The Coronavirus pandemic has changed all of our lives drastically. A majority of us are all cooped up in our homes while we have healthcare heroes on the front lines fighting the battle. It’s weird to not go about our normal routine of seeing coworkers, friends or that Starbucks barista daily.
Having such a different and open schedule allows us lots of time to simply be. Which, at first seemed like a relief–yay, time to finally relax! However, when you start to have too much time on your hands, cabin fever can take its toll.
You don’t need to write that book you’ve been putting off for years or exercise every day for hours in order to come out of this quarantine as a “better” you. Better is also subjective. You’re already amazing. It’s just a matter of looking internally to fully get in touch with the potential inside of you.
Okay, so then you may be asking….”well how the heck do I do that?” Phenomenal question. Let’s dive into it.
We have 60,000+ thoughts a day. Oftentimes, we can become consumed by them. What if I told you that we are not our thoughts? Our brain is its own separate entity coupled along with the ego. Bear with me for a second here…. What if you were to view your brain from the perspective that you are a scientist analyzing your thoughts on a big screen as an experiment?
Instead of relaxing, my brain in quarantine started firing thoughts left and right. So, I decided to put on my white scientist coat and project them on my hypothetical big screen to watch. I was thinking things like:
“You have to be productive! Get off your a** and start doing something!”
“You’re literally doing nothing. Another day wasted.”
“Why don’t you learn a new language? No? Oh, you’re being lazy. You have all the time in the world!”
What do all of these thoughts have in common? Ding ding ding! My brain has this anxious desire to constantly be doing something. And by something, my brain has to deem it productive. After I sat back and watched these thoughts, I took off my scientist coat and put on my therapist cap.
Where was this need to be productive coming from? Why can I not allow myself to relax?
After some intentional deep diving and therapeutic conversations with trusted friends and mentors, I came to the conclusion that I do not feel worthy unless I have something to show for it. Knowing this now, I can talk to my brain when it has these thoughts and say, “hey brain, it’s okay that I’m not doing anything right now. I am still worthy when I relax.”
You may not have this radically deep epiphany about what your thoughts are telling you. However, at the very least, it is important to know what thoughts you are having, so you can always counter them if they are not serving you.
Being aware is always the first step. Learn what your mind focuses on. Is it food? Is it relationships? Is it that you’re not good enough? What thoughts keep coming up over and over again?
How can you talk to your brain when these thoughts come up?
Now that you have taken a hard look at your thoughts, it’s time to quiet them. Think about this: your brain is like a computer. Every thought you have is a separate tab. When we have too many tabs open, the computer slows down and needs to restart.
Meditating is closing out of the tabs so that your computer can take a break. If a tab does pop up, then the computer can at least focus on one tab at a time to process it clearly.
Giving your brain the time and space to process your thoughts and feelings slowly every morning can allow you to rid yourself of any junk you don’t need for the day. You start your day with a clear head and a feeling of rejuvenation.
If you’ve never meditated before, simply start by sitting or laying down. Then, you can start intentionally slowing down your breath and consciously watch your inhales and exhales.
You can read more about different meditation techniques for beginners.
See how you feel after you quiet your mind. I encourage you to journal afterward to take note of how you felt.
Meditating can be frustrating and hard at first if you are unaccustomed to slowing down. Your ego is equipped to stop you and tell you that meditating isn’t for you. Watch your thoughts here. What happens if you push through and are consistent? Does it become any easier? Keep seeing how you feel from day to day. You may just slowly change your brain and surprise yourself.
Have you been having joint pain, migraines, fatigue, digestive issues, or any other symptom that you’ve been pushing under the rug? Or maybe you don’t even know you’re experiencing anything. Sometimes these symptoms can become our new normal that we forget that they shouldn’t be there in the first place.
For example, I have had digestive issues for years that it had simply become part of my identity. I was the girl that always had the stomach aches and bloating. I figured it was just who I was and it would never really go away.
News flash: any symptom you are having is a clue that your body is not operating at its optimal level.
I didn’t want to be the digestive problems girl anymore, so I have been using this extra time in quarantine to give this issue more attention to figure out what is going on.
No more brushing it under the rug. I wanted answers.
The first step I took was getting educated about the food and medicine I was putting into my body. I started a health journal to log how I felt after every food I ate. I drastically changed my diet and started intermittent fasting to give my gut time to heal itself.
After a week, I felt better, but there were still times I was bloated. I used each symptom as a new arrow pointing me in the right direction to better health.
Now, please note that I had tons of help and support in figuring this out.
I don’t expect you to cure yourself. You should always consult a doctor and figure out the right plan for you. This section is mainly to highlight how this is a fantastic time to tune into your body and see what you can improve upon. Maybe you feel fresh and fabulous today! Or maybe you feel your chest is tight from all the stress you have in your day to day. Everything changes from one day to the next, so tune into what your body is trying to tell you.
That being said, you don’t have to remedy anything overnight. The first step is becoming aware of your body and how it is feeling. This is something you can also do during meditation. Then, once you are aware, you can start to learn to give it what it needs.
As you start to tune into your body, you can also learn to tap into your internal spirit.
Ah, yes your true internal spirit. Your deepest desires and aspirations.
Sometimes these can get clouded from society’s ideals, parental pressure, or getting sucked into the material world. Tapping into your internal spirit means differentiating between what you think you want and what your soul’s journey actually is.
Okay, so how do we do that?
To get in touch with your intuition, you have to remove all emotion. Fear, anger, stress, sadness and frustration can obscure your instinct. When you are following your intuition, you will feel it resonate so deeply that there is no question if it is correct. You simply, in a calm and relaxed state, know that it is.
At first, it may be hard to access your intuition. That’s where steps 1-4 come into play. Once you start watching your thoughts, quieting the mind, and connecting to your body, you push the layers away to gain VIP admission to your intuition.
Maybe it’s telling you to go back to grad school, switch careers, start playing guitar, call your grandma, not make any rash decisions or volunteer at the local hospital.
Whatever it is, you’ll feel it so deeply in your core.
Mine was to quit my job and travel across the world.
When your intuition speaks, listen.
Once you’ve gotten in touch with your intuition, you don’t have to race to the goal. No need to email your boss and quit this instant. Or maybe you do? It’s up to you. Maybe that’s what your intuition is telling you.
However, the most rational thing to do after connecting with your innermost desires is to make a plan. How are you going to achieve this goal? Now that you’re in touch with your aspirations, the universe will conspire to make it happen as long as you keep moving toward this goal.
Once I understood that my intuition was telling me to move abroad, I made a plan that worked with my current life. I researched teaching English in the classroom and online. I talked to numerous people who had been to Bali and Thailand before me. I stayed in my job until my lease was up so that I could save money to spend on travel. It all ended up working out–almost too perfectly.
Take the first step, and the universe will catch you.
To connect with your body and mind, roll on over to my yoga page for free yoga and meditation videos. Any level is welcome.