It’s April 15, 2020 and going on week 5 of the Coronavirus quarantine and lock-down in my state. While many Americans are still considered essential workers and going out into the world (my husband included), many of us are home. All day. Every day. Some of you with young children (BLESS YOU!).
It doesn’t come without its challenges. Cabin fever. Anxiety. A proneness to distraction. This is the time that unhealthy coping mechanisms rear their ugly head. For example, I had long ago stopped using some mindless apps like Buzzfeed or games and yet, for a days there, I was pretty glued to my phone every night checking the news and latest listcicles.
But in so many ways, the lock-down brings gifts. Who a few months ago didn’t wish they had more time? My greatest vision for my life is to be incredibly intentional and deliberate about how I use my time. And this is the greatest chance to design your day your way. Time really is our greatest currency and I’ve realized that the more structure you have the more freedom you have. The more reverence you have.
I’ve been there. The go-go-go all the time that all I’ve wanted to do by 7 pm is turn off with wine. But the more that I design my day and mix doing with rest and restoration, the more that I control my sense of peace, freedom, and happiness. The more I stop looking outside of myself for comfort because I’m giving it to myself.
Here are some ideas to get you started that have been working for me. Feel free to pick and choose some ideas that sound good to you:
My morning routine is the most sacred part of my day. My favorite is to wake up at 5 am and spend one hour working on personal growth activities and another hour on a project. Sometimes it’s 6 am. Sometimes it’s even 7 am. The point is to gift yourself the time to reflect and learn instead of jumping into the day of emails and to-dos. I usually meditate, write down my gratitude list, journal, set goals, and read. It makes the biggest difference in my mood, outlook, and energy for the day.
I danced ballet religiously in my teenage years and achieved a pretty cool level of flexibility. But that was over ten years ago and you could say I lost it. Improving my flexibility has been a thing on my resolution list for years. And what time I have now! Lately I’ve been using a stretching app, Splits Training, that gets you closer to the splits in 30 days. I love it.
Talking with friends and colleagues has me feeling like we are glued to our desks now more than ever before. I have to be very intentional about taking breaks or they won’t happen.
My mentor Brendon Burchard has a great method for this. Set a timer for 50 minutes of work. Then when it goes off, no matter what, get up for ten minutes. Breathe. Do some qigong, yoga flow, or light stretching. Get a glass of water, and start it all over again. The end result is energy at 6 pm, feeling connected to your deeper why, and not feeling burnout or needing a drink to take the edge off.
I love wearing athleisure attire lately! My intention is to carve in a workout anytime instead of making it a big production. Some ideas that I like that you can do without a gym or classes include: running outside, high intensity interval training (I like body rock tv), strength training, cardio circuits (think burpees, running in place, mountain climbers, jumping jacks), and yoga.
Strange inclusion maybe, but I am not the cleaner in my household. I have a lovely husband who does most of it while I cook and take care of errands. I’ve been invited to do more around the house and it’s given me a surprising satisfaction. No dishes piling up, no laundry waiting to be put up . . . taking care of the minutia around the house has made the house feel more like home.
This is so big for me, and I hope it’s important for you too. We are our most important asset. And learning and growing yourself will bring you a lifetime of new discoveries, ideas, and capabilities. As famous self-improvement guru Brian Tracy says, “To earn more, you must learn more.” I set aside time daily to work on a course (personal growth and business usually), read a book, and listen to a podcast or audio program.
LEANING INTO THE SLOW
Some days used to go by in a blur. I had a zillion meetings and would race from one place or one task to the next. Even moments that gifted me the chance to slow down, like walking my dog, were still rushed in my life before the quarantine. The reminder to slow down is here. I have been leaning into long long walks with my dog. Enjoying moments on my patio with the sun. And watching the sunrise. Relish the slowness. It won’t always be here.
Life should be spent feeling good, and we are solely responsible for how good we feel. For me, of course this means not drinking alcohol. It never made me feel good, not in the long run — it stole feelings of wellbeing away. Wellness also looks like nourishing myself by eating plenty of fruits and veggies and feeling centered in my body by doing yin yoga or meditating.
REDISCOVERING THE PLEASURES OF HOME
Our home lives are expanding. For me, this has meant falling in love with cooking and making new things from scratch. I’ve always loved to cook, but there have definitely been seasons in my life, especially as a business owner, where dinners have been more of an assembly game rather than a joy tocreate. I’ve been in the kitchen a lot and devouring cookbooks. I’m also redecorating and fixing things around the house.
Many of these activities are a mix of doing with a mix of restoration. If you fall into a pattern of drinking to unwind from the day or week, it could be a sign that you aren’t incorporating enough restorative activities into your day. While it’s not easy, so many of us have the opportunity to truly stand back and design the kind of day you want to live instead of letting life live through you. I hope you find a moment to sit back and reflect on the kind of days you want to live. What idea will you start with?
If you want to talk strategies for designing your day, let’s get on a call for a clarity session. Schedule a FREE 20 minute coaching call here.