Updated: Nov 5, 2020
When thinking about these unprecedented times, often we wonder about the future. How is our life going to be? Has this pandemic changed our world for good? Imagine discussing the year 2020 as a grown adult, how will you describe it?
The lockdown period has left us with various questions, some of them still remain unanswered. There is one, though, I believe I might have found the response to: is it always necessary to think ahead? Imagine, plan the future?
The quarantine and the self-isolation have taught me that, sometimes, it is good to just stick to the present, take things as they come and carefully look after yourself day by day. Therefore, this article will have a focus on the importance of taking care of yourself daily.
Self-growth. A complicated concept, do we know what defines it? Some of us do, others don’t, and it is completely normal. One’s growth can be stimulated in many different ways based on who you are and what your interests, strengths and weaknesses are. However, people might have one misconception, many think growth always equals change. It does not though. Growing as an individual means finding yourself, believing in yourself, accepting yourself. That can come by changing or improving parts of yourself, as well as by just acknowledging your weaknesses, your problems, but most of all, the way you feel.
The pandemic has demonstrated how there are things we don’t, and never will, have control over. It is important to recognize that, and how it makes us feel. Powerless? Lonely? Worried? Accept and embrace your emotions.
The all-time question is, how do we help ourselves open up to our feelings and support self-growth? There are a couple of factors that can, at least, guide you towards the right direction.
This first one might be obvious, but unfortunately, especially in times of Covid-19, many people tend to forget and ignore it: spending time in fresh air. Since most meetings, jobs and tasks are now turning completely online, it is easy to end up sitting at your desk all day long. It is not healthy, and on top of that, it prevents you from having time for just yourself and your thoughts. Set yourself aside a minimum of 20 minutes every day; a time for you to take a walk, a run or just sit in a park or outside a café sipping some good coffee. Sometimes, it might be good to do it first thing in the morning, as it can really influence your mindset and approach for the rest of the day.
Building upon this first factor, physical activity is something that can boost self-confidence, self-esteem and help you accept and feel better about yourself. It does not matter how intense or what sort of activity that is, if it lets you release beta-endorphin, which is a natural substance in the body that is much more potent than morphine. Physical exercise relieves stress and helps you sleep better, and your sleep schedule strongly affects your overall mood and motivation too.
On that note, another habit that can help you grow and accept yourself is taking some “me-time” right before bed. Do not spend the last moments before sleeping, on your phone. Do not scroll through Instagram, Whatsapp or any other media, you had all day to do that. It is time for you to be with yourself. Do not worry or think about other people or anything else that is not you. Do something that calms you down, that lets you reflect on the day, on how you feel. Something that gets you ready for the next day. One possibility is that of keeping a journal, examples can be a “Gratitude Journal” or a “My thoughts” notebook, or both. Take time to appreciate what you have. But, also, take time to jot down anything that worries you or stresses you out, let the paper take the burden for you and go to sleep with that thought out of your head.
A second option is that of engaging in a meditating practice, that can either be meditation itself, or, perhaps, yoga. Even if you have never done that before, give it a try. There are a lot of beginner videos on the net. Check out “Yoga With Adriene” on Youtube for deep and easy yoga tutorials. Otherwise, WWCS has a section dedicated to meditation on their weekly newsletter, give a look to the suggested books and readings.
One way or the other, focus on yourself. Give yourself the time and space to grow and thrive. It will positively impact every aspect of your future, life and career.