X|Health: How to Maintain A Positive Attitude during Isolation?
With the current pandemic forcing us into necessary isolation, anxiety and stress have become an everyday norm. On top of that remote working, reduced work hours and in some cases, loss of income, along with uncertainty are indeed stressful. Regulating and learning to control your emotions at such times is very important, to help remain positive and improve both mental and physical health and wellbeing.
World-renowned spa & medical clinic in Switzerland, Clinique La Prairie believes in a holistic philosophy that enriches your mind, body and soul to protect yourself. While it may seem a challenge to stay focused and positive without fear and anxiety taking over at this time.
Dr. Mounir Ziade, Resident Doctor and medical expert has tips on how to ease those feelings:
With the current lockdown situation and scary news popping up every minute, it has become even more imperative to unplug and calm your mind. When your body is stressed it lowers your immunity and can make you feel tired, sick, sleepless and anxious.
Embrace the new reality and schedule your day to disconnect and be more present. Following a daily schedule of tasks and staying on top of them may help you stay more focussed and manage your stress in a disciplined manner.
Organise the balance between intellectual and physical activities, as well as being alone and being in social contact.
Being alone does also mean "being with yourself in the present time". Yoga, Qigong, autohypnosis and self-reflection are a great way to this, and to keep your stress under control.
In the framework of this balance, connecting with others and staying in touch with loved ones can help you feel grounded. Social connections can not only improve your overall wellbeing but also strengthen your immune system. Try intentionally building in moments of connection to your day – hopefully technology has plenty of means to offer for that while keeping the safety measures of social distancing.
Find a sense of serenity
Your mind is like your stomach – you are what you eat and think. While venting your thoughts and concerns is normal in these unprecedented moments in life, it is essential to give yourself a chance to be distracted from sources of anxiety, like constant news about the pandemic.
Let humor and imagination into your life to make yourself more resilient. It helps reduce anxiety and emotional stress and it will modify and soften what you will recall in your memory later.
Spend your time wisely and focus on all the activities you have always wanted to do but did not have time for. Learn a new hobby, cook a new healthy creative dish or take up a new online course.
There also also benefits of practicing gratitude. Show appreciation for your family and friends and for your good health.
Finding gratitude even in challenging days, sometimes thinking about difficult situations, can help to overcome it. It helps in creating an experience with more positive emotions, contributing to sleep better and enhancing your health.
When you are unable to control your emotions easily, your mind may feel trapped in fear as you are unable to allow the energy of these emotions to move away. This is where meditative practices can be helpful: observing your thoughts and feeling the sensations within you allow you to create distance between you and your overwhelming emotions. This empowers you to clarify your mind and to gain ability to release the over-emotions stuck in your body by allowing feelings to somehow exist peacefully out of your body.
When you feel highly emotional, start to breathe in and out slowly and deeply (5 seconds each) for at least 5 minutes. Use this slow breathing technique whenever required and gradually you will notice harmony is restored.
Napping for longer than 20 minutes a day, along with the lack of exercise and eating heavy meals just before bedtime is a recipe of disaster, especially for your sleep cycle. Irregular and poor sleep can have a toll on your mood and health and can even lead to depression.
Basics are fundamental to promote sleep. Have a light dinner and keep your healthy diet on track. Try to follow a daily routine where you wake up and sleep at the same time every day.
Avoid stressful activities and screens before you go to bed and try to break the thinking patterns that lead to discomfort, anxiety and distress (breathing techniques).
Also, try to avoid consuming caffeinated beverages before bedtime to avoid unwanted alertness and difficulty in sleeping at night. For a good night’s sleep, use herbal infusions.
Doing some form of physical activity throughout the day benefits your physical health and immune system as well as helps deal with depression and anxiety.
Push yourself to start with short home workout and slowly increase the intensity and duration. You can also use exercise as a means for bonding with your loved ones. This will get you the perks of feeling like you have a new routine and potentially a sweet boost of endorphins from the exercise, which has been proven to lower anxiety and help you sleep better too.