Coping in Lock down

Good morning,

I have been observing a growing wave of people who are struggling to be locked down and in isolation, so I felt compelled to share some things I do to help me move through this time.

Listed below are the stand out things I do my best to apply each day - especially at the moment. Although some days this is not the case - but most days it is.

This list is purely what works for me, and so it may work for you, it may not and this is okay. It is certainly worth considering, especially if you have been struggling on a daily basis.

These are not in any particular order:

- DON'T TAKE MOBILE PHONE TO BED - I have been practising this for many months and it makes a huge difference. The only times there would be an exception to this is if my children are out, or if I am waiting on personal news through the night.

- GO TO BED EARLY - We all have different times that our body wants to sleep. I find it helpful, especially at the moment, to go to bed on the earlier side of my 'bed window'. For example, I usually go to bed between 8.30pm - 10.30pm. Lately I've been going to bed around 8.30pm - sometimes earlier. I read and meditate before sleeping. This helps me start the day fresher.

- REDUCE WORRY - Although these are 'worrying' times, I wonder if we can really have reason enough to worry. Worry does not help the person we are worrying about, or ourselves - in fact it is counterproductive - it also lowers our energy vibration. I make serious effort to ensure I don't worry, and if I do, I replace worry with LOVE - preferring to think loving and supportive thoughts of the person.

- KEEP IN TOUCH WITH LOVED ONES - Because we have lockdown in place at the moment, it makes it even more important to stay in touch with our loved ones. Being there for those we LOVE - at the best capacity we can - can help them a lot. However, let's not worry about them, we can only do what we can.

- EAT WELL - Looking after our body is always important - but more so now. I am making sure I still eat - and eat healthy and fresh foods. I'm also aware of overeating and so take steps to eat from a smaller dish or serve up smaller portions.

- EXERCISE - Depending on where we live and what restrictions are in place, will determine what capacity we can exercise. For me, I have been walking about once per week - which isn't much. But I have been doing some Tai Chi and stretches of my body, in my home everyday. This is something I do pretty much as soon as I wake up, before I get into my work from home.

- PRIDE IN APPEARANCE - Without being vain, I find it really important that I get dressed into my clothes for the day (avoid hanging about in PJ's), fix my hair and apply a little makeup. This helps me feel good about myself and less frumpy.

- REDUCE NEWS & SOCIAL MEDIA TIME - These can add to the 'worry' - which we want to try and stop. It's good to be informed, so I ensure I have one or two news sources which are reliable, not political leaning and who don't sensationalize things. A lot of my work consists of social media time, and it can get heavy on there. So I create a 20 - 30mins time limit most days, to ensure I don't waste much of my day doing useless things (like scrolling through the newsfeed). I'd prefer to visit the social media pages I want to connect with, and then get on with my day.

- SET DOABLE & ENJOYABLE TASKS - At the moment, most of these are revolved around creating. From sculpting, to drawing, to painting and to teaching my art. I consider what I need to do for the week ahead, usually on a Sunday. Then each evening I write down on a sticky note what I need to focus on for the next day. Making to-do lists helps keep me focused.

- JOURNAL WRITE - This is a great way to express ourselves and connect with how we feel and what is going on for us. I write in my journal everyday during this time. It helps me stay focused, attentive and aware of how I feel, and how in or out of balance I may be. I pull oracle cards to help me see things from a new perspective. I write poetry to help me tap into any deep healing I may be experiencing, and so on.

- AVOID DISTRACTIONS - Distractions may arise under the guise of worry, news obsession, or excessive social media time. I do my best to stay focused during my days - but especially with the state of things in the world at the moment. Being focused and avoiding distractions is essential for my mental health. I have to be self-aware and notice what is trying to distract me from what I know to be supportive and liberating for me.

- LEARN - If we have time, learning something new can be a great focus. From learning a new language, a new skill or opening up to a new hobby - learning is something exciting for us to pursue. I am always looking at what I can learn, even from life. How can I be a better person? How can I increase my standards and strive to be better at the skills and hobbies I am working on? This is extremely important to me.

- LETTING GO - Our commitment to our healing and resolving issues which are bubbling up to the surface in our life right now is essential. We may want to keep distracting ourselves, however there is much within us to look at, improve and release. Letting go is something I do all day, everyday. I am constantly assessing whether I am holding onto something, am attached, trying to control a situation or am being forceful - against my truth. In fact, anything which doesn't align with my truth I am open to letting go. It is a regular practice for me. I'd prefer this, rather than letting things spiral out of hand.

- CREATE MEANING & LIFE DIRECTION - If we have been distracting ourselves from who we are through obsession, work or other distractions we may be thrust into lock down and feel lost - as life doesn't have meaning for us. I attempt to create meaning in my life everyday - whether under lock down or not. I learned this a long time ago when I lost a loved one. I felt that the best way I could make his life count for me, was for me to live my life on behalf of him and those I LOVE who are not here any longer. I decided to step up and not waste a moment - this life is precious and can change any moment. I would rather create meaning everyday, than to waste time being distracted and then look back over my life with regret. Seizing the moment and creating a life with meaning is essential to me. What that meaning is changes often, but it is also somewhat simple and is based on how I feel and the type of person I want to be. I am not mere talk, I am action orientated.

- SELF SUPPORT - It is in all times, however highlighted more now, that we require support. I used to look for support in others. I would wait bitterly for them to acknowledge me and my efforts, but those words would not come. I realised then that I was putting my life on hold waiting for others, institutions etc to support me - like I was somehow entitled to it. I decided to turn that outward desire to an inner one, and stepped up to become the support I was looking for in others. I became my best supporter by listening to how I feel, being kind to me, caring for myself and being as self sufficient as I can. I noticed that when I support myself better I can be more of a support to others.

- ONE DAY AT A TIME - Always! What other way is there to live? If we get too far ahead of ourselves or we're living in our past - it knocks us out of balance straight away. Sometimes all we can do is just get through our day, tomorrow is a new one - this attitude is helpful, especially when we're having 'bad days' or are going through an exceptionally tough circumstance. I remind myself to deal with the 'facts' as they're presented rather than anticipating the worst or letting my mind concoct scenarios which don't seem to happen anyway. Day by day is the way for me.

- DON'T COUNT THE DAYS - I am observing this a lot - people counting down the days since this and the days since that. It is a way of connecting to our past or we could say staying attached to what happened or when something started. I did away with my 'day counting' a long time ago - from birthdays, to events to waiting times or not seeing a loved one. I don't even choose to remember anniversaries. Is it important to count days? Does it support us? In some ways it locks us to the past and distracts us from moving forward. I find it good to reflect and reminisce sometimes - usually around my birthday, but I find that is enough. I like to turn my 'missing someone' into being grateful of the time we did / do spend together. I like to turn my waiting time into a time to prepare or do something else until the door opens - and the waiting is over. Counting days is rarely beneficial to me.

- BE GRATEFUL - This is possibly the most important point on this list. When I practice genuine gratitude for my life, the people in it and the moments to cherish, it brings more into my life to appreciate. It helps me see the 'glass is half full', rather than 'half empty'. It helps me stay optimistic, positive and appreciative of little, yet important things. It helps me not take anything or anyone for granted. It helps me not 'miss' others who are not in my life now, because I appreciated them when they were. It doesn't take much effort to thank others who support me or are important to me in my life. I am grateful.

Well there you have it, my present day, in this moment list of things I do or don't do at this time, however continue to practice whether in lock down or not.

We all have not so good days. And on days like that we may not get out of our PJ's or feel particularly motivated - and this is okay. It's whether these 'bad days' stay as a one off day, or turn into days, weeks and then months. Then we may want to consider taking steps to pull ourselves out of the rut we've been in.

What on this list do you also apply or find invaluable?

Thank you so much for connecting,

Lee-Anne Peters

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