As we contemplate the reality of spending more time at home for the foreseeable future, there really is no better time to invest in our personal development. Now is the time for us to reflect on our life, relationships and personal growth. Believe it or not, love and self-development go hand-in-hand. Because how you treat yourself is ultimately how you treat others. However, self development doesn’t just happen by itself. It actually takes dedication from you and no one else. And once you’re in a positive place, you might start asking yourself, are you ready to welcome a new person into your life? Whatever your answer might be, we want to help you find your balance so we have listed a few self-development activities you can do at home now and well after lockdown.
Find A Meditation Practice That Works For You
A study by Johns Hopkins University concluded that mindfulness meditation programs could help improve anxiety.
Try this exercise | Find a comfortable place without distractions so you can concentrate on your breath — you can meditate in a chair, on the floor, lying down, or even standing up. Start by centering yourself with a few deep breaths. As you inhale and exhale deeply, silently say ‘in’ and ‘out’ with each breath. During this cycle, if a thought comes into the mind, gently and non-judgmentally acknowledge it, let it go, and return to the breath.
Need guided meditation? Try InsightTimer.
Keep Yourself Organised
According to Alice Boyes Ph.D., author of The Anxiety Toolkit, when things feel out of order, it can (but not always does) make us feel scattered and anxious. So creating order relieves that anxiety. Keep your life simple by decluttering the things you don’t need anymore. This prevents your energy from being consumed by mindless activities such as struggling to find your possessions or living in chaos.
Need inspiration? Watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
Take Deep Breath Often
Deep breathing restores your oxygen and improves brain and body activity. According to Dr Sheila Patel, when you breathe deeply and slowly, you activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which reverses the stress response in your body.
Try this exercise | Complete Belly Breath: With one hand on your belly, relax your abdominal muscles, and slowly inhale through the nose, bringing air into the bottom of your lungs. You should feel your abdomen rise. This expands the lower parts of the lungs. Continue to inhale as your rib cage expands outward, and finally, the collar bones rise. At the peak of the inhalation, pause for a moment, then exhale gently from the top of your lungs to the bottom. At the end of exhalation, contract your abdominal muscles slightly to push residual air out of the bottom of your lungs.
More breathing exercises here.
Physical exercise is so important to balance your mind and health, especially when we’ve been in isolation for a while. The more active you are, the more positive your mind gets and the more natural energy you will have. Try exercising three times a week if you can. Maybe jog, walk or even follow YouTube fitness channels like The Body Coach TV and Les Mills.
Learn Something New, Upskill
Did you hear about Champion Filipina Fencer, Maxine Esteban, who completed 9 Ivy League online courses during quarantine? Yup, she really did that! But you don’t have to go that far. If you are keen to upskill to advance your career, there are plenty of online courses offered by top universities that you can do from home. Try www.coursera.org, emeritus.org and www.edx.org.
For something a little more creative, Domestika.org is fantastic as you can learn painting, digital collage, watercolour illustration, graphite sketching and so much more.
What other self-development activities can you think of? We hope this article will help you find your balance. Watch this space for more tips and guides on life, Relationships and Love.
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Main image by Andrea Piacquadio (Authorised usage).