It might be odd to see the benefit to being stuck at home, managing double duty with kids that need to be entertained and home schooled while working. In the last three weeks I have teetered between depression, insanity, numbness, excitement and finally arrived at calm. In between zoom calls with clients while my kids fight over lego, I created some space for meditation, stretching and well…breathing.
It’s not that my “day job” isn’t keeping me busy enough, it’s more so that the stay at home order has forced me to consider how I want to spend my time and given me a little more freedom to just be. In the haste of daily life from the morning rush to get kids out the door, hustling from one meeting to another running not one but three businesses, navigating traffic to rush kids from one after school activity to another, scrambling home to make dinner, then the bath and bed time rush, it is no wonder that on a daily basis I actually forget to eat or drink water or breathe during the day. We, as a society, are just too busy.
So….I decided that I was going to use this time of being confined at home to create more space. More space for myself, in my head, in my heart and more space to just be. I created a daily practice for myself and was delightfully surprised that one by one my kids and my partner joined in as well.
Daily Rituals for Thriving in Isolation:
- Hydrate: Each morning drink a large glass or two of water to get hydrated. Throughout the day drink at least 8-10 glasses, sometimes squeezing some lemon or dropping in some pomegranate seeds to mix it up.
- Breathe: Find a quiet spot on the floor, sit cross legged with palms facing up on your knees, close your eyes and just take 10 nice deep slow breaths. Think about something you want to receive with each breath in – maybe a new job, a new relationship, a holiday, favorite restaurant to be open again. On each breath out, let go of things that don’t serving you – frustration, anger, sadness, boredom. Delight in the thought that you actually get the time to sit and just breathe.
- Meditate: For more benefit, take another 5-10 minutes in the seated position above, eyes closed and continue deep breathing. Clear your mind of thoughts of things to do, and create space for intentions, creativity, clarity.
- Journal: Write down 3-5 goals for the day, what do you want to accomplish, how do you want to spend your time, what are you grateful for? Write down 3-5 goals for the next 3 years. Where do you see yourself? What do you want to accomplish? What can you do now to work towards those goals? Use this time to set the foundation for what you want in life.
- Eat Well: If you can brave the lines at the supermarket, take this opportunity of having more time to eat consciously. Our daily routine across the family starts with a big glass of water, a bowl of fruit, mid-morning green smoothie or smoothie, healthy lunch (salad with protein), healthy afternoon snacks like veggies and hummus or notes and dinner with protein and veggies. (Side Note: My quarantine diet did not start this way. In the first 2 weeks I ate no less than 5 donuts, 36 chocolate chip cookies, 4 pieces of cheesecake, almost an entire 9x 13” pan of 7 layer bars, 12 Nutella banana crepes and probably about 8 bags of chips. The situation was critical, I had to make a shift and now I feel amazing and am boosting my immunity – bonus! If you do nothing else, take the time to nourish your body with what it needs to stay healthy.)
- Exercise: The most disappointing part of having all this time available was learning my gym was also closed. To be fair, I only manage to go on the weekend because I am generally just too tired to make it there during the week. With two kids home all day, we get stir crazy so we decided to make the best of it and create a family oriented exercise plan. We walk together at least twice a day for 20 minutes, and get out on our bikes every other day or do a 20 minute HIIT class. We get our exercise, keep kids occupied and get time together developing good habits.
You see, despite the craziness of the situation… this is YOUR time. That time we are always missing and craving but never get. With all the upheaval to our “normal” lives, we have the opportunity to create a new normal. A new normal that gives us SPACE. Space from constant distractions and interactions, space from non-stop commitments and engagements, space from the constant pressure to be doing something and being somewhere.
So sit comfortably, take a few really good deep breathes, close your eyes and use this time to think about who you want to become, what your dreams are, how you want to live, and most importantly – WHY.