3 life rules for lockdown and beyond

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Cultivate calm during a crisis. Be kind, deliberate, and resourceful.
Keep your cool and help others do the same. Stay mindful of heightened stress and sensitivity during the pandemic and beyond.
With still so many unknowns and a long road ahead, we must bolster mental health and stability STAT.
In short, we need to cultivate calm.
Below are 3 life rules to help cultivate calm, during quarantine and beyond.   
* Be Kind. To yourself and others. Everyone’s stressed. 
* Be Deliberate. Time and attention are at a premium, now more than ever. Spend them wisely. 
* Be Resourceful. Unimaginable constraints are now a daily reality. Figure out how to make them work for you. 

1. Be Kind. 

Everyone’s stressed – you may have noticed? Many are on-edge and hyper-sensitive. Some are unwittingly looking for an excuse or person on whom to unleash their pent up fears and frustrations. Blame is the easy way out – it avoids ownership and responsibility. 

And blame is too readily available in supply. 

But you don’t have to feed this frenzy. You can take the high road. You can cultivate calm by lowering your voice and slowing it down. Be gentle, be kind. 


And first, Be Kind to Yourself. 

Be kind to the You of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. 

Yesterday may have been terrible. Perhaps someone did or said something unbelievable. Perhaps you screwed up. 

But here’s the thing – that moment’s done. Yesterday’s over and not worth a fret.

Instead, resolve to elevate the moment, starting Now.

You only create more suffering for yourself and others by fighting reality – simmering on the who’s, what’s, how’s, and WHY’s of that terrible someone or something. ‘Simmering’ is easy.

But to do anything good in this world, we must move forward. Constantly learn and evolve. (Yes: Eat Clean, Breathe Deep, Move Often, Never Settle… all the things!)

And so, in Being Kind to the You of Yesterday: Replace Regrets with Resolve.

If you can focus on elevating the moment – being productive and positive in the present, right Now – you’re not only being kind to the You of today, you’re also being kind to the person you’ll be tomorrow. There’s no telling what you can do going forward. 

This practice takes patience and even re-mastering over the years. And once you’re rooted in self-kindness, extend as much kindness as you can.  


When centered in Kindness, Extend Kindness

Even the smallest kind gesture, virtual or not, can radically shift someone’s day for the better. Try it. The next time you feel an inner tug or prompt to think of someone or to send a quick encouraging text – do it. At the very least, write it down and follow-through as soon as you can, lest it becomes a mere passing, self-serving thought – of no benefit to the other. 

Also, being centered in your own ‘calm’, catch yourself before reacting to other’s lack of calm. 

Calm is in short supply. 

Pause, breathe deep, re-calibrate for calm. This is a kind service to yourself and others. 

Now’s an excellent time to work on that elusive emotional intelligence (EQ) over IQ.


2. Be Deliberate

Your time and others’ time = expensive. Spend these wisely. 

Time and attention are at a premium, now more than ever. Be prudent with these precious resources. 

The news will always be there. But this moment, right now, will not. It’ll surely pass and you’ll want to do your best by it. (and the next moment, and the next)

Set intentions not only for your work but also for your self and your soul. 


Ask yourself: What are the absolute key things that need to be done: today, this week, this month? 


Deliberately revisit expectations of yourself and others. Are you asking too much? Set priorities and schedules accordingly. 

Maintaining alignment of expectations and true priorities is a crucial survival skill. With exponentially more people staying in and working from home, burn-out is a probable pitfall – but it doesn’t have to be inevitable. 

Remember: You don’t have to fill up every single additional moment with work! 

Set healthy boundaries and routines. Invest your energy wisely. 


3. Be Resourceful. 

We’re all figuring this out as we go. Scientists, physicians, government officials, teachers, restaurants, and yes… You

Figure out how to work with what you’ve got. Discover novel ways to enjoy your surroundings, relax, and even have fun every once in a while – no, every day. 

e.g. Take inventory of your pantry, fridge, and freezer and find related easy and healthy recipes.

No meat? No problem! Add nuts and/or beans to brown rice for a similar protein profile. 

Designate tech-free timeframes or events within your household. Establish new rituals to help mark time and create a sense of sacred. 

Like to dance? Start a dance party at home or online with friends. 

Connect with fresh air and the outdoors. Sit outside for a few minutes – look, listen, and take notice of something new. Pop your head out a window if it’s the only safe means to feel the air. 

If you’re working from home, invest in upgrades where you can. Wider desks, larger monitors, and ergo keyboards can make a meaningful difference in your quality of life and productivity. Talk to your boss or HR about funding. And if you’ve never tried an under-desk treadmill, now would be the perfect time to buy.  


Lastly, a ‘Q’ for You:

How are You marking time and making time these days?

Have any strategies to share for keeping calm, sane, and resourceful?

Let me know in the comments below! 

Stay safe, stay Healthy. 


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