This pandemic has hit us all hard…emotionally, physically, mentally, and even financially. We went from days structured with routine and engaging interactions to experiencing feelings of severe isolation and anxiety that completely interrupted our daily sense of self.
Although some people used their time in quarantine to write a novel, pick up a new hobby or create an entirely new sense of self, most of us are still struggling to get back to who we were before the pandemic.
With the state of the world and this pandemic constantly changing, people are filled with fear and an exhaustion that creeps up on us faster than it did before. But there’s also a newfound sense of priorities and values.
Why aren’t we as focused as we used to be? Why is it so hard to stay motivated? Why do we feel like we need more breaks than before? The answers to those questions aren’t straightforward, but it likely has something to do with the way we’ve adapted to life in quarantine.
Going into quarantine at first was a complete shock. We felt bored, overwhelmed, scared, and even had a sense of “cabin fever”. But then, as humans do, we adapted. And now, just as we’ve gotten used to our day-to-day lives at home, change can happen again, with a day’s notice. There’s a lot beyond our control. And, that has helped us appreciate how important it is to focus on what you can control, which is the present (or the now).
If we’ve learned anything from the past couple years, it’s that we are resilient, and we will adapt. So, maybe getting back to being you isn’t really about returning to the way life was before the pandemic. Maybe it’s about accepting yourself, showing yourself compassion and just enjoying what, ultimately, you are only really able to control, which is the decisions you make in the present. We're all about living nowly, which is living in the now.
To get started living nowly, here are some ideas of different powerful ways to take care of yourself as you adapt to this changing world.
With everything going on in the world outside, we’ve protected ourselves by staying at home and not taking risks of any kind. And this is great for our personal and public safety. But somewhere along the way, we may have gotten a little too comfortable.
Exploring feelings of discomfort in healthy situations is part of what helps us grow and learn. It’s what keeps life exciting and can help motivate us to reach for opportunities and successes we didn’t know we could accomplish.
Of course, it’s still important to create moments of comfort, but that’s why it’s called balance. While still keeping yourself and the public safe, look for opportunities in your day-to-day life to get a little bit out of your comfort zone. You’d be surprised at the power these moments hold.
Maintain a personalized routine.
Through the changing state of the pandemic, we’ve learned to adapt and adjust our routines to suit our personalized needs. This might include setting an earlier bedtime, going on daily walks, creating space for mindful movement, or scheduling meaningful time with friends.
Maintaining this structured, personalized routine allows us to create a sense of stability so we can thrive and live in the now.
Make space for movement.
Staying active in quarantine had its obvious challenges. But that doesn’t mean that staying active with a busy schedule is any easier. We’ve gone from sitting at home to rushing around to different places almost every day, making even one outing feel exhausting.
Now all of a sudden, those few hours at home seem like a bit of a luxury – a time to be comfortable and unwind. And although rest is super important to prioritize, it’s also important to make time for meaningful movement in your weekly schedule. Try to keep your body moving regularly with whatever activity brings you joy and wellness.
Choose kindness. Always.
We’re all trying our best to adapt, including you! Practicing kindness through empathy, patience and respect is something we can all benefit from personally and within our communities. If you’re having a tough day, don’t be hard on yourself. Give yourself the rest and care you need.
The same goes for the way we interact with friends and strangers as we re-integrate back into a more social world. Remember that you never truly know what someone is going through, so it’s always best to choose kindness.
Be honest with yourself and the people around you.
It’s okay to feel tired, burnt-out and overwhelmed by changes in your schedule / routine. If you find that it’s too much, be honest with yourself and others and communicate what you need – a day of rest, a walk with a friend, some alone time, whatever suits your needs. We can’t expect ourselves to be productive, energized, and there for others if our own fundamental needs aren’t being met.
Connect with your community.
As great as virtually interacting with people is, in-person interactions create a sense of fulfilment, engagement and motivation that’s extremely difficult to recreate online. Connecting with your personal and / or local community (COVID safe of course) is an amazing way to get back the joy and inspiration that comes from natural conversations, especially when they’re full of laughter, banter and empathy.
Another great way to connect with your community is by simply giving back to those around you. Helping others through volunteering, acts of kindness, and by giving back is almost guaranteed to make you feel good. It can get you more physically and socially active, create a sense of belonging and purpose, boost your self-esteem, strengthen friendships, and generate a positive attitude. And of course it creates a stronger sense of community, connection and reciprocity.
Find a passion or a hobby and make it a part of your weekly routine.
It’s easy to get consumed by the business of life, work and day-to-day responsibilities. But the truth is, making time to care for yourself is essential. And yes, doing an activity or hobby that you’re passionate about is a form of self-care. Make time for yourself and the things that bring you joy and connection. You deserve it.
Speaking of self-care, let’s keep this at the top of our list of priorities. Whether it’s through yoga, journaling, therapy, conversations with friends and family, relaxing, exercising, making food, cleaning, or even having just a minute of silence with no screen time, we all deserve to give ourselves the care we need. Prioritizing our needs will help us be more present, energized and able to thrive in our day-to-day lives.
Be open to changes.
This pandemic has taught us resiliency, while showing us what’s most important to us. Many of us have created closer connections with friends and family, prioritizing time with loved ones over working after hours, and learnt the value of taking more time to rest and go at our own pace.
We’ve gone through so many changes that will simply make our lives look and feel different. So maybe being open to things being a little different isn’t actually all that bad.
The “living nowly” perspective:
These are 10 powerful ways to get back to being you, which really might just mean redefining who you want to be and how you want to live your life so that you can start living your best life, truly. These ideas focus on our nowly values of harnessing your best self, leading a healthy and fulfilling life, and giving back to your community, even during the ever-changing state of the pandemic.
No matter how you approach leading your best life during the state of the world, we wish you joy, safety and a whole lot of living nowly.