Exercise, physically and mentally. After a considerable time being in lockdown and without usual routines, it can become easy to lose motivation or prepare for when a more recognizable life returns. One way we can gain motivation is through physical and mental exercises. Set yourself a fitness routine, whether it be online yoga, HIIT workouts, or running, and combine this with daily meditation to clear your mind and gain more control over your mood. There are plenty of useful meditation apps such as Headspace, however free guided meditations on a variety of subjects are available on YouTube.More information on the benefits of meditation and mindfulness can be found here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeenacho/2016/07/14/10-scientifically-proven-benefits-of-mindfulness-and-meditation/#4ba25f8563ce
Remind yourself of everything you have already achieved. Sometimes looking back can help us to go forward. If you’re suffering from low self-esteem, write a list of your achievements, whether it’s a course you completed, or challenging a phobia you have, write them all down, big and small and remind yourself what you are capable of. Whilst we’ve had to adapt to Coronavirus, we are tangible beings and we’re capable of going back to feeling motivated and achieving what we want.
Don’t let your thoughts control you, they are not real. It’s important to remind ourselves that our thoughts are simply a product of our brains, constantly analyzing and arranging ideas. Just because you think something, it does not mean it’s real. Whilst this is most useful to remember if suffering from mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression, it’s a tool we should all use to make some space between our thoughts and reality. We might think ‘this virus is never going to end, life will never feel the same again and I will never be happy’, but this doesn’t mean anything you have thought is true. Thoughts can easily be contaminated with distortions, anxiety, paranoia, false-memories, and assumptions, take them with a pinch of salt and learn to dismiss thoughts that are unhelpful to you. A book that looks into this concept and which I have personally found extremely helpful when experiencing negative thinking is ‘Stop Thinking Start Living’ by Richard Carlson.
Read an inspiring book. With travel restricted in the current climate, a simple, screen-less way of escapism is reading a book. Whilst this is no new form of inspiration, we often forget to pave time in our day to sit down and concentrate solely on reading. Pick a place you would love to one day visit and research inspiring books set in this place. Go traveling in your imagination and inspire yourself to visit in person when you can.https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/thirteen-travel-books/
Do something kind for someone else. Doing something selfless makes us feel happier and as a result, motivated. Write a letter to an elderly person you know who may be feeling lonely, do a painting for someone and surprise them, bake someone a cake… there are endless small acts of kindness we can do, seeing someone smile can wake us up and get us going again. Read more on the science behind kindness here: https://feeldoppel.co.uk/blogs/news/the-science-behind-why-being-kind-makes-you-feel-good