With 2 weeks of this current lockdown left (fingers crossed), there’s still plenty of time to seize the opportunity available to you & come out of this situation feeling like you've made the most of it.
Here’s four simple tips to help you come out of this situation better-off than when you started.
1) Organise Your Time.
For me, having a clearly defined schedule is non-negotiable. If I don’t outline what I’m doing, when I’m doing it, and for how long - each day -, then I end up wasting hours procrastinating & just feeling unproductive.
Take 15-20 minutes right now to outline the rest of your week. Divide your time into 30 or 60 minute long slots. First, include all of the things that are absolute essentials - meals, exercise, time to unwind. Then, outline the tasks that you want to get done each day.
Two things that I find to be really important when doing this is to outline regular short breaks & to try and make your schedule as consistent as possible (e.g. meals at the same time daily).
I find this element of organisation to be really helpful for creating mental clarity & reducing feelings of overwhelm when the workloads piling up.
2) Build 1 New Positive Habit.
You’ve no doubt at some point read or heard of the habits of a successful person. “I begin the day with a 30 minute stroll in nature, followed by 2 hours of deep meditation. Before I break my fast at midday, I spend 15 minutes journaling & practicing gratitude..”. Or something along those lines.
We all have aspects of our lifestyle that ideally we’d like to improve. Our biggest downfall is thinking that we have to improve them all at once. Life doesn’t work like that. The amount of energy it takes to begin practicing several unfamiliar behaviours all at once is crazy. You’re trying to fast-track the process of habit formation, something that I'm not sure any of us are wired to do.
Here’s my advice. Take it one step at a time. Outline one behaviour you’re really keen on ingraining into your routine - and start out slow. Take meditation for example (something I’ve been working on ingraining for a while.. with well, moderate success). Start out meditating for just 5 minutes daily. Everybody's got 5 minutes going spare. Try that for a week. Then, increase the amount of time a small amount - up to 8 or 10 minutes perhaps. It’s this progressive mentality that lends itself to long-term success, not the all-guns-blazing approach.
3) Get Moving.
Super simple, get outside & walk.
Dependent on your job, you might never have as much time available to you as you do now. And even if that’s not the case.. you should still do it.
Set yourself a daily step target - try 5000 steps to start with. And then just hit it. Take 10 minutes in the morning. 10 minutes after lunch. 10 minutes before dinner.
Just by taking 10 minute walks you’ve: increased activity levels (helping facilitate fat-loss, manage stress, improve sleep) & spent time outside (aligning your circadian rhythms thereby improving health in several ways). Such a simple yet valuable tool available to practically all of us.
4) Stay Connected.
These new concepts we're living by are the exact opposite of what we as a species depend on for survival - connection & co-operation.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting you throw social-distancing out the window; obviously it’s important to recognise what we’re faced with in terms of this pandemic. But, there's no reason to become entirely disconnected from our communities & those around us.
Personally, I find that when I don't make the effort to maintain regular contact & connection with others, my overall well-being declines. Connection so crucial to health, yet a lot of us go crazy amounts of time without really experiencing it..
So, why not outline some time to connect with friends & family in that new schedule of yours? Thinking about it, you could even merge that time with one of your daily walks. Talk about efficiency.
Take the opportunity to reach out to a friend you’ve not spoken to in a while - I’m sure they’d actually really appreciate hearing from you.
Christian Lawal Personal Training.
Personal training in Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge & Sevenoaks.