6 ways to come out of lockdown better than you went into it
By Neil Perkins
6 weeks down, 6kg lost – has it been that bad? I’d like to think that if I looked back in years to come that I enjoyed my lockdown as a time for a mental reset, to understand priorities and reflect. Judging by the huge financial losses I’ve suffered, don’t go thinking that it will be ‘easy’ when we come out as business will be under pressure and people will be apprehensive. You owe it to yourself to come out of this better than you went into it. Businesses will have to work smarter, if you are employee and you are not adding value to where you work your comeback will be short lived. That might scare some people, I look at it as a fight – and I love a fight. Here are six ways that you can survive lockdown and come out as better person.
- Establish a routine and rituals
When you have nothing to get up for, late nights and late mornings can soon become routine. You need to establish a routine that includes personal development, physical exercise, something productive and yes, some down time. You can form habits now that you’ll take into life when this all blows over. A good strategy is to work out when your day needs to start and when your day needs to end – everything else in the middle will take care of itself. Get up at a set time and go to bed at a set time. Form a morning and a bed time routine and a set rituals that you do each day (we’ll look at rituals in a later blog).
2. Eat nourishing foods
The supermarkets are filled with fresh produce – kale, spinach, nuts, seeds, broccoli – all the things we know we should eat. Eating a nutrient dense diet will improve your health and metal clarity. Going back to the grind with your waist narrower and your skin glowing with vitality will improve your outlook no end, imagine walking back into the office and everyone saying ‘you look good’ – customers, colleagues and competitors will see your ready for whatever is thrown at you.
When choosing foods remember these two rules
- Did it have eyes?
- Did it grow out of the ground?
3. Move your body
You body is designed to move, we are a hunter gatherer. Your morning ritual could be doing 10 squats and 5 press ups before everyone else in the house gets up. If you want to try some Yoga? Get the laptop out, plug in YouTube and get moving, so what it looks like are playing Twister in the front room – who is watching? Not everything has to be ballistic, sweaty and ‘balls to wall’. Grease the groves of your squat with some body weight squats, hinge your hips with some Glute Bridges (slow and controlled not Salt n’ Peppa style). Make sure you move every day, maybe then put two to three days aside if you want for real ‘balls to wall exercise’ – stuff that makes you sweat and vomit. Your body and your mind will thank you for making this a priority in your day.
I was told by a business coach in 2017 to mediate, I never really took it on board. If there was one thing I’d say that has enabled me to keep a check on the cloudy future during lockdown it’s been meditation. Like many of mans best things, it started in a dark room on my own and developed from there as I got better at it! (on a serious note, forming habits of falling into google holes or an hour an day on Pornhub is going to do little to make you a better person – I’ve tested both theories extensively) Mediation doesn’t have to be a £2,000 course, a good friend Bob Spour got me started with a very simple 10 minute breathing ritual. Find a quite space, ideally facing a wall. Sit facing the wall on cushion so that you are sitting tall, visualise a string coming out of the top of your head pulling you up towards the sky. Focus on the middle ground between the wall and keep thinking about nothing but your breath. Your mind will wander – just bring it back to the breath and keep thinking about the breath. Do this once or twice a day for a 2-week period and see how much more mental clarity you have. The ability to focus on one task at a time will be valuable for you, especially when the alternative is the uncertainty that is the world.
5. Be someone else’s superhero
In life there are sheep and there are shepherds – which one do you want to be? We all get a little bit scared and apprehensive, be the person that listens and engages with people – open your ears for people who need to vent and become a good listener, be empathetic towards their concerns, anger and frustrations – no matter how insignificant they seem to you. If you have children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren or younger siblings, never show fear in front of them. Listen to them and reassure them – the world must be a pretty scary and confusing place for them? Be their superhero.
6. Be ready to be first out of the blocks
The world will be slow to get started and the sheep will stay in the pen, the shepherd will show people the way. Work better, love better, engage more, keep focused and be positive – you can contribute to the world becoming a better place. Set you rituals, prepare your body and inspire those around you. Now is training camp, the fight begins when we are allowed back out. If nothing else I hope this blog has inspired, you to set your alarm and get up tomorrow.