Maintaining a Positive Mindset During the COVID-19 Pandemic

August 11, 2020     •     Mindset

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The COVID-19 pandemic has been a struggle for everyone these last few months.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a struggle for everyone these last few months. You’re not alone if you’ve been experiencing more uncertainty and anxiety than usual, but coping with this stress is essential. Meditation and regular physical activity will allow you to develop and maintain a positive mindset to help you through these tough times.

 

Meditation and Mindfulness

You’ve probably heard that meditation is good for you and helps you clear your mind, but starting to practice it can be intimidating. There are plenty of apps, such as Headspace and Calm, that are offering free guided meditations during this time. We recognize that this is especially beneficial now because of the added stresses and uncertainties of this global pandemic. Getting into a routine of practicing meditation daily, even for just a few minutes, is helpful for maintaining a positive mindset. 

As Nike master trainer and fitness expert Betina Gozo teaches, meditation helps us reframe our negative thoughts so they have less of an impact on our mindset. After all, they’re just thoughts, not truths. The basic practice of taking long, deep breaths help you relieve stress and calm the nervous system. A great tool to deal with anxious thoughts is the acronym RAIN, as taught by meditation teacher Tara Brach: recognize, allow, investigate, nurture. Acknowledging your negative thoughts and stresses and discovering how they are making you feel allows you to take care of and move past them. 

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In addition, yoga is a great way to tie your meditation into your physical activity. It combines working on physical strength with practicing deep breathing and mindfulness.

A lot of us are experiencing the same struggles that come with the pandemic, and it can be difficult to deal with this on your own. A healthy way to cope is connecting with others and talking through your stresses, which in turn helps you build a strong support system. Establishing a sense of togetherness among your family and friends will help strengthen your community and is beneficial to not only you, but everyone. Maintaining social connections even while safely practicing social distancing is undoubtedly positive for everyone’s mental health.

Physical Activity

Our daily routines have changed drastically since being home for months, but establishing a routine of exercise helps not only the body, but the mind. People may think that working out is just a tool to lose weight, but it actually makes you feel and function better, as well as reduce stress and anxiety. The mere existence of a workout routine helps your body find constancy and is, of course, beneficial for your overall health. Regular physical activity releases dopamine and serotonin, which heightens your mood.

Getting enough sleep and eating nutritious, balanced meals will only help your physical and mental health.

You can begin an at-home workout routine by identifying what you want to work on, whether it be cardiovascular endurance, core strength, or flexibility, and finding exercises that will aid your improvement in this area. As mentioned earlier in reference to meditation, there are many free apps available that can help guide you if you’re not comfortable exercising on your own. Finding an exercise buddy can increase your motivation and productivity, and provides you with moral support as well.

In addition, yoga is a great way to tie your meditation into your physical activity. It combines working on physical strength with practicing deep breathing and mindfulness. 

What Else?

While we recommend meditation and regular physical activity as helpful ways to cope with stress, there are other practices to keep in mind. Getting enough sleep and eating nutritious, balanced meals will only help your physical and mental health. Taking the time to unwind by yourself and step away from social media is essential as well. Lastly, spending time outside and in nature will ground you and ensure you maintain a positive mindset.

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