And just like that we're in August. Pretty soon Fall will be right around the corner. The sweaters will come out, fireplaces will come alive and Christmas songs will be on repeat at the stores. I know it feels like the past few months have been a blur. Changes to how we interact with people have shifted dramatically and being home feels like we've sequestered ourselves away from social contact. Motivation is lost and we feel like we just need to go with the flow. It really doesn't have to be this way! For a few weeks I too struggled. My daily routine was thrown off balance and I felt somewhat lost. So I told myself to do what I always do and keep in mind what I've always done. Make a to do list and try to stick to my routine as much as possible. And not...forget...to breathe.
Let's go backwards. I read. Everyday. Not because it goes with my routine, but because I truly enjoy reading. It transports me to places I've never been with a quick flip of the imagination and a quick turn of the page. It also increases brain power. I mean, Netflix has its moments and boy do I need to catch up on Season 2 of "The Umbrella Academy"! However reading, enhances, flexes and stimulates the brain. Sorry Netflix. I find that reading also helps me sleep soundly, which is why I read before bed. It relaxes me and I know that when I'm relaxed, my stress decreases. I pretty reach anything from self help books but my joy lies in burying my eyes and thoughts in a great fiction novel. However, I will re-read any novel written by Neil Gaiman. You mention his name and my ears perk up. Have you heard of the Audible version of "The Sandman"? If you haven't, I highly recommend you check it out.
Honestly, I got serious about working out and trying to eat as healthy as I can just last year. When I started working on my MBA, everything else pretty much went on the back burner including working out and eating healthy. So early last year, I made it a point to get back into cardio and start weight training. Been loving resistance training since and particularly the deadlift. It's probably the one thing I both enjoy and fear doing. When I started, I immediately felt a change in my mentality, mood and energy. I was more alert, my body feels stronger, I feel healthier and once again, I sleep better. So I say even if you don't like weight lifting, getting out there and moving around instant changes your mood and energy. Getting out of the house to walk around the neighborhood, walking on the beach, biking, hiking, surfing, chasing your kids around, whatever it is...keep moving!
TO DO LIST.
Every morning I create a to do list. I write this down on a piece of paper or type it into my phone. Lists help me de-stress and organize my thoughts and goals I want to accomplish that day. I find that mentally taking notes on what I need to do gets incredibly jumbled in my head and I will end up missing something. So when I write my to do list (no matter how long it is), the action of crossing of something gives me a great sense of accomplishment and whatever I don't accomplish before the day ends, I push it forward to the next day.
These are crazy times, uncertain times and if we're all being honest, scary times. It's okay to feel overwhelmed. So close your eyes, center yourself and breathe. Be thankful for every single day you wake up. For being able to sit on your couch and watch Netflix; for the moments you may be stuck in traffic, for those times you get to call and speak to your friends and family and see how they're doing, because there are people out there who aren't able to and no longer able to live that mundane life, that beautiful life and extraordinary life we're all living now. Be thankful. I know I am. So get out there, get to reading, get walking, make that to do list and start crossing things off it and don't forget to close your eyes and breathe.