… to be present.
It’s been about two months since the world as a whole put on its mask. We keep marking the days in quarantine and counting the minutes until we are set free again. We dwell on what was, what cannot be and what we hope will be. I hear very few people talking about the present. I’m also guilty on this front.
I’m sure most of our readers have by now made every spider in their apartment homeless, have organized books by genre and jams by flavour, got their money’s worth out of Netflix, or completed other assorted long-procrastinated chores. I can’t blame you. Of time, we have plenty.
The first glimmers of hope are starting to show now, with lockdown regulations slowly and cautiously being lifted. We wait for normal to be a part of our lives again. But while we wait, maybe it’s a good time to create a new normal. What do I mean by that? We scroll through news portals and social media and are buried by tragic news. We check on relatives and hope that everyone is and remains healthy. We worry. We want to feel carefree again. In the meantime, maybe we take some steps toward creating some inner peace; some new habits that we can take with us into better times.
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“Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible.” A concise definition mentioned in this Harvard Health article.
It’s not only around the Thanksgiving table that we should remember to be thankful. Gratitude makes for a more positive outlook on life and I speak from experience when I say it will improve your quality of life. It’s not a miracle, nor a magical cure to all of life’s troubles. Bad days will still happen, things will still break, you will still be hurt, but through gratitude, you can focus on the positive aspects of even the crappiest of events.
I started adding gratefulness sessions to my life at a very tough time, after a friend reminded me that I should be thankful for what I have. I decided to make it into a habit. Even when life gives me lemons, I take a deep breath after my morning coffee, and make some gratefulness lemonade.
If you want to make gratitude a part of your daily routine, there are tonnes of apps that can help you, you can start a gratitude journal or find the tools that fit your needs. This is the application I use.
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It’s 2020 and I still get odd looks from people when I openly talk about the fact that I meditate.
Meditation – whichever form you choose – isn’t black magic, you don’t have to be a Buddhist monk to practice it, you just need to start. At least I think you should. Meditation can bring you closer to yourself, self-awareness, inner peace and the present moment. It’s about calming the mind and being right there in the now. Getting comfortable with your thoughts and feelings.
There are a lot of ways to get started, I suggest doing some research for the method that you like most. You deserve this kind of me-time.
While meditation trains you from the inside, training your outside should not be neglected either. Everyone has their preferred form of physical exercise, but if you always wanted to try yoga or are just looking for something new, why not give it a go?
I have found that yoga, even though it’s not the toughest form of exercise I’ve ever tried, requires you to focus and can be very challenging. As such, it fits well into the theme of this article.
With some gentle music, breathwork and concentration, it’s a great experience and can help you take your mind off of your daily troubles.
It took me a while to find a trainer whose voice didn’t annoy the heck out of me. You might need to try a few options to find what’s best for you. I personally would recommend Boho Beautiful.
They have tons of free yoga and pilates videos, and as a bonus, they offer meditation techniques as well.
Whatever you choose, stop for a moment and just be. With yourself, for yourself. Look at this time of social distancing as an extended opportunity for some well-deserved me-time.