Now more than ever, it's essential that you take the time for self-care. Everyone is facing unique challenges, with our lives and businesses being changed overnight, and we are all struggling to survive in these uncertain times. That's why you must take the time to care for yourself in these five areas of your life: Mindfulness, Your Physical Body, Growth, Creativity, and rest.
Mediation is a tool that will help reduce stress, increase creativity, and prime your brain for solving challenging problems. I am a huge fan of Warren Rustand's 10/10/10 to start my day. The 10/10/10 is ten minutes of meditation, followed by ten minutes of reading and 10 minutes of journaling. These activities, in this sequence, I call the perfect morning. If you don't think you have the half an hour to prepare your mind for the day, give yourself the gift of mindfulness for one week and look back at home much more you accomplished.
Habit: Daily 10/10/10 routine to start your day.
Body (movement & diet)
Being self-isolated does not mean becoming a couch potato. A healthy body is essential to peak mental performance. As important as maintaining physical fitness, we must be mindful of what we put into our bodies. The food you choose to fuel your body is also powering your brain. Now is the time to create healthy habits with activity and diet. You don't need a gym to be active. Bodyweight training allows you to workout without a gym or equipment. Listen to your body, and it will tell you what food it needs. I believe in a balanced diet with intermittent fasting.
Habit: 30 Minutes of activity per day minimum
Now is the time for personal development. What can you do to be working on yourself? I have always been an avid reader, but right now, I am consuming a few books a week and am dedicating an hour a day to practicing guitar. Work is busy with the current landscape, and suddenly I am also juggling teaching 3rd and 4th grade to a couple of amazing little guys that think summer should have started a month ago. I could be resentful that I am working at 11:00 tonight on this article, but I choose to be grateful for the gift of spending this extra time with my sons. Yes, I am working late, and personal development is in addition to that, but what's the alternative? Watching Netflix or the news? Why not choose growth? We all have the same 24 hours in a day, and each day is a gift. What are you going to do with it?
Challenge: Change one thing a week. Either drop a bad habit like drinking alcohol daily or add a healthy habit like starting your day with a 30-minute walk.
Find a creative outlet. Don't be afraid to try new things. Explore your creative side and spend a certain amount of time each week making something. It could be a sketch, painting, or creating a life vision board, and nobody is grading your work. This time is an opportunity to try something out of your comfort zone. Work is hard and potentially stressful; life can be challenging, give your soul the gift of releasing your inner artist.
Challenge: Learn something you have always try (watercolor, guitar or photography)
You need to be getting 7-8 hours of sleep—a couple of tricks for those of you that are struggling to get a good night's rest. First, go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Science has found that have a consistent bed and wake time increases our health and prolongs life. If you are struggling to fall asleep or find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, try a breathing technique of counting to for on your inhale, holding your breath for a count of two, then exhaling for a count of four. This simple breathing pattern will relax your mind and help you get back to sleep.
Habit: No screen an hour before bedtime or the first hour after you wake up. The blue light immitted from your devices (TV, laptop, or phone) prohibits your brain's ability to produce melatonin, which aids the body in falling asleep.
At the end of self-isolation, you will find yourself falling into one of four categories a hunk, a monk, a chunk, or a drunk. Who do you want to be?