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Are you Living in a Sanctuary or a Cage?

My 7 Tips to improve your life during this Pandemic

So…After the initial stages of quarantine, does your home feel more like a cage, or a sanctuary?

Considering the last few weeks, I’m reminded of the age old quote, 

Familiarity breeds contempt.” 

In our normal/busy lives we became comfortable with what was our familiar. The people you saw ever day, your workplace environment, and even your humble abode, everything was routine.

Enter COVID-19, and now, we’re living in a “new familiar.”  What you may have considered your sanctuary, may now feel more like a cage. 

So what should you do?  

Potential Answer # 1 and #2 

1. Watch Netflix until your eyeballs glaze over, and mind goes numb? 

or

2. Watch more of the news, causing you undeniable stress and worry?

Well, if you’ve exhausted these options, it is fair to say that you may have manifested “contempt” for your home environment. At this point, feeling trapped is a choice. It is up to you to make sense of how you will deal with this, as it may last longer than you’d like.

If you’re ready to change your experience, I’ve got great news for you. By following these simple tips, you can regain control of your things. We are all subjects to what is going on with the Corona Virus, and it is up to us to take charge of our lives. 

Lets redefine how we look at our experience, and breed a familiarity that ignites your fire during this lockdown. 🙂 

1. Social distancing, does not mean disappearing. Fortunately, we live in a world where we can connect with friends and family through the innovation of technology. Sure you can always make that old fashioned phone call if you like… but in today’s age you can use FaceTime, Zoom or Facebook’s new Portal, to connect  face to face through audio and video. Remember you are not the only one feeling alone at this time, so treat yourself and others to this heartwarming exercise, by listing out those people you care about, and find times to catch up with them. I promise this will bring you more gratification than binging on the newest true crime series.

2. Tidy up your Sanctuary.  What is no longer serving your living space? If there is anything in need of fixing, or even removing, now is a great time to tidy up your home. For four years I ignored cabinets and drawers in my house that needs tending. Not typical for “a Virgo” to allow this much time to elapse…. my excuse: “I’ve been busy!” I know I’m not the only one who has allowed home maintenance to skip their to-do list. If you want a big psychological win, really assess your surroundings. Do you need to paint, repair, or even get rid of some things? I used my free time to clean out those cabinets and drawers, and “Voila,” I have a newfound respect for my sanctuary. Also consider boxing up some items that you no longer need for donation. There will definitely be people out there who’d appreciate a helping hand.

3. Embrace the “Serene Green.” Typically we bypass all of the surrounding beauty that feeds our earth. I’ve found it very gratifying to spend time amongst beautiful plants and flowers in my yard versus staying cooped up inside. If you are up to it, you can cultivate your surrounding landscape; weeding, pruning, planting allows for some exercise, and a great distraction. When you wake up the next day, you’ll have something else to tend to, besides yourself. Giving in general is such a healing experience. We sometimes take for granted how much the earth gives back to us. It’s your turn to repay the favor!

4. Explore a passion project. How much of your time is spent, digesting information that creates worry? Now more than ever, you can choose to expand your horizons and try something new and exciting. Take a Master Class or enroll in online tutoring to learn a new skill set or passion. There are unbelievable courses online, covering an array of topics such as cooking, floral design, art appreciation, interior design and more. This is just the tip of the iceberg, so feel free to google any other area’s and you can find the perfect option for you! (I’m signing up to take Kelly Wearsler’s interior design class). 

5. Move your body (get outside if you can!). If you’re lucky to have a hike nearby, or within reasonable distance, pack a lunch and take that exploratory journey. I recommend walking in nature because it offers a tranquil experience.  If outside is not an option, there are a number of video’s which you can access on your computer to give your body a little love. Yoga with Adriene offers a wide range of free videos, along with heartfelt meditations to sooth your mind. It is important to pay attention to the body and mind, by giving yourself the opportunity to check in, and feel good physically. Don’t spend your days on the couch!

6. Crack open a “ole book.” As an author, I know that many of us don’t have time to read books, and are particular with what we spend our time reading. For men, many believe books must offer some practical value. Sadly, I have been also guilty of this in my earlier “corporate years!” Now is a time to be present, and look outside your prodigal stream of work related articles and books. All sports are cancelled after all, so you have no excuses! Jump into one of those books you’ve accumulated on your shelf over the past decade, and rediscover the joy of losing yourself in the written words of a story. 

7. Meet Your Better Half. I’m not referring to your spouse or significant other. I’m referring to your inner self, or in what scientists refer to as, the right side of your brain. Why? That’s where creativity, intuition, artistry, music and problem solving skills reside. If you find yourself in a rut, looking to raise your consciousness, there are techniques to help you regain clarity. Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius, will teach you how to come out of this lockdown with more intention and authenticity in all area’s of your life.

It’s been the single greatest lesson I’ve learned, helping many others find themselves in trying times. Over three years, interviewing 200 people, I was fortunate to teach others how to regain focus on what is important in life. Take the necessary steps to transition towards a better version you, to uncover a happier and more fulfilling life. 

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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