Updated: Dec 22, 2021
So the world was turned upside down in a matter of weeks and now all of a sudden it's acceptable to drink at all hours of the day and not even know what day it is. It's just the hashtag #covidlife, right? Up is down, vodka is breakfast and baking sourdough is the new cardio. Right?
Well, maybe not...
The thing is it's not a bad idea to be cutting yourself some slack and letting go of your expectations of what "normal" is, but at the same time that doesn't mean that you should let go of everything that makes your body ad mind feel good. We still have to think about our current health, as well as long term health outcomes. You might have let go of the stress of the daily routine and the commuting life, but perhaps that's been replaced by anxiety around money or worrying about the health of loved ones. Social isolation can also play a huge part in this, I mean, we are social creatures and we literally need to hug a person, get some physical contact. We also do need to move our bodies for our physical and mental health.
So we might hop on social media for some #fitspo and we come across all these people who have started 16 businesses, started meditating, taken up knitting and perfected the most epic handstand during the first week of lock down, and then we just feel a bit inferior, right? So we head back to the sofa, because what's the point?
The thing is, we have to put all of this in perspective. We need to remind ourselves that we can only to the things that work for us. While drawing inspiration from others can be hugely valuable, we also need to remember that we don't have access to the full picture there. Everyone has different resources available to them.
So bring the conversation back to you: what can you do? what do you need? what is the very baseline for your existence? what is realistic for you right now? There is no point aiming to have a morning routine that takes an hour if you are not a morning person or if you have tiny humans who demand your attention before you even open your eyelids (yes I am talking about myself right now). If all you can do is grab a 2 minute guided meditation before you sit down at your desk, then so be it. And I advise you to ignore anyone who says "everyone should be able to find xx amount of time to do xx for themselves" Sometimes it's actually not that simple.
So, here's my advice: Look at your day. Write down the ideal day, like the ultimate dream if there was no time or money restrictions, or if you weren't bound by commitments to caring for other people. Like for me, it would be having an hour alone in the morning before I have to speak with of think of anyone, and a long walk in the afternoon when I hit a slump. Then, try and extract whatever, small or large, pieces of that dream you can and insert them into your day. For me, this was doing my skin care routine with the bathroom door closed and a cup of coffee (it's not an intricate routine, it takes like a minute). I also try to brighten my afternoon with some fresh air time, which I often have to share with tiny humans. Finally, share your plan with the people around you and ask them to support you in it. If you've got nobody else to share it with, I'd love to hear it!