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Originally Posted On: Tips for Cultivating a Well-Being-Supporting Mindset During Lockdown — Her Culture
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to rage, and many places remaining in lockdown for the foreseeable future, it’s becoming ever more important to find ways to support your well-being during these trying and socially disconnected times.
For many of us, the pandemic and lockdowns have halted our dreams and aspirations, thrown a spanner into our goals and resolutions, and risk being deeply demoralising in a whole range of different ways – not to mention the more direct physical risks that are involved.
In order to safeguard and maintain your well-being to the best of your ability, it’s essential to manage to cultivate a mindset that can help you to see things in the right light, and to focus on the good rather than the bad.
Here are a variety of tips for cultivating a well-being-supporting mindset during lockdown.
ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU CAN’T CONTROL A LOT OF WHAT’S GOING ON RIGHT NOW, AND COMMIT TO FOCUSING ON THE THINGS THAT ARE UNDER YOUR CONTROL
First and foremost, there is a very old principle that is found in many ancient philosophies and wisdom traditions, and that also exists in modern support movements such as Alcoholics Anonymous, which is very relevant to the times and situations that we all find ourselves in today.
That principle is realising and accepting that you simply can’t control a lot of what’s going on, and choosing to proactively focus the majority of your energy and attention only on the things that are under your control, instead.
On an individual level, there is likely to be very little, if anything, that we can do in order to end lockdowns outright and get society and the world at large back to normal.
By focusing on these things that are out of our control, therefore, we only end up feeding a sense of helplessness and anxiety – while surrendering a lot of the power that we do have to safeguard our own well-being and to take proactive steps for the better in our own immediate spheres of influence.
If, instead of allowing yourself to dwell too much on what’s happening in the world at large, you focus on things like your daily routines, your sleep and nutrition, your entertainment and daily habits, and so on, you empower yourself rather than disempowering yourself.
No matter what particular situation you find yourself in, there will always be at least a few things that are in your direct sphere of influence. A mindset that supports your well-being will involve shifting your attention to this more immediate domain.
GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO NOT BE TOTALLY PRODUCTIVE DURING THIS TIME PERIOD
One thing that many people find deeply distressing about the pandemic and lockdowns, is the effect it’s had of stifling, if not outright sabotaging, personal goals, productivity, and plans.
Compounding this situation is the fact that many people also find themselves feeling guilty and frustrated if they aren’t using their lockdown time “as productively as possible,” and preparing to emerge from the other side of the lockdown in the best shape of their lives, with a successful small business venture taking off, a personal music project complete, and a certificate in coding, to boot.
While it’s great if you can achieve some things that are in line with your broad goals during the pandemic period, the bottom line is that no one is productive all the time, and abnormal and stressful circumstances such as these are not the ideal circumstances for overhauling your life and becoming the most productive version of yourself.
For the sake of your well-being and sanity, it’s necessary to give yourself permission to not be totally productive during this time period.
That doesn’t mean that you should become completely passive and stay in bed all day, but it does mean that you shouldn’t beat yourself up if you aren’t the next runaway entrepreneurial success story by the time things get back to normal.
FOCUS ON JUST A FEW DAILY HABITS THAT WILL HELP TO MAINTAIN A SENSE OF MEANING, KEEP YOU ACTIVE, AND BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE
Focusing too much on pre-set goals can be detrimental in a number of ways, under the best of circumstances. One of the big problems with being obsessive about goal setting is the simple fact that goals can be subverted and undermined by things that are going on in the world at large, that you can’t predict or control.
What’s more, being too goal-focused means that you may find yourself in a perpetual state of anxiety and frustration until you’ve achieved those goals – which might mean that you find yourself feeling that way constantly, as you jump from one goal to the next.
Decide, instead, to focus mainly on just a few daily habits that will help to maintain a sense of meaning, keep you active, boost your confidence, and move you in the direction you want to go in, in a more general sense.
If you like the idea of being a musician, for example, start by establishing a modest daily habit like playing your instrument for 15 minutes, rather than setting yourself a goal to play sold-out arena shows within three years.
Your daily habits will always be things that you can directly influence and work with, regardless of what’s going on in the broader world. And as long as you are keeping up with those habits, you can feel good about yourself without becoming obsessive or burning yourself out.
REACH OUT AND KEEP IN TOUCH WITH OTHERS, DON’T BE ANY MORE ISOLATED THAN YOU NEED TO BE
Humans need social interaction and connection to thrive, which is one of the reasons why independent living facilities like La Posada may be beneficial to those who would otherwise be isolated.
Of course, during lockdown, just about everyone is likely to be significantly more isolated than they would be under normal circumstances. But you shouldn’t make things any worse for yourself in this regard than they need to be.
Make a point of reaching out and keeping in touch with others to the best of your ability. Have phone calls and video chats with family members and friends, and consider joining online interactive classes, for example, as well.
KEEP YOURSELF ENGAGED WITH FUN AND UPBEAT FORMS OF ENTERTAINMENT AND STORYTELLING, RATHER THAN JUST OBSESSING OVER THE NEWS
It’s important to be aware of what’s going on in the world, but it’s also true that if you spend all day obsessing over the news, you’re going to drive yourself crazy, and will likely feel deeply agitated and off balance.
Beyond informing yourself of the basics of what’s happening around you, consider shifting your attention to forms of fun and upbeat entertainment and storytelling, instead.
These days, there are countless great films, TV series’, books, and even video games, that can be accessed within a few mouse clicks, and all of these things can help you to relax, have fun, and explore different worlds and storylines.
If there’s ever been a time when you should be willing to allow yourself a bit of guilt-free entertainment, now is probably it.
So, get lost in a good novel, see how you feel about the latest TV series you’ve been eyeing up, and give yourself permission to do a bit of binge watching when the opportunity arises, and when you don’t have other direct responsibilities to attend to.
After all, everyone else is in the same boat, and you can be sure that when the pandemic is over, a lot of general discussion is going to be focused on these forms of entertainment.