Hi Friends! It’s Augusta, founder of NOW Yoga PDX – two local vinyasa based yoga studios in Portland, OR. Okay, so let’s just get to it – the last 5+ weeks have been intense, right? I know I am not alone in saying there have been days where I let myself wallow in all my emotions, zoned out on my phone, ate food that made me feel shitty and did not take care of myself all to result in a big emotional hangover the next day. Ugh. You’ve done that too – right?
For the past few weeks I have been making a more conscious effort each day to be present and establish some routine that gives me some sense of normalcy during these very un-normal times. Here’s what I have learned.
- Establish a morning meditation routine – even if it’s only five minutes every day. There are countless benefits to a regular mediation practice. Perhaps the one that I find the most beneficial is that my morning meditation helps me set the tone for the day so I can be more present and mindful. Insight timer is a great resource for guided meditations.
2. Gratitude is the essential foundation for finding contentment. Reflect on the day ahead and think of three things you are grateful for. Write them down. Don’t overthink it, just write down the first three things that come to mind. Come back to this gratitude list throughout the day if you feel your mood begin to dip into a low vibration.
3. Shower, get dressed and make your bed every day – this establishes some sense of normalcy and signals that it is a new day. Think of making your bed as a mindful practice. Perhaps you think of a mantra that brings you peace and mentally repeat it to yourself as you make your bed. If you’re short on ideas, you might try one of my go-to’s: “Sohum”, pronounced So Hum which translates to “I am” and then fill in the blank. “Sohum content”, “Sohum peace”, etc.
4. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the negative news right now. To protect the positive space you are creating for yourself, consume the news mindfully and make an attempt to balance negative stories with more positive, uplifting content. Have a couple credible sources that are your go-to’s and avoid overdoing it on the news
5. Limit social media. I know, I am guilty too and have spent countless hours on Instagram and tik tok … but it never feels great and leaves my brain feeling disconnected and mushy. And even worse, social media tends to put us in a mood of comparison and judgement – both of which have low vibrations. To snap out of the social media spiral I have established set times during the day where I can engage on social media and when the time is up (literally, set a timer y’all) I force myself to to put my phone away. Leave it in another room and walk away.
6. If you are fortunate to be working during this time (whatever that means for you) structure work time vs. non-work time. Right now we are working from home and we are homing from work – it is important to create separation from the two so you can be fully present in, and give all of your energy to, your work life and your non-work life.
7. Do something active every day, whether it’s a walk, an online yoga class, spin, whatever, just do something active that gets you into your body and out of your head. During this time I have made a commitment to go for an evening walk every day no matter what. Rain or shine. I walk for at least 30 minutes. This time for myself has become a sacred part of my day and it instantly changes my mood no matter how shitty of a day it has been. Now is also a great time to connect with your yoga practice. Whether you are a seasoned yogi or new to the practice – there are tons of great online resources available offering virtual classes, like NOW Yoga!
8. Right now more than ever we’re in our heads a lot and things feel overwhelming. Watch out for behaviors that you tend to over indulge on whether it’s alcohol, food, social media, video games whatever it may be – just know your triggers and be careful. Choose activities that are mindful and that you can be fully present for.
9. Eat good food that makes you feel good. Eat things that make you feel full and content and that you enjoy eating.
10. At the end of the day take a moment to reflect on your day and come back to your gratitude practice and reflect once again on what you are grateful for. Think of one thing from your day that brought you joy. If you are in quarantine with a partner or roommate include them in this activity and share your gratitude lists. My husband and I have been doing this everyday for the past 5+ weeks. Each night after we get our toddler to bed we sit down (exhausted, parents with young kids, you know what I am talking about…) and we share three things from our day that we are grateful for and one thing that has brought us joy.
11. Get plenty of rest. 7- 9 hours, friends. Sleep is medicine.
12. Be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a morning meditation or you have a day or two where you totally over do it on the news and spiral or spend too much time scrolling through social media. Each day is an opportunity to recommit to your routine. Each moment of the day you can start over. You can choose to start fresh.
Keep going. You’re doing great. You got this. You are loved.
Founder, NOW Yoga PDX
500hr RYT, MS Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Connect with me on IG: @augustaleigh AND @nowyoga_pdx