If you’re anything like me, this groundhogs day way of living is starting to get to you. And it’s likely that the lack of connection to the outside world is dramatically starting to take its toll on your mental state too.
Even Zoom can’t do it for me anymore. There is just something special about feeling the physical connection of being in the presence of people. Plus, there is something to be said about having to be totally “on” during a Zoom call. Anyone else experiencing this? It’s been circulating in multiple conversations I’ve been a part of lately – Zoom is actually starting to feel more exhausting than the idea of watching that Netflix series you like for the second (or even third time…let’s be honest).
If this is you, you’re not alone! To get a little neuro-sciencey on you, there’s a real reason you might be feeling this way. It’s actually quite a bit harder for the body to release Oxytocin (that’s that little neurotransmitter that responds to human connection) while we live in this digital heavy time. There is a lot that is working against us to stay connected these days. Heck, it can be hard to stay inspired or even get motivated to do just about anything right now.
If you’re reading this thinking, “Ya know what Cait? I’m okay with that because just about everything is stressful and wonky right now!” Yes, by all means, listen to your personal and unique needs. Stress has such a big impact on our mental and physical well being, so it’s crucial that we honor our own specific needs to take care of ourselves during this time.
That being said, if you’re looking for fun new ways to get out of the funk you might find yourself in during these long days at home, I’ve got you covered. These are my top and highly esteemed recommendations for releasing some serotonin (that’s the neurotransmitter in charge of feeling significant and important) and increasing your dopamine (that’s the one for pleasure and joy).
Because at the end of the day, even if you can’t immediately find a reason for an impromptu dance party in your living room yet you have 5 emails you must find the motivation to send by the end of the day, a dance party might just release enough neurotransmitters to get those motivational juices flowing and boom. Before you know it, the emails are magically done and you can go on a little higher for the rest of your day!
So my top recommendation for the ambitious quarantine-er right now is to take a big goal you’ve been wanting to accomplish and breaking it down into smaller milestones. With these smaller milestones, you’ll create a vision and actionable steps for how you’re going to get them done.
Start small here.
Wanting to run a 5k in September but having a field day on your couch?
Block out 20 minutes, at least three times over the next week to put those sneakers on and hit the pavement. Small, accomplish-able goals will not only help you build rapport with yourself (by telling your mind you’re serious about doing the dang thing!) but in the process of just mapping out this commitment, you’ll increase dopamine levels in your body and you’ll instantly feel more focused and empowered. How cool is that? Creating the vision and a quick actionable plan will increase your serotonin levels and you’ll feel more powerful and unstoppable. What’s not to love?
And if you’re here because you need to a little motivation to send those five emails and want that quick neurotransmitter spark, here are some other really awesome suggestions:
> Listen to your favorite music.
> Impromptu dance parties! Move them hips!
> Sitting down with a grounded gratitude practice.
> Soaking up some Vitamin D!
Even during a time where so many things are unknown and stress levels are running high, you can flip your perspective and make progress towards your goals. Let me tell you, here in the NW, where we gravitate to festivals this time of year with our people… everything can just feel a little bleh. So use these tips and give your nervous system a little boost of pleasure and play, and look forward to the day when we are all back together again in a more beautifully present, and connected way.
Cait is the host of the top rated She’s Hungry podcast, where she and her guests explore everything from successful habits for your daily routine, mindset hacks to change your life (and your wallet!), to discovering tools to build a kick ass business and inspiration to help land your dream clients everyday. She is also a goal strategist for ambitious womxn, helping them get out of overwhelm and into the everyday habits that help them live their full f*ck yes life. When she isn’t diving into strategy sessions, she is probably enjoying a glass of wine with friends in the Hood River Gorge or riding her Peloton.