‘Verily, with every difficulty, there is relief.’ COVID-19 has not left a corner unturned across our globe, awakening us all to our life’s fragility. In search of this new normal, a better normal, there are ways we can hold on to the positive habits we’ve built and shed some of the unhealthier ones; and find ways to reclaim your wellness in a new post-pandemic world. For once, wellness is not just trendy verbiage. It encapsulates the very peace we have begun to yearn for. But given what we’ve endured, given the isolation, the physical protection, the fear and the tragedy, how do we begin to reclaim this?
Here are 5 ways to reclaim your wellness in a new ‘post-pandemic world.
1) Build a healthy relationship with food
Over the past year, many of us have struggled with keeping healthy habits around food; either stress or emotional eating, or not eating enough. Not only does this affect your physical health, but also your mental health and resilience as well. We must begin to promote a healthy dialogue between our brain and our gut on a microscopic level, but that begins with how we feel about it. Ease yourself into a positive association around food, and it will heal you. How do we do this in actionable terms? For starters, approach every meal through the lens of whether or not it is whole and from the earth, vs. processed and man-made! There may be ingredients within the plate that are processed but if the bulk of the spread consists of foods grown from the ground, then at least that plate offers you micronutrient value rather than blank intake. Another easy tip is portion control! Portions in North America are usually significantly larger than need be. Couple that with an insatiable obsession with devices and we are a society completely distracted from how much we are actually consuming. So when you eat, only eat! Connect with your food, the love in its preparation, the flavor it provides, and stop when your hunger has, instead of when you can’t possibly stomach more.
2) Advocate for your peace
After months of social distancing, precautionary measures, loss of life’s normality, and of course, loss of life itself, the world has been through something traumatic. Sometimes, despite our excitement for the things we’ve longed for, we find ourselves experiencing some unexpected fear surrounding the concepts that now feel foreign. If we’re frightened, we get anxious. While a certain amount of anxiety is great for promoting change, it can quickly spiral into something that does more harm than good. So, take things at your own pace. If you are not ready to jump back in with both feet, tip-toe in. If you need to rest and go slow, do so. If you need time off work, take it. If you must ease into social interactions, do so. Work will get done, social events will be plenty, and the world will be there waiting for us, but let’s make sure we are whole and comfortable first.
[Read Related: 6 Ways to Manage Anxiety During the Coronavirus Pandemic]
3) In work, in life, in relationships, in health: Find balance
I think we’ve all experienced too closely how quickly things can turn on their head. What we must take away from this all is that life is short, and moments must be savored. What are the finer details in life for you? Is it time with loved ones? Is it your health and fitness? Is it mental well-being? Is it travel? Is it that passion you have that you’ve been putting off? Tomorrow is not guaranteed and you CAN do it all, but the world will never give you the go-ahead signal to live for what’s important to you. You must create that signal for yourself. Take some time to reflect on the type of life you want to lead, and then make an action plan on how you can achieve that. What kind of man or woman do you want to be? Envision them. How do they start their day, how do they navigate through life, what do they prioritize. Now show up as just that.
4) Be brave
As a perfect segue from my last point, I encourage you to be brave. There are many paved paths and many rule books on the way things have been done for years, but not necessarily the way they should be done for you. Be courageous in your definition of what makes your heart sing. Think to yourself, ‘what fills me and fuels me’ as well as ‘what depletes and exhausts me.’ Make a list. That should give you a clear idea of where your energy expenditure might be adjusted. This isn’t easy; in fact, it’s hard as hell. But how can we ever find wellness in a life we are living submissively to a set of rules governed by those that came before us. We are on this planet to stand on the shoulders of the greats, to reach higher highs than ever before, to honor the work that they did. It does not serve them to play small.
5)Lean on your community
Remember that your network will govern the trajectory of this next chapter. I hope you find a tribe that holds you up to your full potential. People that make you feel whole, in love, and protected. Life is for you to paint and we have been given something of a blank canvas. Toxic energies have no place around you when you’re trying to soar, and it is truly spectacular to witness your soul come to life when it is nurtured.
The world has begun to blossom once more, and so can we. If we so choose, we can take this opportunity to act on inspiration, step where there are no footprints, make choices that ignite our soul and allow something new and wonderful to come to life. We are living through beautiful, complicated existences, and they deserve to be honored. Start small and build yourself intentionally as you go. If you can architect these ways to reclaim your wellness in a new ‘post-pandemic world, wellness is your inevitable destination.