This pandemic winter has been long and harsh. I realize that the absence of friends, families, and regular daily activities may hit some people harder than others; but it definitely affects us all on some level. For this reason, I wanted to share some very basic adjustments to your daily routine that anyone can make now that Spring is here. These adjustments are extremely basic in nature, but may serve as a reminder to take care of yourself every day.
1. Get Outside Once a Day
This may seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of us now work and school from home now. Through the Winter, most of the days were cold and rainy and effectively unappealing to ever set foot outside. Well those days appear to be over so do yourself a favour and get some fresh air! It goes a long way. The benefits range physically and mentally, and are due to the higher levels of oxygen and intake of vitamin D.
2. Exercise Every Other Day
If you have fallen out of an exercise routine, you are not the only one. Now that the outdoors can be accessed easier, it may be easier to get some needed exercise. All you need is 20 minutes 3-4 times a week to really gain the massive physical and mental benefits of breaking a sweat. You can check out our other blog post on the effects of exercise for your brain here.
3. Spring Cleaning
This is a bit of a tip to refresh your brain from looking and dealing with the same old atmosphere around you for the entire winter season. Spring cleaning is a very real traditional activity for a reason. It just feels good to clean up a neglected area, make some small aesthetic changes in a place you frequent often, or even just adding a plant to a room.
4. Find Some Alone Time to Reflect
It has been 1 full year since COVID-19 completely shut down our communities, it has been tough, but we made it this far, we adapted in ways we never thought, and we all worked very hard in times of uncertainty. If you have a pen and paper, I highly recommend reflecting on the last year, from then until now. Sometimes writing these things down can alleviate stress, make personal realizations, and help you move forward.
5. Do Something That You Love Once a Day
What are your hobbies? What activities make you happy? Reading? Writing? Playing games? Sports? What is it? Whatever it is, try to prioritize once a day some time for yourself to enjoy yourself. I recommend doing activities that minimize screen time, since we do enough of that each day!
6. Set Short-Term and Long Term Goals the SMART Way
What is important to you? Is it your fitness? Is it your education? Is it your work? Now let’s set some SMART goals around that 1 thing. When you make your goal, keep in mind - is it Specific? Is it Measurable? Is it Attainable? Is it Reasonable? And is it Timely? These 5 steps will help you reach your goals, short or long. Start with your short-term goal. Do you have it? Is it SMART? Now, make a long-term goal from that short-term goal to build off of. Make sure it is SMART! The key is using your short-term goals to build on your long-term goals.
The pandemic has affected us all differently, and some days are harder than others if you notice it or not. These 6 small changes that you can make right now may make a big difference in your day-to-day, and overall life. Set goals to make these small changes happen until they become big changes. Make a list. Check it off every time to complete a task! Let’s keep getting better this Spring season by taking care of ourselves first.