“If you are pained by any external thing, it is not this thing that disturbs you, but your own judgment about it. And it is in your power to wipe out this judgment now.” — Marcus Aurelius
The above quote from Roman Emperor and Stoic poster-boy Marcus Aurelius comes across as slightly smug, and when his belief that events are neither good or bad is applied to the pandemic, I would not judge you for rolling your eyes.
Nonetheless, there is certainly truth in the fact that a less than desirable event (Read: Global Pandemic), can be framed in a way which inspires more than just resignation and depression. In this spirit, I am going to list a few ways that you can get something back from Lockdown and extract some benefits from the current circumstances:
Start An Exercise Regime
Now more than ever exercise is essential as all of us have been forced into leading more sedentary lives whilst working remotely. Additionally, our mental health is being taxed daily by uncertainty, a feeling of impotence and for some, physical isolation.
As you have probably heard a million times before, exercise is a cheap, accessible and a flexible bulwark against these stressors. With this in mind, set some time aside each day, preferably in the morning, to perform an exercise program of your choice, whether that be jogging, walking, yoga or weight training in the living room.
Make the most of your unique space and any equipment you have to hand, or try and get out into local green areas. If you need some help to begin planning your regime, check out our previous article here.
Learn A New Skill
Is there an instrument you have always wanted to play but never got around to do? A programme that would help you in your job search which you keep procrastinating? A language that has fascinated you for years? If so, now might be the time to master these skills.
Learning a new skill is a great way to maintain your self-worth during lockdown, and with many feeling like they are in limbo, some self-improvement can introduce a much needed feeling of progression back into our lives.
Give Up A Bad Habit
If you’re struggling to adopt a new habit, consider purging an old one; you could cut your drinking, or vow not to smoke during lockdown, reduce your sugar intake or have less late nights. Whatever you choose, bear in mind that the current circumstances can make it difficult to drop old comforts, and be understanding with yourself if you relapse.
Considering a lot of habits are exacerbated by peer pressure, being home-based can be a golden opportunity to overcome bad habits without feeling like you are missing out.
Put Some Savings Aside
Lastly, lockdown is potentially an opportunity to make COVID pay, literally. With many social outlets unavailable at the moment and memberships on hold, there are very little outgoing expenses, whilst those in employment will have a salary flowing in.
Consider setting aside money into a savings pot for a rainy day, and resist the temptation to resort to unnecessary online shopping motivated by boredom. What better way to keep your spirits than to know that you will emerge from lockdown with more money than you went in?
The Key Takeaway
Don’t beat yourself up if you’re being less productive than friends, and pay no mind to those treating lockdown as a competition. Moreover, if you haven’t read War And Peace, written a play or done 100 sit-ups a day, it doesn’t mean you are lazy or inferior to those who have. As I’m sure you’re tired of hearing, these are unprecedented times which can affect your desire to work, exercise or get out of bed.
Additionally, and most importantly, not all lockdowns are created equal; some have been furloughed, whilst others have not, some have home gyms and others have little space to operate in. As a result of these factors and others, whilst some may be thriving under present conditions, others might be anxious about money and loved ones. With all that in mind, don’t flaunt your lockdown self-improvement to others as they might be feeling deflated already.
Written by Ross Carver-Carter
WellBe is spearheading the way to a brighter future for corporate wellness. Our innovative portal is scientifically designed and tailored to each individual employee to improve their wellbeing. We specialise in a range of services from coaching and therapists, to meditation and reading materials. Our aim is to reduce workplace stress that costs UK businesses £42 billion per year. Get in touch with us by visiting our site wellbe.global for more information.