Moves to keep that smile :))
This week, we’ll be going through some ideas to keep that smile on our faces. We may be indoors all the time, but hopefully these tips and tricks can help you find release and take a breather even within the four walls of our own home.
Humans were born to move, so it is no surprise that being indoors and sedentary all the time can make us feel antsy or restless. Even as we all work from home and social distance, guarding the time we have for regular movement is so important for our mental wellbeing.
- Go outdoors (with a mask on!) whenever you can! Whether it be a trip to the supermarket or a light jog; getting away from our work environment at home can be an amazing refresher. Bonus points if you are able to take half an hour to explore an unfamiliar route near your house; the feeling of getting lost can bring some novelty to our otherwise uniform scenery.
- At home workouts – there are such a variety of options that can accommodate to your needs indoors, whether it be silent workouts or If there is space in our house for a yoga mat, exercising at home can be a wonderful option to get moving even if we only have 15 minutes, following the proliferation of pilates, HIIT, boxing or dance Youtube videos.
- Stretch! You don’t have to be able to hit the splits to stretch out your muscles, which should thank you after an entire day of being hunched over our laptops. It is especially important in these periods of less walking, which usually helps relax our muscles. Follow a Youtube video or just go with the flow – that’s for both ladies and gents!
Make time for ourselves
- Solitude. This is especially important if we live together with a big family, because being alone gives us space to focus – both on our thoughts and get in the zone with our work. Sitting in a separate room, at a different table or going on a solo walk are all good ways to switch off socially and quietly listen to the voices that go on in our head.
- Take a break with a grounding activity – meditating, cooking, drawing, or writing lists of things that make you happy and grateful. These allow you to actively do something, while allowing your brain to connect to yourself and reflect. This is contrasted to escapist activities which take you away from reality – gaming, watching a movie, reading, or scrolling through social media. They’re great as well, but they don’t help you make sense of your own life and thoughts, so definitely make sure you have a good mix of both!
- Stick to a schedule. That is definitely easier said than done, but keeping our sleep and mealtimes regular can help us retain a semblance of normality and structure – otherwise, it can be easy to slip into a rut where the days and nights slip by, unnoticed, and it definitely doesn’t make us feel our best.
Create a favourable environment
- Separate leisure from work space. That is certainly difficult to achieve, especially in Hong Kong where most of us have limited space in our homes. But it doesn’t have to be a different room – it can be another chair at the dinner table, the sofa, the floor, or even your bed! Putting ourselves in different environments prepares our brain to do the tasks that are associated with that environment, making it easier for us to concentrate and work well, and to relax and wind down when we don’t have to work.
- Design a pleasant work space. It can look slightly different for everyone – it might be lighting your favourite scent, putting on some work music (a personal favourite linked here!) or changing into more tight-fitting, uncomfortable clothes to get us into the work zone.
- Tidy our homes regularly. By donating or throwing away the items in our house which we haven’t touched for more than 1 year, we can declutter our space. Our emotions mirror our environment, so when we have less in the house we are more likely to feel clear-headed and happier!
Talk to people
We all know that talking to our friends and family is important. But have you considered connecting with strangers as well? Despite it being Hong Kong culture for individuals to be private about themselves, people usually respond better than we’d expect to some kindness!
- Volunteer. If you can afford the time and risk, many charities are in need of manpower to help the most vulnerable in this challenging time.
- Greet and thank strangers – the security guard in your housing estate, the delivery guy who brings your takeout, the worker at the cashier! Hearing a simple word of gratitude may very well make their workday.
As trivial or insignificant as some of these points may seem, consciously doing one of these actions every single day will add up – and help your happiness more than you would think. And for those brothers and sisters in Christ, prayer, bible study and worship is always the best way to find our ultimate source of fulfilment :)
We here at Suphia’s hope that you will all be able to do what makes you happy, and truly glow from the inside out, even in the toughest of times. We will all get through this <3