Saying "Yes" to the Bounce Back
I remember when the entire world shut down...
It has been one year since the Coronavirus a.k.a. Covid-19 took our lives by storm. Most of us heard rumblings of it in the news building up to it, but in no way did we think it would affect us personally.
It started out with mixed emotions. I was stunned that we were going to have an additional 2 weeks of Spring Break. In fact working in the educational system already has its perks but wow, 21 days off. It was going to be great! However, by day 2 of no school and watching the federal government's Pandemic briefings, including the images of other countries around the world actually issuing a curfew, my excitement turned into fear. "Wait a minute, this is real. We have to wear surgical masks outside and social distance?!" It was like the Twilight Zone in real life. Wait what was "social distancing"? By now, in 2021, we know it far too well. And while some are no longer following this rule of thumb, many of us are. But Whew, we made it!
Here are 5 ways to say "yes" to the bounce back from the year the world shutdown:
Its OK if you are still not OK. 2020 had a lot going on... There was a time when I was able to easily manage my emotions by just simply talking about them to my closest friends. These were pre-pandemic times when one or two situations may happen and then they passed. But since the blows after blows from pandemic to pandemic, I've returned to my love of journaling. Writing down how you feel is a comforting way to brain dump all of the roller coaster of emotions that you have experienced in one year's time. And you can choose to re-read it or rip those pages right up! Both are therapeutic and gives you some temporary control over those thoughts and feelings at that time. Journaling is also a healthy way to manage our mental health. We reviewed a few of the health benefits of journaling on an episode our PS10 Radio podcast. In addition, journals come in a variety of styles- blank, lined, guided, prompts, etc. Find the best journal style for you and write away! Journals can help give you a new perspective to say "yes" to life! shop
There was some good to be experienced in 2020. In fact, many doors were opened when the world shut down and that is something to be thankful for. Families bonded. Entrepreneurs emerged. Homes were purchased. Babies were born. Marriages began. Truths were uncovered. Eyes were opened to what was truly valued and cherished in life. Create a new habit of identifying at least 3 things to be grateful for every day, whether in the morning or night. Focusing on these things alone can bring about a change in our thought patterns. It changes the neurons in our brain to go from "woe is me" to "but I'm thankful for..." Counting your blessings and being grateful for them is always a beautiful way to say "yes" to your life as it is today!
We have discussed this in many of podcast episodes, but the power of Mindfulness is just that- powerful. Mindfulness is the practice of being in the present and taking back your control of the only moment you have, which is right now. This is frequently done simply by minding our breath. Deep belly breathing, box breathing, mindful movements, body scan, guided meditation, and the "Pause" (stop before you respond) are all common exercises used in mindfulness practice. During the lockdown, I was able to take an 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction class. It was AMAZING. If you ever get the opportunity to take one, I suggest that you do. There are so many health benefits to practicing mindfulness which include relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties ( from www.helpguide.org).
This next "yes" should be a no-brainer after experiencing quarantine... Get outside! Breathe some fresh air and step out of your home to let the vitamin D from the sun hit your face. If you haven't noticed, the theme is to improve our mental and physical health. So yes, being outside in nature also has its health benefits. According to Erica Price, a therapeutic recreational specialist at Sharp Mesa View Hospital, the outdoors can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, improve mood, improve focus, help you heal quicker, and more. (www.sharp.com) Although wearing a mask has become the new normal, there is plenty of space to social distance and breathe in some fresh oxygen. Say "yes" to exploring mother nature, find some trails or walk your neighborhood a few times a week. Join the living by being outside.
Lastly, another no-brainer is to reconnect with family and friends. Yes, we have to be conscious of our gatherings and take percautions but also know that as human beings we need each other. Check on your loved ones. Send them a message that you are thinking about them. Set up a time to video chat and add some fun by making it a theme- Wine & chat Friday! The truth is, in isolation we develop depression, increased anxiety, decreased motivation, etc. Not much can replace that of real-life human connection. We all know the health risks because quite frankly we are still in a Pandemic, so be smart about it. But the beauty of 2020 is it showed us how creative we can be with getting together with family and friends. Sit on the porch. Meet at a park. Go to a parking lot and chat. Eat outdoors. Have coffee or shakes on the patio. Make someone's day by doing a porch drop off. There are so many new ways to safely connect, we definitely only hit the tip of the iceberg here.
We hope that you can bounce back to life by saying more "yes" and experience more of the positive impacts from the lessons of the year 2020. Life is short. Make yours be an AWESOME one by saying "yes" to the bounce back.
*How have you bounced back from 2020? What lessons from 2020 are positive for you moving forward? What are more creative ways to connect with family and friends? Have you tried any of our suggestions? Tell us. @positivesteps10 on social media or email: firstname.lastname@example.org