HOW MINDFULNESS CAN KEEP YOU MOTIVATED THROUGH ISOLATION

Why should lockdown be a bad or scary thing? Well, it shouldn't. Instead, it is an opportunity to focus on ourselves and our goals and a chance to grow as individuals. Marnie shares her tips and top resources to help you stay motivated through isolation 2.0

By Marnie Cohen

Digital Communications & PR Coordinator, FireWorks PR & Events

A few days ago, metro Melbourne received the news we had feared for weeks.

We are heading back into lockdown for at least six weeks as COVID-19 has started to spread once again.

Personally, I thrived during the last lockdown period.

While I missed working at the office and going to brunch with my friends, I decided to take the opportunity to really slow down and shift my focus to me.

When life is in full swing, we can often leave self-love and self care behind. So I refocussed my efforts and have been seeing huge results – weight loss, attitude, demeanour and general wellness. Shifting focus has helped me get through positively and with purpose.

So, why not view this second lockdown as a sign? That you are being handed another opportunity to work on yourself and your goals?

Sharing my experience, I have detailed a few tips that may help to shift your mindset during isolation, to allow you to view lockdown as an opportunity rather than a punishment.

TIPS:

Don’t put pressure on yourself to constantly be doing something:

I think this is the key to getting through lockdown happily. You have been instructed by the State Government to stay at home – what you do in that time is totally up to you! Try not to compare yourself and your “weekend productivity” (or lack of) to others around you. If you want to spend the entire weekend on the couch watching Netflix or reading a book, do it. If you want to watch three games of footy in a row without getting up, do it. If you want to mindfully scroll through your favourite online stores, do it.

And do it without feeling guilty.

You would’ve learnt from last lockdown that you have plenty of time on your hands to get chores done. There is nothing wrong with a lazy day or weekend on the couch.

But if you are bored… Explore (or recommence) a new hobby:

Try something new or return to those hobbies you found during the first lockdown. There’s baking, working out, drawing, painting, puzzles, board games, writing, gardening… the options are endless!

Do something for yourself every single day:

This doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, nor does it have to be directly aligned to mindfulness practices, but doing something for yourself everyday allows you to constantly be working on your self-love and self care routine.

This could be in the form of pampering: doing a facemask, painting your nails, taking extra time for your skin care routine at a night.

It could be taking a long bath, spending time to cook yourself a nice dinner, lighting a few candles or burning some evocative incense. Simple and effective.

Mindfulness through meditation:

If you want to explore some true practices of mindfulness then meditation is the main thing that comes to mind. Meditation sessions can be as short as 10 minutes, but can completely transform your morning and help you approach the day with positivity and motivation. There are heaps of free resources, as well as paid apps such as Calm and Bloom (for example). Definitely do some research ahead of time to find the right option for you.

Drink lots of water!

A simple ask but often a task we forget to tick off each day. I always drink a minimum of two litres of water a day but strive for three. I find that having a large drink bottle (at least 1.3L) by my side throughout the day encourages me to drink more, as I only need to get through 1-2 bottles worth over the day, rather than 5 or 6 smaller ones. It’s the perception over the reality!

START JOURNALING:

For most of us, our days revolve around using technology.

I sit in front of a computer for most of the day and work, I am on my smartphone very frequently throughout the day and night… basically, I am completely immersed in technology 99% of the day.

Don’t get me wrong! It has its perks. It allows me to stay connected to my family and friends – those I can’t see. The Internet is a great resource for inspiration, entertainment and information.

But for a portion of each day, aim to just focus on the connection you have with yourself. Disconnect from the world around you and focus on you. Your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals and achievements. By physically writing them down on paper or in a journal, you are forced to really think about what it is you want to say.

If you just want to get everything out on paper, then just can just purchase a notebook and start writing. However, if you are looking to implement more structure and purpose around your thinking, then these journals could help:

Mindfulness journal: If you are looking for some structure in your journaling, try The Daily Stoic or Resilience Project journal. They will help you implement mindfulness and purpose in your day-to-day life.

Dream Journal: If you are thinking bigger picture goals beyond COVID, a Dream journal could be the thing for you. Founder of Kikki K, Kristina Karlsson has released a rather popular one that is available via their website.

Gratitude Journal: Try not to let COVID get into your head too much. What I mean by that is just because there is chaos around you, it doesn’t mean that it lies within. I have plenty of things to be grateful for and I remind myself of these each day to help me get through a tricky situation that I cannot control. If you need to re-enforce gratitude into your daily routine, then I would highly suggest investing in a gratitude journal. I can almost guarantee that you will find something to celebrate each day, big or small.

Goal Setting:

You can have goals in your mind but you won’t be motivated to achieve them if you aren’t constantly surrounded by them and reminded of them. Try goal setting through a journal or a mood board.

When it comes to creating a mood board, purchase a large card (size A3 upwards) and print photos and words that are related to your goals. Physically cut and paste them onto your sheet of paper and hang it somewhere you can see it each day. For me, I have my mood board in my cupboard and I look at it each day to remind myself of what I want to achieve. This could be a fun weekend project to complete in isolation, too!

Each day presents a new opportunity to be grateful for your life, to improve on yourself, your surroundings and your thinking. Each day presents a chance to rise to challenges and to conquer them.

There is no better time to implement these changes than today.

Do the work now for your future self.

RESOURCES:

There are plenty of resources out there that will help you implement mindfulness, motivation and positive thinking into your life. Below are my personal favourites and the things I found ‘spoke’ to me the best.

Podcasts:
Boujee Fridays with Don, Matilda and Soph
The Rise and Conquer Podcast with Georgie Stevenson
Do you F*****g Mind with Alexis Fernandez

Books:
The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday
The Resilience Project by Hugh van Cuylenburg

Videos:
All it takes is 10 minutes by Andy Puddicombe
Positive Mind in 5 Minutes
The Power of Mindfulness by Shauna Shapiro
The Most Powerful Mindset for Success

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