Isolation Guide #1: Focus on Physical Aspects of Ultimate Well-Being (UWB)
- Maintain your environment.
- Prioritize Hygiene
- Know what to eat
- Physical breaks and short workouts
- Track your mood
- Challenge Yourself: Replace unhealthy indulgences
- Sleep well and track your cycles
Feeling lost, lonely, or out-of-focus with your activities? Change your habits and patterns now. It could be a very rewarding time in your life. The first thing to do is to change your mindset. This could be the new normal at least for a year. Accept it and adjust yourself to a new way of life. What’s next?
Over the past three years, I’ve worked alone and so have my co-authors. In fact, I’ve learned to like being alone. I was never a total extrovert to begin with but now I tilt the introvert scale pretty heavily. It will teach you to be an independent thinker, more confident in yourself, and maybe, more settled (if you don’t drive yourself mad). There are many great benefits to it and if you can harness the ability to ‘live with yourself’ and drain out your thoughts, you will become a more powerful person.
Written by meditators and those who’ve worked from home, the isolation guide is a way to learn how to stay on task, manage your thoughts and moods, and achieve your ultimate well being during this time. We look forward to feedback on our ideas firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re working from home, staying on task can be difficult. If you’re not working, you may simply not know what to do with yourself. Without events at work, once manageable moods and feelings become difficult to ignore.
Over the next few two weeks, we’ll be sending out more information on announcing our Isolation Survival Guide and how to maintain your Ultimate Well Being relating to emotional and mental health! These are especially applicable to those who live alone.
Physical Well Being
Your physical health is your base case so let’s start here. This is the top priority at the moment for obvious reasons, if you catch Covid-19, you aren’t going to be happy. Also, don’t do too much! One of the biggest concerns, when being alone or working at home, is that you have to do so much. The funny thing is you will have more time to do more because you are not commuting, not in meetings, and not being distracted (unless you have kids). The reality is that you don’t. So take this time to tighten up parts of your life that have been lacking.
Maintain your Environment
When you are home all the time, you can’t afford to let dirt and clutter negatively impact your wellbeing. A clean, organized living space is healthful and promotes a clear mind. A regular cleaning schedule with light tidying allows you to stay on top of things. We also need to kill the Covid-19.
To maintain productivity, create distraction-free environments like sitting in low foot traffic areas, putting a sign on your door signaling working hours, or putting headphones on while working. Electronically, this means closing tabs and all software unrelated to your work – that text message and Instagram comment can wait.
There’s a strong mental association with our habits and self-being. Not showering or brushing your teeth on the occasional down-day is no big deal but don’t do it. Gradually letting it slide more and more just because you don’t see anyone is not a good idea. I often brush my teeth two to three times per day; it’s like an indication to reset my brain. I’m also using this time for teeth whitening and beard grooming. I’m learning how to groom my beard like they do in the Middle East. Stay clean and trimmed.
Next, you may hear people who tell you to dress like you are going to work. Forget it, don’t even try. Wear clothes that make you happy! It’s not about how you look, it’s about how you feel, so whether it’s a favorite hoodie or that leopard print bodysuit, honor who you are and what makes you most comfortable. After all, it is likely you will find yourself working more from home than at the office. I wear yoga pants and quick-dry t-shirts most of the time. It works for me when I’m writing.
We all know this one. Build up your immune system quickly and take your vitamins. I recently went to a workshop with Dr. Peggy Farmer.www.selfmasteryintl.com. She gave me great insights on what to eat to control my mental states. Remember the brain is 60% fatty acids. In a nutshell, here you go.
Types of hormones:
Dopamine – pleasure molecule is responsible for reward-driven behavior seeking pleasure.
Oxytocin – bonding molecule, a hormone released to increase trust and loyalty
Endorphins – painkilling molecule. Self-produced morphine.
Serotonin – the confidence molecule. High during-day and low at night.
Melatonin grows at night.
GAB – neurotransmitters for meditation
Foods to Increase Serotonin: Banana, Oats, Epson salts – soak in it, hot tubs, Cayenne peppers, Almonds, Walnuts: looks like a brain doesn’t it?, Water hydration, flaxseed oil, Green smoothie. Smile!
Superfoods for Dopamine: Dark chocolate, eggs, apple, almonds, pumpkin, beetroot, salmon, strawberries, watermelon, banana, avocado
Take physical breaks and do short workouts.
Productivity requires balance. Staying in your house can beget staying at your house. Open the door and go outside! Sit on your stoop for a few minutes, hang out in the yard, or take a walk around the block. The change of air is an instant refresh to your mind. Research has shown that short breaks between long periods of concentration maintain and boost performance.
That also means get some short workouts in. Not every workout has to be an hour-long of intensity. Further to that, it may drain you physically and emotionally if you workout too hard. I love the Seven apps and do seven-minute workouts at least once per day and sometimes will do 2-3 routines. There are so many short videos of Yoga, push-ups, and more. Ten minutes of training goes a long way to help keep a positive mindset.
Track your mood.
You may argue this is emotional, which it is. But for now, let’s start tracking your mood. Around 10 AM, 3 PM and 8 PM, rate your mood a 1-5. Notice how you feel and what you are doing that changes your mood. If you are alone all day, you may feel lonely so note that and do something about it. I used to think being lonely was tough and strong but found out later I was only damaging myself. You may discover some of your own patterns that you can address. There are some apps that can help you track it like Wellness or Daylio. But you can also just do it with a piece of paper or a google sheet.
Challenge yourself: Replace Unhealthy Indulgences with Healthy Ones
With all this time on your hands and no one around to stop you, it may be tempting to overindulge. Set strict limits to vices but treat yourself to as many self-care activities as you like. Reduce your alcohol intake by half and let your body adjust. Substitute fruit smoothies for margaritas, do a fun project rather than online shopping. Instead of binge-watching, take a long walk or run followed by a hot bath. Cook a nice meal. Remember that self-restraint is not something you do because anyone’s making you—you are your own master, so look after your own health and happiness. There are many apps that can help you like Streaks.
Insomnia is guaranteed to induce anxiety and aggravate existing problems. Practice healthy sleep hygiene by limiting day-time naps, removing bright lights or disturbing noises from your bedroom, and avoiding caffeine, heavy meals, and alcohol before bed. Establish a consistent nighttime routine that helps you wind down. This means cutting off time with your electronics, and winding down with a relaxing book and cozy drink.
I use an Oura ring to track my sleep cycles. I use the ‘Rain Rain’ app for white sounds to put me asleep when it isn’t ‘blowing up a storm’ in Tennessee. I also don’t set an alarm, BUT i don’t stay in bed once I awake. If I meditate at 5 AM then I’ll set an alarm. I let my body tell me how much sleep I need. Want to know why sleep is so important? Read the book ‘Why We Sleep.’
I was recently in Costa Rica and learned a bit about Pura Vida. Take a look.