The pandemic has transformed life as we know it. It has thrown us into a whirlwind of new experiences and emotions that many have never experienced before. So, it is no doubt that the routines we hold so dear may have taken a few beatings, or fallen off the wayside altogether. While many of us grapple with feelings of anxiety, loss and sadness, it can be troubling to feel like you aren’t able to keep up with the pack (truth be told, most people are feeling left behind.)

So, what can you do to get back on track?

Okay, so we’re sure we’re speaking to the already converted but hear us out. Although meditation practices can aid in the flow of constructive and positive thoughts, it shouldn’t be a reactive action to a stressful day. If you are a ‘every other day’ kind of meditator, you are probably not reaping the true benefits of this highly revered practice, especially if you are only turning to it when the day has turned sour. Incorporating meditation into your nightly or morning routine has been proven to calm your mind, improve your concentration and increase your serotonin uptake. If your mind isn’t there yet to approach meditation alone, the Headspace and the Calm app have you covered for a guided experience.

Sleep hygiene refers to the habits that make up your night-time routine. So, it goes without saying that if your night-time routine involves over an hour of social media scrolling and a full meal before bed, your sleep hygiene is probably a little lacking. Sleep hygiene, although happening right before you knock-off for the night, can have lasting impacts on the day, week and months ahead.

So, how do we do this?

1. Listen to your body clock. Our bodies operate on our own unique circadian rhythm, meaning some of us feel more alert than others and some of us are ready to hit the hay before others. It seems like a no-brainer then to work with our bodies, not against them. Don’t ignore your tiredness and obey the importance of light. To your body, light = day, so don’t trick it at 11pm at night with incessant screen use.
2. Invest in your sleep environment. Your bedroom should be used for two things: rest and intimacy. Anything else, and your room is operating as a second living room. Ensure your room has limited light, and that your mattress/pillow situation is suited to the way that you sleep. Your bedroom should be your haven at the end of the day, and with our work from home arrangements, this is all the more important.
3. Wind down. Half an hour before bed is not the time for a large meal or the sit-up’s that you forwent during the day. You might try a tea or a slow playlist. Whatever your flavour, make sure you are really getting into a space that will make you feel calm and safe. And remember; it can probably wait until tomorrow.

Much like listening to our body’s and slowing down is paramount during these times, giving your body the appropriate nudge can help it feel as though accomplishments are being made. Sure, nothing beats the satisfaction of checking a goal off a list, but intentions go a lot deeper than that. In our mind, both goal and intention setting are beautiful companions. Want to get back on track and achieve a result? Then set a goal. However, in between this desire and the achievement, life can often happen and get in the way. As writer Jennifer Williamson once said “intention is more than wishful thinking. It’s wilful direction.” Intentions support your goals from the inside. So, the next time you go about writing that list with an eager excitement, remember to take note of what this goal will achieve not just on the outside but also on the inside.
What are you hoping to gain from this process?

Just a reminder: life’s been a little tumultuous lately, but you've got this.

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