Updated: Oct 24, 2020
Few things in life beat a good bout of movement in nature.
While many of us are still adjusting to the new norms of what life is like during a pandemic, it is important to think ahead about the possibility that we may be in an altered state of affairs for some time. It may be more than just a season of change. “Hitting the gym” may continue to be so 2019’s for awhile.
The old routine may be put on hold but there are some ways one can still build resilience and a life of well-being during a pandemic. This is why I created 7 additional ways we can enhance our well-being in the new reality of 2020.
1. Sleep More (and Better)
Sleep hygiene is a real game changer for enhancing productivity. I have slept better in the past two months than I did most all of 2019. Why? Because I have better balance in my life.
Each of us have a biocycle. Some of us prefer early mornings, some prefer sleeping in. Some of us work better in the afternoon. Some at night.
Whatever your cycle is, sleep quantity and quality are key. If you are still exhausted each morning it may be a good time during a pandemic to reflect and think about why that is and what you can do to improve your sleep which will in turn enhance your health and increase your productivity.
To read more on how to improve your sleep hygiene, check out these tips from the sleep foundation:
2. Create a Cozy Reading Nook
My wife and I absolutely fell in love with this post from Barnes&Noble. Environment shapes behaviour.
After looking at this visual, it just further reiterated the decision we had been tossing around to create a small reading nook in the corner of our apartment.
Turns out, the way we set it up actually allows us to see the sunset better each day and gives us a glimpse of the river nearby. We call it “the riverfront view”. It’s a million dollar view created from a pandemic book nook. Perspective is everything, right? Maybe there is a corner of your space you have yet to exploit.
3. Make Healthier Meals
Pre pandemic meals were like the majority of people reading this. Rushed, pre prepped, convenient and mostly over priced/bought from a local deli.
Since the world came to a grinding halt, my wife and I have become more mindful of the cost of food and the nutrient value that food offers.
We waste less than ever and portion as we need. We get groceries once ever 10 days and we are always humming a tune around the kitchen. This new norm for us is to slow down our eating and to enjoy the preparation process more in the comfort of our own home rather than going out to get something.
This has also forced us to communicate more about what our meals will look like which has dramatically increased the health of our relationship as well.
Better fuel = better results in all areas of our lives.
Eat better → live better.
4. Develop a New Pre-Day Routine
Pre-day routines were a game changing pre pandemic, and remain even more of a game changer today. Developing a pre-day routine between the hours of 5–7am or 7–9am if you are a late sleeper can set your day on a whole different trajectory. To learn more about establishing pre-day routines, check out this article:
5. Connect More With Your Partner
My partner is a health care professional. She is a true hero. Being able to be around our home more to co create meals, triage housework, and to be able to go for long walks together more often has been a true blessing for our marriage.
During this pandemic, one of the blessings that has come out of it is our ability to connect rather than just communicate.
Pre pandemic we were really great at communicating, but connection was rushed. Now, we connect more than we communicate. Most of our communication is non verbal because we are much more in sync. Result — our relational health is at an all time high.
For more on how to connect better with colleagues, partners, and with yourself, check out this incredible book by John C. Maxwell:
6. Save More Money
I am guessing I am not alone here in this department.
In April, my partner and I saved more than most any other month we have on record. Being forced to stay home nudged us to shift our spending habits as well. With so much uncertainty with the economy, we made a few offensive decisions such as trimming down our streaming and subscription services. We also leaned out our monthly budget by wasting far less food. With food prices jumping upwards of 15% in some cases, this was a critical step in supporting our financial well-being.
Now is a great time to rethink how much we spend outside and inside the home. There is a lot of buzz going around about a long recession which will force many of us to rethink our luxuries and how our money is spent. $18 salads may be out of the question. Check out this article by Tim Denning to learn more:
The Great Recession (Realization) Getting ahead of the big “R” by trimming and evaluating where your money is going is key. If we are not financially healthy, it produces stress and a lot of “forced productivity” which does not allow room for organic creation. To create well, it is important to be financially well. A thriving economy can allow for this. A recession makes creativity harder.
7. Re Read Old Books
What a glorious time to re-read old books that are sitting on the shelf or on your Audible account. Taking the time now to go back to re-read some business, productivity and/or personal growth books is a great investment in our well-being.
For me, I am re reading books by Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss and John C. Maxwell. Having grown as a leader since reading their books a few years ago, I am finding that their books are hitting me in new ways I never caught before.
It is like re watching your favourite movie and discovering parts of it that you never noticed before.
Maybe there are a few books on the shelf of your home that need to be rekindled in that new book nook. If so, this can be time extremely well spent during a pandemic.