Self-Improvement During The Quarantine
We’ve seen it in the movies but we never thought that the world would be cast into one of the remakes.
A virus outbreak is upon us and we are being ordered to stay indoors.
This is a terrible situation and I hope that we will continue to work together to get rid of this chapter in our history as fast as possible.
We are forever indebted to our healthcare professionals who have to be working overtime and putting their lives on the line. Hats off to our security forces and all the other essential services providers as well.
I want to, however, try to find a more positive note to focus on during these hard times.
For those of you who are stuck at home, bored out of your minds, longing to hit the streets — especially you extroverts — I have a list for you.
Here are 7 things to occupy your time. If you take on these 7 tasks, not only will you get rid of boredom, but you will be an improved version of yourself post coronavirus — let’s call it you 2.0.
1. Wake Up Early
I know, I know, you’ve had to wake up early all these years to go to work. You are tired and you at least deserve to give your body the extra rest while you can.
Just hear me out.
If rest is your concern, you can go to bed early to get a full 8 hours of sleep. Waking up early in my opinion is from 5 am to 7 am. You can choose to wake up even earlier if you wish. After you’ve established what specific time you will be waking up, you can then use that to calculate your bedtime.
Now that we have the rest problem solved, let’s move on to the benefits of waking up early.
One benefit is that you will be building self-discipline- a certain level of mental toughness that you will need for you 2.0. You will be training your brain to obey yourself which is the pillar stone of being self-disciplined.
You will also be giving yourself a headstart on most of the world. You will have access to some very important alone time before your family is awake or before your cell phone starts blowing up with notifications and calls.
You can use this time to get some other things on this list done or to properly plan out a productive day.
Another benefit is that you will properly align your sleep cycle with your biological clock. This will give you a better quality of sleep, leaving you feeling rejuvenated after waking up. Who knows, you may not even need that coffee after all.
Getting your sleep efficiency under control will improve your cognitive ability throughout the day so you can be fully immersed in whichever activities you choose to engage in.
Yes, you knew this would make the list. And yes, you have it all planned out to start tomorrow. I will risk sounding cliché and tell you that tomorrow never comes. You’ve been waiting on tomorrow for ages now.
Exercise is a crucial component in achieving overall wellness. Your body needs physical activity to stay healthy. You need to get your heart pumping, your blood flowing, your muscles growing, sweat flowing, and those calories burning.
And no, I won’t accept the excuse that the gyms are closed. You have everything you need at home. Run up and down your stairs, jog in place, do some chair dips, watch some free exercise videos on YouTube (and follow along of course). Just do something.
If you don’t trust me, ask anyone else who exercises regularly. Your body will feel great afterward. The more you exercise, the more you will want to exercise. It becomes addictive after a while and is one of the best things to be addicted to.
What I do is to exercise first thing in the morning for half an hour. I combine videos from my two favorite home exercise programs. Each video is about 30 minutes so I only workout for half an hour per day.
It wakes me up and gives me a boost of energy and feel-goodness that lasts throughout the entire day.
This is the one that usually brings skepticism with it. I know it because I was once a skeptic. When I thought about meditation, I thought about monks sitting in a cross-legged position for hours in silence to get in touch with the spiritual realm.
I didn’t believe in and wasn’t very interested in spirituality so I wrote that off as not being for me.
I, however, convinced myself to give it a try after the threat of living on pills for the rest of my life arose.
I was having frequent fluttering in my heart. I went to the doctor and after doing some tests, it turned out that I had a weak valve of some sort. I don’t remember the details right now but according to my doctor, it’s more common in tall persons (here I thought being tall was a gift). Anyways, long story short, I needed to take a pill once per day for life. I filled the prescription and took the first one. The next day as I was about to take the second one, I thought, “Hell no, this isn’t me, I’m too young for this.” And I threw them away.
I then decided that there must be a natural way to remedy this and so I went searching. After immersing myself in research, I decided to give meditation a try. It was the most recommended way that I found for one to be in control of their body.
At first, meditation was one of the hardest things I had ever done as my mind was all over the place. I couldn’t get it to be quiet. I was patient enough however to do what the experts said: just notice when your mind drifts and bring it back to focus on your breathing. This bringing back of the mind is actually what strengthens it. It’s like curling a dumbbell.
So no, I didn’t have to travel to Asia to learn with the monks. I just watched a couple of explainer videos and started to practice.
It’s going to be difficult at first but that’s the point. The stronger your mind becomes, the better at it you will be. You will become a more focused and mentally strong individual and you will be able to better manage stressful situations. You will learn to be calm and live in the present.
And contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to do this for an hour. I only do 5 mins every morning and I’m experiencing great results.
All these successful persons who encourage meditation aren’t just trying to fit in. It does work. Now is the best time to give it a try. What do you have to lose?
4. Eat Healthy
Remember that diet you started and fell off because you didn’t have the time to get proper meals? Which one? Yes, there has been a lot hasn’t there.
It’s time to get back on board. Only this time, you won’t be going on a diet. You will be developing new eating habits and as we all know, habits are hard to break.
Now that you have the time, go online, research some healthy meals that are easy for you to prepare. Take the time to practice and perfect them. Fall in love with them. Break free from your junk food cravings. Remember, we have a vision for you 2.0 and we’re going to get there.
Also, it might be tempting to drown your boredom in alcohol. Please don’t. Our healthcare professionals need a break after this pandemic. I wouldn’t want them to have to deal with the adverse effects of persons who went binge drinking during the quarantine.
A healthy diet will properly fuel your body to get the most out of the success ahead.
You don’t have to take it to the extreme by going vegan. If you think you can manage that then sure, go ahead.
The main thing is to reduce your junk food intake and eat more healthy whole foods. Add some variety to your meals for a more balanced and nutritious eating habit.
Meditation is used to strengthen the mind, now it’s time to give it some nourishment.
Sure you can set aside some Netflix and chill time, as well as some video game time, but remember to also take up a book.
In today’s fast-moving world, books seem like they are being left behind. I promise you, however, that this is not the case. The most successful people on earth are avid readers. There is something that reading does to your mind that you can’t experience with anything else.
When reading a book, your whole self becomes a part of it. All the information in the book goes directly to your brain. All your senses come alive to experience what is being read.
Have you ever heard persons who have read the Harry Potter or Game of Thrones books complain that the books are so much better than the tv shows? That’s because books can provide details that movies cannot. Also, you could sneeze while watching a movie and miss something critical but if you sneeze while reading a book, it will wait for you.
Books can make you an overall more interesting individual as you will have a lot more information to pull from during conversations.
You will also be better at creating solutions for otherwise complicated problems as you will have access to a pool of knowledge that you will gain by reading.
What better time is there than now to get yourself into the habit of reading? Whether it’s a story, a new subject, or self-help books, read something.
You can even choose to read material that will put you ahead of the game when you get back to work. Show your boss why u deserve more money or the next promotion that comes up. Or you can read up on a new skill that you’ve always wanted to master. Your brain will thank you.
6. Start an Online Business
You’ve heard the success stories. You’ve thought about what it would be like. You’ve had thoughts about trying it yourself, but you never had the time.
Even if you did, what would you do? You know about technology about as much as Barney Rubble.
Fear not Barney, I have some good news: it’s never too late to learn. There are many successful online entrepreneurs who knew nothing about the internet and only got successful after retiring and having some free time on their hands. You have no excuse.
This COVID-19 crisis should have opened your eyes to see why you need a second income, and an online one at that. Companies are scrambling to have an online presence now that the world is at home. How can you benefit from this?
Do some research on the different types of online businesses. Make a list of the ones that seem more up your alley. Do some further research and see what it takes to start and succeed in each of the chosen ones. Continue researching until you find one that you want to invest your time into. Then, go for it.
There are many options to choose from:
· Online marketing
· Freelance writing
· Social media marketing
· Online stores
· Affiliate marketing
· Web designing
· And the list goes on
You will have access to a lot of free resources online from which to learn. You can join online communities or you can even purchase an online course to learn more. There are many courses now offering discounts to take advantage of the number of persons at home.
How great would it feel to step into work after the crisis, with the added security of your online business generating an income?
Who knows? You might even have the option to tell your boss that you won’t be coming back.
7. Get to Know your family
For those of you like myself quarantined at home with a 2-year-old, I can’t help you. You’re just going to have to tough it out.
If, however, you’re at home with your spouse, human children (2-year-olds are a different specie), parents, and/or relatives, this is for you. Get to know them.
Sure you know a little about them from passing them in the house and occasionally saying hi, but now is the time to really spend some time together.
Talk to them. Find out what they like, dislike, their jobs, their goals. Join them in their favorite games, watch an episode of their favorite show, dance to their favorite music.
You will be pleasantly surprised at the things you took for granted or might have overlooked.
Just remember to keep an open mind. Everyone is different and you don’t want to instead create tension by being judgemental.
Put some real effort into bonding with your household members. Who knows, you might just find a new best friend.
So there you have it, 7 things to keep you occupied and improve you as a whole during this time of crisis. I know you are already doing some of these but I challenge you to add the ones that you haven’t been doing.
I would love to hear your experience trying these after a couple of weeks. Also, let me know if you have any other suggestions on ways in which persons can work to improve themselves during the lockdown.
Remember to maintain all the safety precautions and let us get through this together. Earth 2.0 is waiting for us on the other side.
Until next time, stay safe.