Year 2020 was replete with trials and tribulations and has ruined plans for everyone: the media are full of worrisome news, our homes have been turned into offices, our bedrooms and kitchens – into conference rooms, and meetings with friends became just calls. But the pandemic will be over sometime, so keep on dreaming, making plans and growing, both personally and professionally.
Any situation, even such a tense one as a global lockdown that threatens to force us to shelter in place for the holiday season, should be used to draw some valuable insights. If you are tired of stress and everyday routine and have been waiting for a sign to start transforming your life, this is it.
Here are five recommendations to maintain your mental harmony throughout January 2021 without entirely losing your mind from a certified coach, strategic communications consultant and founder of Mindset Consulting Dina Mostovaya.
Exercise at home using a video conference option with your trainer or on your own. I’m sure you know lots of mobile applications for exercising. Definitely give a try to the Nike Training Club, Zenia, Daily Yoga and Pilates Time. Regular physical exercise has been proven to improve our emotional state. There is a wealth of research that shows that exercise improves both our mental and physical health, and as the mood and sleep quality recover, our energy and endurance rise, the risk of cardiovascular disease goes down, along with the risks of cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory conditions.
Remember that you are not alone. Install the Insight Timer app on your phone – there’s a whole community there! Just imagine: people from all over the world meditate, read mantras and affirmations along with you and practice yoga in real time. This app has hundreds of tracks and monologues, so you’ll definitely get a feeling that you are surrounded by mindful and sympathetic people. And here’s a great thing: you can meditate even in your bed. Many meditation coaches say that you don’t have to sit in a special pose, isn’t that convenient? To improve the quality of your sleep and manage your stress, try the Loona app. It utilises three components backed by science: creativity, music, and storytelling.
I’ll venture a guess that during the first lockdown, you’ve cleaned out all of your drawers and went through several bouts of general cleaning, even in your garage. Maybe, you even renovated your home. It’s great that you try to surround yourself with order and comfort! But don’t get obsessed with the everyday routine, because one day the pandemic will be over. Continue to make plans, don’t give up on travel. Remember that your vacation deserves as much consideration as your job. Do some research: study the websites of the hotels in the country that you’ve dreamt of visiting for a long time; ask your friends and acquaintances whether they’ve been there, gather recommendations in the social media, and prepare your trip itinerary. When the time comes, packing a suitcase will be the only thing left to do.
Invest in yourself
Use this time to grow. Think of it this way: the world was put on pause so that you would have time for self-improvement. Think about the skills and knowledge you would want to work on with your coach. Choose an interesting course at the Khan Academy, Udemy or Coursera.
Do you love to read? Organise a book club for four or five friends, set up a monthly video call to discuss the book that all of you have read. Just imagine all the conversations you’ll be able to have with the people whom you think you know well.
Realise your dreams
Have you long dreamt of becoming an expert in art or interior design or writing a book? The best time to do that is now. Talk to someone who’s already done that: have a Zoom conversation, ask about the first steps you should take, look for useful videos on YouTube. At first, you might think that you have neither the mentors nor any idea that would help you to take the first step. But as Neil Gaiman has said: if you don’t know what to do, create! Don’t wait for a perfect plan, don’t be afraid to make mistakes – simply create, and you’ll find your way. Psychologists note that when we make even the first smallest steps towards our dream, we are filled with inspiration and are literally flying about full of happiness.