By Pamela Carvell, April 2020.
I was originally writing this article about how to optimise your well-being while working at home during lockdown. But then I realised that as so many people have been furloughed, there would be greater value in me suggesting tips for optimal wellness during lockdown, regardless of whether you are working full time from home, or not.
Much of this advice stems from me working with NLP * for over 10 years and also being qualified as a Nutrition Advisor. Furthermore, I have worked from home for many years, so have a wealth of personal experience to call upon.
The Current Situation
Human beings do not like threats and don’t like change. Currently we are under threat from Covid 19 and we have been forced to radically change the way we live. This will automatically cause stress and anxiety, because we are genetically programmed to respond to threats. This means that our bodies are producing chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol, and typically creating a sense of fear in our minds coupled with unhelpful dialogues in our heads.
So, before I go into a list of tips, there are 2 major pieces of advice I have:
Firstly, maintain a positive dialogue in your own mind, and reflect that in conversations. Using words such as panic, isolation and fear are not helpful to you or others around you. They only serve a negative purpose. So it is about reframing your situation and the corresponding dialogue. For example, you are not isolated, but rather you have that very precious commodity known as time, to phone friends, write that novel, listen to music, go for a run etc. Similarly, instead of being frustrated at being unable to visit your favourite restaurant, relish having the time & opportunity to cook all your meals from scratch. Focus on using words such as calm, reflective, quiet, grateful, safe etc. And try to avoid getting sucked into negative conversations with friends and family. Instead, use your powers of persuasion to get them to reframe their thinking.
Secondly, take time to participate in at least one mind-calming activity daily. This may be as simple as a walk, or those with very active minds may need to try something like meditation, mindfulness, yoga or even sound baths! On Instagram alone there is a huge array of daily ‘live’ sessions with some of the world’s best in these areas.
- Maintain a positive dialogue (see above).
- Indulge in a mind-calming activity (see above).
- Stay hydrated.
- Eat healthily. Limit consumption of alcohol, sugar, processed foods and calories overall.
- Get adequate exposure to daylight.
- Exercise daily (aim for 10,000 steps or at least 30 mins daily).
- Create a working environment that is good for your eyesight and posture.
- Establish a sense of purpose for each day, that will then result in a sense of achievement.
- Interact with other people daily, whether shouting out to neighbours or skyping friends.
- Have fun! Watch crazy videos on YouTube, watch re-runs of comedy classics or phone your craziest friend!
There is science behind all of these recommendations, and they will benefit your physical and mental health. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all emerge from lockdown physically fitter and mentally stronger than we went into it?
If you would like an explanation and more detail about each of these points, please visit my personal blog happyhypno.wordpress.com, where there is a longer version of this article.
Written by Pamela Carvell, HMA President and Lifestyle Consultant.