GETTING YOUR MOJO BACK
By Tamara Warry
Routine has flown out the door…. You are now working from home - or sadly, for some, not working at all. That might mean no alarm in the morning, no run for the train, no set time to clock on or show your face to your co-workers. No uniform or office attire; pyjamas all day if you desire.
It may sound pleasant to some, but how long does the novelty last before the adverse side effects come to light? For others, getting up and showing up drives them to achieve. It fills the 'purpose' bowl with achievable goals throughout the day that fuel their success.
The need for purpose is one of the defining characteristics of human beings, and when it's removed from your daily life, psychological difficulties can be a result.
So, what can we do to help ourselves? Here are a few things I find help my mental health stay on track.
SLEEP – GOOD SLEEP
Fatigue kills MOJO. Shocked? I didn't think so. When we feel stressed, run-down, or tired from those late-night NETFLIX binges, the body goes into a state of fatigue. From there, the immune system becomes compromised; the brain and muscles become starved of oxygen and proper blood flow. We may find it hard to focus in general and forget things more easily.
When escalated further, we might even start to experience symptoms of depression, irritability and anxiety. Yuk. Getting enough sleep each night is crucial for hormone balance, digestive health, healing and repairing of the heart and blood vessels.
But the quality of sleep is also important.
Did you know that non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep has been shown to dominate the early part of the night, compared to the lighter, dream-inducing REM sleep? This is where we enter a deeper, more restorative sleep. So by hitting the pillow earlier in the night, we up our sleep quality game.
Having a routine is like having a stable, familiar path to walk along each day. It can support our mental health by helping us feel more in control of our world, and also help us move more fluidly in times of change.
Whether it be like the routine you had pre-COVID-19, or perhaps a new one that better fits your current situation, it's vital to commit to a regime to create new habits and banish the not-so-healthy ones that may have crept in and taken over. Creating new patterns helps your MOJO!
Start with setting the alarm- preferably early and at the same time each day if possible. You can do it! This will have a positive impact on your brain, even for those that don't consider themselves a morning person. Consistency is an essential step in transforming a bad habit (like hitting the snooze button) into a daily restorative practice that promotes physical energy and supports a healthy headspace.
MOVING YOUR BODY
Are you familiar with that feeling of being 'stuck'? Each day that glimmer of motivation slips away, and it becomes harder and harder to start something new, or pick up where you left off, right? I get it.
But, moving the body is a big one to assist in getting your MOJO back! It's a way of being kind to ourselves. Even when it's the last thing you feel like doing - your body will always appreciate the effort.
Exercise instantly improves our state of mind by flooding the body with a good dose of mood-enhancing chemicals called endorphins. It gives us energy and also helps us sleep better. Who could say no?
Whether it's yoga, running or the gym floor, you can start anywhere – do anything. The key is to start. Get that heart rate up and the blood pumping, 10-15 minutes to begin and build up from there. Listen to your body, and it will thank you!
If you've been feeling a little lost, don't despair. You're not alone. After struggling to keep myself accountable in my home-made garage gym and sleeping in too often, I've started with baby steps by setting the alarm for 6am daily and also employed a personal trainer to help keep me on track. For now, this is what's working for me, and the effects are positive.
Find what works for you, and be kind to yourself along the way. As I've mentioned on other occasions; this is a first for us all. It is quite possibly the first time we've ever felt some of the emotions that may be present. And it's OK. Take a deep breath, set that alarm and start all over tomorrow!