As time goes by, with no real light (yet-hopefully soon) at the end of the isolation tunnel, I find myself, and others starting to drift. We lose focus on ourselves. We begin to drift somewhat throughout the day; we move less and find our motivation wanes.

In a way, when the isolation began, it was not enjoyable, but it was novel (excuse the viral pun). We did adapt and create a new routine. I found I was more focused on moving more, and keeping myself as busy as possible throughout the day.

Unfortunately, I (and I am sure many others) began to drift away to the structure that seemed to give some purpose, and some degree of self-fulfillment. I sit more. The podcasts, and or the book on self-development I was going to work through (10 minutes or 20 minutes per day), somehow stopped.

Truth be told, I had no idea how much time I could waste looking at Facebook posts, or checking the current status of infections/death around the world and Canada. None of this gave me joy. It was a distraction away from those things that do give me personal joy.

The reason I’m concerned about myself and others, is that, our mind, instead of having a feeling or purpose an accomplishment, begins to sag—or as a doctor friend of mine once said, develops a state of dysphoria (not depression necessarily, just a feeling of being not happy).

It is time to turn this around for all of us. It begins tonight or tomorrow morning. Define what you must/need to do to feel mentally and physically healthy tomorrow.

If we are feeling down, we will likely snack, in trying to alleviate that negative mental state.

Tomorrow, pull out that note pad and write down those things that will make you feel good about yourself.

1. Exercise. This is nonnegotiable. The brain needs it to grow more neutrons. The emotions need it to feel positive. The heart and lungs need it for health. It will not be easy to start; realize that is the hardest part: starting. Walk 10 minutes. Do 10 wall pushups. Do 10 squats. Do 20 knee extensions while sitting. Anything. Spread these small bits of movement throughout the day.

 

  1. Read a book, listen to a good podcast, play music, do a puzzle, colour, knit, paint, Lego…anything to stimulate the brain. Chunk it down. 5-10 minutes, that is it

 

  1. I would say clean, but I suspect most people have cleaned most of their house 100 times by now. However, maybe there are some papers to file that have been lying around. Or, look up “my morning routine.” Learn a habit of doing something consistently, daily. It will ground you.

Be strong. The isolation is pulling us down and it is up to each of us not to stay in the gulley too long. Keep things simple. Chunk them down. You don’t have to walk 10,000 steps (unless you can and want to). Do 5 minutes of any movement.

As Rudyard Kipling ended his famous “IF” poem: “If you can fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds of distance run….” Meaning, spend less time on social media; spend that time on you.

Be strong. You can do it. Keep on trying, and never, ever give up.

Dr. Doug