even excel) when I feel less pressure. (I'm sure that a lot of people are way more disciplined than me, but for those that aren't, I've found giving myself a little bit of slack not only means I have less excuses, but actually seems to increase my success rate.) 

My goals :
1. Prayer time  -- Target time: 7:30am or earlier   
2. Wash face brush teeth -- Target time: before 10am  
3. Exercise -- Target time: before 5pm  
4. Three meals per day -- Target times: before 12pm, 2pm and 10pm 

I Know!! 
These might seem obvious to the point of irrelevant but it's amazing how easy it is to let the basics slide when circumstances change. Having a few baseline practises really helps mentally. (Plus, 3 & 4 were non-existent to me prior to life in lockdown.)


EXERCISE:

I learned this from listening to a Tony Robbins interview last year when I heard him talk about how "emotion comes from motion". I don't know exactly how or why it works but I find it does. Something about changing our physical state can change our emotional state. 
My exercises vary between a  fairly basic energising workout, or a super simple yoga session (and I mean super simple yoga). It just depends what mood I'm in.
Also guided meditations and breathing exercises help too.  

Energising Workout - This is just my selection of 5 or 6 moves that focus on the areas of my choice . In my case it's strictly lower-body exercises. Strengthening the thighs and shaping my butt. Star jumps, donkey kicks, leg lifts, and squats pretty much sums it up. 


Yoga - This has been a massive help, and because the routine and the positions/moves are so simple we've all been practising together. That includes my daughter who's 3yro, and my absolutely exercise-phobic mum, in who's in her late 50's.
We use the routine from a book called My First Yoga by DK Publishing 
It's a fantastic book for introducing children to yoga, and because it's for babies and toddlers, it actually makes it less daunting for "exercise-phobic" adults, who think they cant do yoga. 


Guided Meditation & Breathing Exercises -  At the end of each yoga session, while we're still laying down, I usually talk us through a relaxed guided meditation which focuses on breathing. 
The other option for guided meditations and breathing exercises is to search online. I subscribe to the Mindful In Minutes podcast, which has loads to choose from, or I search for one on Youtube. 


MEDIA RESTRICTIONS: 

This has been so important!
 Initially it was strangely addictive to see what was going on. However, restricting my media exposure seems to also restrict the 'what ifs' that creep up in my thoughts, which in turn allows me to think more calmly and clearly.
This also helps me be more selective about what news I choose to consume, and whether it's useful to me or not. Not ALL information is useful to everyone, so it's important to filter. 

Sidenote/ RANT - all the aunties and friends who think I'm gonna listen to the 11 minute videos/ audios you've forwarded to me, with every cautionary message, bleak scenario, conspiracy theory or fear inducing prophecies about the end times, please stop. I love you but it's not helpful and my phone memory can't take it. It's full. I can't install updates on my phone cos you keep sending me nonsense. RANT OVER!


FAITH:

THIS!
I'm no angel, but a few years ago I got baptised (at Hillsong Church in Bermondsey) and it's THE BEST decision I ever made in my life! Facts!
I haven't ever enjoyed feeling like someone is ramming religion down my throat, so I don't want anyone to feel that way by me sharing this one. Instead, think of it as an offering to you. You can take it or leave it.
I find praying with people (who want to) helps A LOT. (Over the phone, obvs).
I've also been tuning into two of my favourite churches that post on Youtube including: 
and
>> Elevation Church << 

Just a heads up - I think the services are always really interesting regardless of whether you're a  christian or not.

FINALLY
I can't begin to express just how grateful to GOD I am for the power of prayer, my wonderful family and amazing friends, and even for the fact that I've had a few rounds of counselling in the past.
All of the above play their part in helping me to keep a fairly good grip on my thoughts and how to process them. 
At present, although I'm beginning to feel a bit more at ease, I can't help but still feel a sense of pain and sadness for how much suffering has been experienced by so many people, in so many different ways as a result of the corona pandemic. Yet, at the same time I am also powerfully aware that there are many good things that have come and still can come out of this time, and they help me hold on to hope. 
Please share any positives that you are practicing or experiencing during this current craziness
Stay safe, hold on to hope & sending you lots of love ... pass it on, x 



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