I recently saw a meme of a teenager holding a landline phone and trying to figure out how to use it. I’m among the last generation that remembers fighting over who gets to use the phone next. As a Gen-X’er, I used payphones at the mall and mail hand-written letters. I remember when we transitioned from records to cassette tapes, from cassette tapes to CDs, and from CDs to mp3. With each transition came a new normal… but the transition we’re all facing today in social distancing and self-quarantining has been shoved into our lives.
Just like many people in the service-providing industry, I have been impacted as a yoga teacher and pilates instructor. As of last week, the facilities that I teach weekly classes at have temporarily closed, so I decided to offer On-Demand (aka live streaming) yoga and meditation classes via Zoom (click here to see my schedule of classes). Instead of using this time to binge-watch TV shows and movies on Netflix 24/7, I decided to keep myself on a schedule to prevent going into hermit-mode.
There are many benefits to keeping a routine in your schedule: Mentally, stay disciplined allows our minds to be sharper and have more control over negative thoughts and feelings. Physically, we’re able to burn more calories and prevent muscular atrophy if we stay on task and active. Our mental and physical discipline can create a sense of safety for our souls to be still and experience the beauty of the present.
Here are some ideas to consider while you create your new normal:
Set your alarm (then wake up and face the sun).
You don’t necessarily have to wake up at 5 AM (unless you want to), but set your alarm at a reasonable hour. Once you wake up, get out of bed and do some gentle warm-ups and slow stretches (maybe some Cat/Cow Yoga poses or Table Pose to Child’s Pose flow). After your stretching and warming up, find a spot in your front porch or backyard (or in your house where you can be in sunlight). Sit or stand still, close your eyes and enjoy the sunlight on your face as you take some deep diaphragmatic breaths. When you feel present and calm, slowly open your eyes.
Go for a walk.
I’m generally not an outdoor person because of seasonal allergies during the Spring and Fall, and mosquitoes during the Summer. But we’ve been having great weather here in North Carolina lately, so my family and I’ve been taking advantage of being outside and going for walks in different neighborhoods. While keeping our social distance from people, we’ve been able to give them a wave, a smile or even say hello in passing. I also take “podcast walks.” My favorites are BEMA Discipleship (for a deep-dive into context of The Bible), The Creative Penn (for indie authors), and Yoga Teacher Resource (for — you guessed it — yoga teachers).
Have a Game Night with your family.
My family and I love playing card games and board games. Our current favorites card games are Rummy, King’s Corner, Idiot (yes, it’s an actual card game). We also love non-card games like The Settlers of Catan, Mexican Train, and Rummikub. Having some laughter and silliness can definitely bond a family… Just make sure you keep your competitive nature in check so that no one leaves angry.
Enjoy a Weekly Spa Day at home.
Once a week, block out 1-3 hours (or more) to enjoy some time to yourself with a spa day. All you need are some candles, a bathtub filled with warm water, a great bathbomb (my favorite ones are from Sweet Home Bath+ Body from Plano, TX. Free shipping until the end of March!), a sheet face mask, some spa music, a difuser with lavender essential oil and some DIY spa water (slices of cucumber and lemon in purified water is nice a refreshing). This will be quality time of relaxation that you won’t regret. If you have young kids, you might want to consider having a spa evening after the kids go to bed.
Read a book (or two, or three).
Most of us have several unread books on our bookshelves (or a drawer); I have over 25 unread books because I seem to buy books faster than I can finish them. This is a great time to pick up those books and read them. You many not have another extended stay-at-home time like this, so make the most of the time that you have by filling your brain with some useful knowledge with some non-fiction/self-help/DIY books or immerse yourself in a great fiction book to engage your great imagination. If you need a new book to read, check out my book on biblical meditation.
Do your spring cleaning now.
In the midst of the current world pandemic, Spring has sprung! Go from room to room to de-clutter and organize. Donate your gently worn clothes (you can find drop-off stations as well as donation bins throughout the city). Plant some plants and flowers. Get rid of expired canned goods and freeze-burned foods. Whether or not you like to organize and clean, it can prove to be a therapeutic experience as you let go of the things that no longer serve your highest good.
As we all look forward to the day when we no longer need to keep 6 feet away from each other, let’s make it a goal to be better versions of ourselves than when all this began.
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