Well, what a year this week has been. Humans are creatures of habit by nature, and as uncertainty and isolation loom over our routines, so does the anxiety. Bar the odd walk and trip to the supermarket, we've been asked (for a good reason) to stay inside. If you're anything like us, you're already wondering how not to go absolutely crazy from being inside so much and being around the same people day in and day out. We caught up with local yogi Sarah Lindsay from SALA on the best ways to stay sane and she's shared these tips to help us all get through this lockdown.
One of the most common reasons people give for not meditating is the lack of time. Well, surprise, we all just gained a whole lot of time. See your usual commute time as bonus free time. It’s the perfect opportunity to give meditation a go. There are so many amazing free tools out there to help you along the way. Our favourite app is Insight Timer, or SALA offer guided meditation classes online.
2. Yoga Nidra
Haven't sold you on meditation? Well, how about Yoga Nidra? Yoga Nidra is different from meditation. It is a body awareness scan, practised as you enter a state of sleep with awareness. You’re literally using sleep as meditation. You might also notice when you wake up that you feel much more rested and rejuvenated. Again, Insight Timer has more free Yoga Nidra than you can shake a yoga mat at.
3. Create A ‘Sacred Space’
Now, I don’t want to get too hippy on you, but hear me out. Most of us are now working from home. The spaces you sleep, eat and work from are all blurring into one. How do we separate space energetically when it now has to be used for so many purposes? Look to create a ‘sacred space’ somewhere within a small corner of your home. You don’t need much space, just a little haven of work-free clarity. In this space can you clear away wires, clutter or storage and place a few objects of significant meaning. I don’t mean ‘spiritual’ knick knacks from your last trip to Bali, but instead something of personal significance to you. A photo, a postcard, a gift; something that invokes a deep emotive response within you. Can you create a small space that you can escape to when you need refuge from your day to feel at peace? Creating a home sacred space helps us make extraordinary from the ordinary and infuse our everyday life with magic — and let’s be honest, we could all do with a little magic right now.
I don’t know about you, but based on the current situation of my apocalypse snacks I might leave this lockdown twice the size. Try and make space daily to move. Whether it's running around the block, squatting and lunging your way through a Facetime session with your mates or flowing to some online yoga videos, your body and your brain will thank you later. Whatever you do, just make sure you get some blood pumping around your body. I have a Youtube channel full of free videos and have launched Sala online to help keep us all moving with Yoga, Yogasana, HIIT, Kettlebells, Resist and meditation classes.
5. Eat At Least One Vegetable
I know I just referenced the bulk buy of mint treats I'm hoarding, but remember wellness isn't just meditating and sweating. It's everything you consume; films, gossip, food. Fill up on good stuff including some healthy food. If you absolutely hate cooking like me maybe it's time to order a food bag service and get zen following some healthy recipes - Hello Fresh, WOOP and The Kai Box are still taking new orders.
6. Do Not Watch Doomsday Videos
I can not tell you how many people told me today alone that they watched Contagion the other night (we might be guilty of this too). Remember everything you consume enters your inner ecosystem. Try filling up on some positive TV instead. Have you seen the documentary 'I am'? It will restore all faith ever lost in humanity. Or maybe a nostalgic old sitcom-like Friends, memories of when life seemed much simpler, and the most important question in life was whether Ross and Rachel were on a break.
Londoner Sarah Lindsay is an experienced yoga instructor who started a gym in Ponsonby to shake up the Auckland gym scene and change the attitudes of New Zealanders towards exercise. She's not here to push you into some 4-weeks-to-fit lockdown challenge, but instead to help you maintain balance mentally and physically during this stressful time.
Check out our list of the 10 best feel-good movies to keep things positive during lockdown.
Image credit: Billy Huynh, Sala Studio