25th March 2020 - Written by James · 6 minute read
[None of the links in this blog are affiliated or connected with Bohemian Island in any way. They're simply resources we value and can personally vouch for.]
Your loved ones. The journey to work. Time at the gym. The normality of everyday life.
Who else sometimes finds themselves guilty of taking these things for granted? Not sure about you but I’ve found being stuck at home can really help reset your appreciation for normal life and make you realize just how grateful you are for what you’re used to.
While we’re clearly coming at this as harem pants salespeople and not health experts, what’s clear is that there’s currently a lot of fear, confusion & loneliness around and we know these are potent triggers for other mental health episodes.
Therefore it’s important to filter out the nonsense and focus on what’s important.
Don’t let the noise scare you
At times of mass panic or untold tragedies everybody seems to want to be the experts. They have a tendency to over-dramatize situations for better or worse, and many paint an overplayed apocalyptic picture of the situation around them.
But listen to what the experts are actually saying and you’ll hear lots of things like “we think”, “possibly”, “probably”. This means even those who know most about COVID-19 and have spent their entire life’s work on this stuff aren’t 100% sure what’s happening or what’s going to happen.
And while that might sound alarming on its face, let’s look at it another way.
It means nobody really knows what’s going on, and especially not @lucypants88 or any other Insta or Twitter user for that matter! That friend you love dearly but is always a glass half-empty type doesn’t know what’s really going on either.
Nobody does. So don’t let the hysteria scare you and don’t let the noise distract you. Instead, listen to the experts.
Spend this extra time productively - what to do during coronavirus lock down?
Many of us will suddenly have a lot more time on our hands, which is great as it means we can really slow down and be a bit more mindful and consciously aware of everything we do.
- “The greatest precept is continual awareness” - Buddha -
However it also means we’ll have more time on our hands to be productive, grow, learn or start that project you’ve always secretly thought you could pull off.
Learn a new skill
Youtube really is a blessing. We can learn almost anything there completely free. We’ve compiled a small list of examples here but get creative and think about something you’ve always wanted to learn or know more about. YouTube-it, you might be surprised what you’ll find.
Learn to play guitar:
JustinGuitar has hours and hours of amazing content completely free, taking you from a complete guitar beginning all the way up to shredding like Slash. Start with his Beginners Course. Honorable mentions as well to GoliathGuitarTutorials & MartyMusic.
Learn a language:
Speaking another language, no matter how limited your knowledge of it, is rewarding on so many levels. Not only does it open doors you never thought possible it’s also a valuable skill you can sell to future employees. Duolingo is a superb free app available on Android, iOS and Windows.
YouTube as you’d imagine is awash with free language courses, from Chinese, to Russian, Spanish or maybe even Thai!
Learn how to draw:
Some things are remarkably easy to draw, yet seriously satisfying and impressive to those who don’t know the secrets! For example did you know you can draw a beautiful bird from the number 22 in about 10 seconds?
This cheerful roll of toilet paper is quick to draw and pretty cute too and could also come in handy, especially if silly people have been panic-buying in your area!
Don’t forget to move!
We’re all guilty of sitting down staring at screens most of the day, and no doubt Netflix is getting a lot of use in your household right now. Laptops and smartphones are too damn entertaining, enjoyable and addictive to avoid completely, but we were not designed to be stationary! We were built to move!
Jog on the spot (jogging or yogging, it might be a soft j), do body weight squats, run up and down the stairs (be careful!), stretch, flow along with a YouTube yoga video, dance or just walk around the house.
Whatever you choose to do, don’t be still when doing it.
Own Your Anxiety: Meditate
I used to tell myself I couldn’t meditate. That I wasn’t capable of switching off my thoughts like others can and that meditation just wasn’t for me. Until I tried it.
I quickly realized meditation isn’t complicated at all. It’s a simple process of focusing your thoughts onto one thing and allowing the mind or body to completely relax and heal.
Julian Brass, author of the wonderful book ‘Own Your Anxiety’, recommends this very simple mantra to repeat in your head while sitting down, breathing deeply & slowly:
Breathe through your nose to your belly, nice and slow. Don’t worry if the mind wanders elsewhere, just politely direct it back to your mantra and to the peace and reverie that awaits.
Give this a go. You’ll be hard pushed to feel stressed afterwards.
Turn off phone notifications and stop binge watching the news
A radical idea to most, but turning off your phone notifications even for an hour or two per day (ideally more) is going to really help you to relax and get away from this chaotic news cycle.