In this post, I want to share with you lifestyle changes that have kept me sane in these strange times dominated by Covid-19. None of these lifestyle changes are magical cures but they’ve really helped me deal better with what’s going on.
I am going to start off by saying that I am really grateful for my personal situation. I’ve got work (heck, I even got hired in the midst of the pandemic) and I’ve got a roof over my head. I am not going to comment on what’s going on politically (with Covid-19) in Germany though (because it’s rather embarrassing).
That being said, my mental health has suffered. I am not going to go into great detail about it (that might be for another post?), but it’s been rough. The isolation, friends who did not want to meet up, being physically cut off from family and friends, and so on.
I knew that I needed to experiment a little to figure out what’s working and to let go of what doesn’t. I looked at everything that I was doing and decided to implement the below lifestyle changes. To live a little “lighter” and above all, to stay sane. To get out of my head and into my body.
Please note, what works for me or person A, B, C, might not work for person D. We are all different and this is just my personal experience. That being said, I hope you find yourself in these pages or find some inspiration to experiment a little yourself. 🙂
What I’ve changed/experimented with:
1. Established a daily (ashtanga) yoga home practice
Prior to Covid-19, I practiced on a regular basis (5 times per week) at my local ashtanga yoga studio. Since the pandemic, the studio has mostly been closed. Initially, I found it super hard to practice at home as I was easily distracted but over time that got better.
I also made a handful of adjustments:
- I set up a practice schedule and put it on my fridge. On certain days I practice primary series, on other days second series.
- On top of that I’ve added a regular handstand practice, I currently, work on splits and also follow this core program. I’ve posted a review about it here.
- Given that ashtanga is very “yang” I’ve also added a regular yin yoga practice and also put that one on my schedule.
- I stopped jumping back (for the time being) because the constant jumps within the ashtanga method wake up my S.O.
Now I’ve got an established daily (Ashtanga) yoga home practice and I am absolutely loving it.
2. Connected with an ayurvedic doctor
I wasn’t feeling great, consulted with different doctor’s and eventually found myself seeking a doctor specialized in Ayurveda. This has been one of the most impactful lifestyle changes I’ve done.
Ayurveda means “the science of life” and has been around for thousands of years. It’s deeply rooted in tradition and offers something for everyone.
I felt a deep connection to my doctor and trusted his advice although some of his recommendations sounded strange. I tried everything out and ended up loving pretty much all of his recommendations.
While I don’t feel amazing (just yet) I feel soooo much better following his advice and applying the principles of Ayurveda to my life.
3. Prioritized meeting up with friends
I prioritized meeting up with friends (physically) above most other things. I canceled video chats if it collided with meeting up with friends. Making them a priority really really helped me.
I felt heard, I felt needed, and it gave and still gives me something to look forward to.
4. Openly shared how I felt (at work)
Previously, whenever a coworker who’s not on my team asked me how I was feeling I would usually answer with “ok” or “good”. Well, let’s just say I’ve been taking specifics since Covid-19 hit. If I wasn’t feeling ok, I said it. If I had a rough day, I shared that the situation was getting me, that I am struggling a little.
To be frank, I was surprised by the reaction I got from people. Guess what happened? People opened up about their feelings as well. They shared their struggles, their living situation, relationship struggles, and their pain points.
Me sharing that I wasn’t feeling good, opened up the space to share how they were feeling. I felt less alone and more connected to my coworkers.
5. Going on really LONG walks
This was by far one of the biggest lifestyle changes since Covid-19 hit. I started walking A LOT. If it would take me 45 minutes to 1 hour I would previously just take public transportation. Easy. Now that I work from home and can no longer go to my yoga studio, I don’t walk as much.
Naturally, I decided to walk as much as I can and wherever I can. I love walking to pick up falafel from my local spot (45 minutes one way), I love going on long walks with friends and sometimes I go on walks just because! My weekly walks, my standing desk (sitting all day would kill me and would make all my movement practice kinda pointless) along with my yoga practice keep me moving and my spirits lifted!
That was it for the lifestyle changes I’ve made since Covid-19 hit and turned the world around.
How are you feeling about things? What were some of the changes that you’ve made to feel (a little?) better?
Thank you for sharing, I needed this inspiration! My biggest mental health boost these days is the stables and horses, so I try to never take that for granted, and be present when I’m there. I’m interested in learning more about ayurveda. Do you have any book recommendations talking about it? I have read only this one, “Prajna – ayurvedic rituals for happiness” by Mira Manek. I’m glad you have found some things that work for you, and well done for taking action on creating healthy habits!
Hey Karina, thank you so much for sharing! That sounds wonderful! My favorite one would have to be “Absolute Beauty: Radiant Skin and Inner Harmony Through the Ancient Secrets of Ayurveda” by Pratima Raichur. Its main focus is skincare but it does touch on other topics as well. I also enjoyed “The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies” by Vasant Lad which gives you a general overview and contains tons of tips on home remedies. My favorite one would have to be the first one though! 🙂
SO good to hear from you again Nina! I’ve missed your blogs, posts and videos..thanks for sharing..I knew your yoga practice would help you!..I’ve had an extremely rough time mentally too..I sold my home and moved and have major regrets and I am extremely homesick with of course no way to go back into the home I loved..other issues are making things harder too…but I have kept up with yoga , working out with weights, walks and seeing friends or speaking to them on the phone..I am also seeing a therapist…so life goes on and hopefully I figure out a new plan for my life.
Hey Deborah, I am so thrilled to hear from you! Oh no! It sounds like you are going through a lot and have made some very big changes! I am glad that you’ve found ways of coping with it all! 🙂 How are you feeling about it now? I wish you all the best!! 🙂
Wow it’s been a while now but I’m so happy I read your post !
I feel you so much in this post ! Yeah that was maybe even more embarrassing in France what happened oh my… All this news and the advertisements on tv were just from another world ! And it kinda continues even though it “got” better haha !
As for having a daily practice that’s totally important to stay grounded and so that you know you can trust yourself ! I love reading you, I hope you’re doing good Nina !
so lovely to hear from you! 🙂
There’s so much going on in the world right now, it’s wild!
Absolutely – it’s so important! 🙂