Physical isolation and social distancing are the new reality, and let’s face it, it’s not very pleasant. Our daily routine is disrupted, and we suddenly feel trapped. We can’t do many of the things we regularly did, and that’s stressful and frustrating. There’s an added uncertainty about what will happen in the future, and that worries us. But we have the opportunity to do something in the present to get courage, strength, and resilience and to overcome this difficult situation. Start your day asking yourself these seven empowering questions, and remember to answer them too!
1. What are three things I feel grateful for today?
As soon as you wake up, before grabbing your cell phone, before wondering about the latest news and developments or whatever, give yourself this great gift: Think of three things in your life that you are grateful for. And don’t say that there’s nothing! Start with the simple ones; you may feel thankful that you woke up today, that you and your family are healthy, that you have electricity, running water, wifi, and the ability to use your eyesight to read this article here. Do you consider all this a given? Think of what your life would be like if you didn’t have these small luxuries and say “thank you” inside.
2. What will I learn to accept today?
Are you by any chance in denial? Do you say to yourself, “This can’t be happening,” and “I can’t stay home,” and the like? If so, you are complicating your life further and without valid reason. Start from the point of acceptance: “I accept that this is the situation. I don’t like it, but I see it for what it is.” Acknowledge the circumstances calmly.
3. What do I commit to today? What’s my intention for today?
After acknowledging and accepting the new reality of staying home, you need to commit to yourself that you are going to make the best of it. How do you want your day to go? Do you want to sit around in a crappy mood? Do you want to blame, complain, and just feel miserable? Do you want to get in a fight with your partner or friends? I assume you don’t. Say your intention for the day and commit to it: “Today I want to feel good and energized. I want to be in a good mood and enjoy my loved ones.” Yes, things may be hard, but who says that we have to feel bad?
4. Who are the people I am going to get in touch with and connect to today?
Just because social distancing is in effect doesn’t mean that we can’t connect. You always have the option to call your friends via Skype, messenger, WhatsApp, and any of the other videoconferencing tools available to meet online with one or more friends. Chat, exchange ideas, laugh, and connect.
5. How can I get in touch with nature today?
Getting in touch with nature, fresh air, oxygen, open spaces, plants, and sunshine brings a sense of inner peace and calm. Consider taking a walk outside or visiting a nearby forest or lake. Take in the beauty of nature and breathe in some fresh air. If you can’t do that, consider opening a window and allowing fresh air to get in your space. Lean outside your window, get out on the balcony or your doorstep to gaze at the stars, anything. Do some gardening or get some fresh flowers and plants inside your home.
6. How am I going to get my body moving today?
Physical movement and exercise are natural pick-me-ups, the best antidote to depression and stress. Even if you can’t go to the gym now, there are lots of alternatives to add movement to your day. Exercise allows the release of endorphins, the hormones of happiness. Go up and down the stairs, do some push-ups or sit-ups. Consider doing some yoga exercises through a free video on YouTube. If you have restricted movement, you can engage in some deep breathing, massage your hands, or just rest your hand on your chest to feel your heartbeat.
7. How can I add beauty and creativity into my day today?
Beauty and creativity are nectar for the soul and restorative for the mood. How can you create beauty in your daily routine? How can you nurture your creativity? You can engage in activities such as drawing, painting, or coloring. You can write a poem or jot down your thoughts or memories. You can add beauty to your day by cleaning and sorting out your closets and drawers. Artistry and creativity are ways to remind yourself that life is beautiful, that you have many options, and that you can decide how you handle your life and how you can make it worthwhile. And this way, you become more resilient.