Mental Health & Wellness in the time of quarantine

Having confused feelings during these uncertain times?- trust me, you are not alone! The COVID-19 crisis is having a psychological impact on every one of us. That’s why taking care of your Mental Health & well-being is now more important than ever. The pandemic situation has likely brought many changes in your life – your daily routine is not what you were used to. 

As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, it is important to bring to light some tools to keep a healthy mind and body.

I’m  Jessica Seid, yoga student and teacher, and I will share with you my feelings in a time of quarantine and how to stay positive, motivated, and active during those uncertain times. I will guide you through 4 steps to lift some weight off your shoulders and get yourself active and positive, which includes moving your body with atlasGO.

Woman standing in front of a painted wall

1. Acknowledge and accept the situation

We are going through a collective traumatic experience. It is undeniable. Every single person has had their lives disrupted, and these past weeks have been challenging, disorienting, confusing- or maybe for you, it wasn’t, and that’s ok too. All this to say that feelings, just like the weather, are not the same from day today. One day you might feel like ticking all the boxes on your to-do list, and the other, you might get out of bed at 2 pm, but that is perfectly fine as long as you accept the situation and do as much as you feel like doing each day. 

Despite the craziness of the situation in the world, take time to do an inventory of what is going on with you emotionally, mentally, and physically. Once you have accepted the situation and acknowledge that it is out of your hands, know that it doesn’t mean that your life is.

Two persons looking into a closed store

2. Take care of the people around you and communicate 

While each of us is at home, physically away from each other, it is important not to assume that friends and family are doing fine. We should support each other, get in touch and connect with one another as much as we can. 

It is especially important now to communicate with others in the most explicit way possible. A smiley cannot replace a real facial expression, so if you really want to express how you feel to someone, hop on a video call to share a deeper conversation. 

When taking care of the people around you, pay attention to your personal boundaries and keep in mind those three things: don’t be afraid to say no, speak your truth always, and you don’t owe anyone anything.

This is the time to take up space and declare not only to yourself but to others what it is that you’re feeling, needing, and wanting. It is tremendously important, especially now, to communicate and be honest with one another. Hiding our feeling will only make them grow out of proportion, while sharing them with someone could help release your burden.

Woman holding a man's head

3. What if your goal now is to rest? 

It did not occur to me at first that all this “free time” could be used to rest. Not the kind of rest you take on vacation, but truly hit pause. In a way, it’s a chance for us to reset, take away all the things that were not helpful in our lives before the quarantine, and focus on healthier habits such as being honest, open, and communicate with each other in the ways that we can. 

Having the world around us stop and slowly feels really surreal, and it takes time to get used to it. But every minute that passes doesn’t have to be fixed on a certain objective. Your goal can sometimes be to stay still. 

Couple resting next to each other

4. Maintain a regular practice or routine

As a yoga teacher, having to adapt to teaching on an online platform has presented its challenges. The change toward virtual teaching has been physically demanding – it’s tough to teach and demo everything. I miss the luxury of seeing everyone in the same room, feeling the energy of the room, and commanding the space how I want. Some might say I’m killing two birds with one stone, getting practice in while teaching, but it takes away from the attention I can give to a student when I’m not moving.

Even though virtual classes are the only option, for now, I encourage you to keep up a practice, whether that be yoga or another physical activity or sport. Use that time you devote to yourself to be in your body, build mental stamina and physical strength, and have fun. Working on breath and movement during a sustainable and mindful practice will help you keep yourself active. Maintaining a consistent daily routine will also help to anchor some normalcy through the week, as well. This can be something simple as waking up at the same time each day or taking a walk every day for an hour.

Using atlasGO allows you to transform your yoga practice – or other kinds of sport- into trees. Not only does it benefit you physically, but it also helps the planet! And when you are not feeling motivated, the atlasGO community gives you that extra push you need to take on that practice and plant some trees.

Woman doing yoga

Conclusion

This time in history is demanding a form of presence and awareness that is certainly in your face. It’s awkward, it’s new, and it’s different, but it’s here. Being more present is never a disadvantage, so I’m doing my best to greet it each day.

To the whole atlasGO community, here are 3 wishes for you on this Mental Health Awareness Month:

  • May you be happy
  • May you be healthy 
  • May you keep on planting trees

If these subjects really interest you and you want to know more, read my personal blog, let me know how you are feeling, and I’ll do the same! 

Jessica Seid 

atlasGO ambassador

Instagram: @jseid

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