While we are in lockdown, we believe it is important as ever to stay connected, inspired, and help each other. As each of us is impacted by the current health crisis, we enter a space where we can reflect deeply.
Not too long before the coronavirus outbreak, we all had our hopes and dreams as well as plans for the rest of the year. Yet, it seems that life has been put on hold now for an indefinite period of time. Some of us have adjusted to this unusual situation, whereas others might be feeling isolated or demotivated.
So on reflection we have put together some tips on staying positive and what habits are important for staying motivated in these strange times. We don’t know when we are going to be back to normal and for those who are still socially isolating, we present these seven tips.
1. Routine is key
Routine is crucial if you want to stay positive and motivated. I am known as an early riser. I like waking up early and my recommendation is taking a look at this video by Robin Sharma to those who want to follow his example. Every day I write a list of things I want to achieve. Creating a detailed schedule is a useful habit. This way, even if you forget to do something from your to-do-list, you can always keep track of what needs to be done and move it to the next day.
2. Your body is a temple
We should always remember to treat our bodies with the utmost respect like the ancients did. Everyone has their own routine that keeps them healthy mentally and physically. Yoga, stretching, meditation, cold shower – you name it. There are so many ways to stay fit. It is especially important to take care of ourselves in times like these. We know from experience that staying physically active is a great coping mechanism. I like to challenge myself to take on something that seems tough. This serves to not only challenge me physically, but mentally also. For example; Those stairs at Bilgola that I have done 10x in the past (but only the metal stairs - 93 steps). I am going to do the whole staircase 10x from bottom to top (approx. 200 stairs). Believe me thats a bloody lot of stairs! Also running another half marathon is on my list, but this time after cycling at least 50km.
The mind is equally important because it is an essential part of the body. Try an online course or take up a craft. One of our BU Trail Fit Crew has recently taken up Quilting
“It’s stimulating for the brain, the dexterity and you learn new techniques to manage yourself during this challenging period”, she says.
3. Embrace your emotions
We need to remind ourselves that it’s okay to experience negative emotions from time to time. We all have experienced them because they are a natural part of life. After all, without sadness, we wouldn’t know joy. One technique that has been tried and tested is that instead of keeping ourselves busy we need to “make ourselves happy”. It is hard and unnecessary to stay positive all the time. Instead, I believe it’s important to pay attention to your feelings. I have just recently cleared out an overgrown garden and plant some native trees and flowers. It gives me personal satisfaction to see them growing and that the garden looks how I like it.
It's impossible to stay motivated all the time due to all the uncertainty. However getting good exercise, nutrition and sleep is a great way to manage.
4. Less is more
Minimalism, both in design and as an approach to life, is in vogue. The current crisis has influenced an understanding of less is more, for me this equates to “what’s important and what has no value so I can focus on less”. One of the best ways to focus on less is to clean your house. In the words of Marie Kondo, if it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it. By cleaning your house you can clean your mind!
5. It’s time to go offline/outside
As an outdoor brand our key focus is on living in the moment and getting out in nature. Work on you. Focus on the good. Reduce the information you consume online.
Instead of spending most of your time online, you can do so many interesting things offline such as writing, going for outside walks, and runs in the park and local tracks. Our abundance of coastline and bushland is ideal for this. Use apps like National Parks App and All Trails to seek out trails that are near where you live
6. Keep calm and read a book – or listen to a podcast
Even if you are stuck at home alone, it is impossible to feel lonely in a room full of great books. We really like reading. For instance, A few recommendations that you may not have come across Radically Happy by Phakchok Rinpoche – a book about finding the path to radical happiness. A receent recommendation, Utopia For Realists is a very inspirational book that everyone should read. Its message really resonated with him in times like these. Rutger Bregman, the author of the book, says that “if we want to change the world, we need to be unrealistic, unreasonable, and impossible”. Such an uplifting and motivating message that we need today!
A podcast is a good alternative to reading because it allows you to multitask. My son Jacob recommends History on Fire, which is his favourite podcast at the moment. According to him, it is “for anyone who likes history without the boring academia”. For those who like philosophy, I highly recommend listening to Philosophize This – it is one of my faves when I go for a long run!
7. Learn new habits or re-discover old ones
Time has become a precious commodity because we are always so busy. Now that we have more time, we should use it sensibly. For example, could you re-discover an old passion , such as playing the piano or guitar. I did try picking up the guitar again in our first lockdown situation last year. I may be tempted to pick it up again now. I do beoieve that “getting creative can be super relaxing and can be as simple as painting, drawing, trying a different recipe, or writing”. There are so many ways to be present – at the end of the day art is another form of meditation.