The start of the Pandemic changed the course of our lives throughout the world. One year into this, the changes seem permanent, and the influence of this global Pandemic has stretched beyond the loss of economy, jobs, lives, and society’s functioning on the whole.
Those of you who have been my regular readers know that I travel alone for long periods, be on the road for months, backpack through countries, traveling slowly. This type of lifestyle was the only one I knew or used to before the Pandemic’s onset.
I had a three-month-long trip across Europe in March last year when the lockdowns were imposed worldwide, leading to the cancellation of my flights and the trip. It happened just a week before I was set to take off.
And when I had to sit back and be home, little did I know that things were going to be changed for long. Or that I would spend the longest time being home and not being on the road. And that means changed routines, changed lifestyle, and more.
Traveling is not just my lifestyle. Being on the road is a fitness routine for me. I walk for miles every day when I am out exploring, physically very active, eat healthier, and my mental health is at its best – because I LOVE to travel.
Trading all that to be locked at home meant a swift change in everything around fitness. Not being able to walk, soak in the sights, meeting people, not physically exert or have happy experiences soon took a toll on me, under a month.
I had been consuming many processed foods, food with fats, or just having them at the wrong times. I knew that If I continued this way, I would be among those who have gained weight thanks to the Pandemic.
And another important thing was my mental health. I began to feel depressed very soon as the prospect of being outdoors or going anywhere drastically declined and the future looked uncertain(which continues).
For someone that has created her whole life around travel, imagine being stripped of that one thing. I felt devastated, experiencing mental distress like millions of people around me. The pandemic-induced stress was not only natural but downright impossible to bear.
I knew that it was high time to act while I could still take control of things. How did I re-design my lifestyle to beat this new “lifestyle”?
My first step was to change my outlook on this whole thing. Instead of thinking, “I am doomed, I cannot travel, and I am stuck and trapped,” I changed into “How can I focus on self-care and use this time thinking on my business plans to grow my sites?”
Once I started telling myself this new narrative, it felt like half-the-battle had been won.
I began by eating healthy. I even went to the extent of checking out all on nutrients, understanding the best diets, the science of calories and their measure, and so on. Although it is not me at all, enough time being home enabled me to think a lot about focusing on my health – both mental and physical.
I have been a Yoga practitioner for some years now, with intermittent periods where I practice. Now, I had the chance to devote time, especially to take Yoga further.
I make sure to do Yoga and added a few intense workouts in between. When it is possible, I have added walks as well, in the evenings. I meditate for at least 15 minutes every day – a short time to cut off from the chaos and seeking serenity within.
I changed my diet, including lots of fruits and many types of vegetables every day, which I still practice today.
Reading is my favorite thing – something I enjoyed on my long and short journeys on trains, planes, and buses. Now I allocated specific times for reading, set myself reading challenges, and I cannot tell how happy it makes me.
I changed my entire plans for this website and more; I have constantly tried to improve my productivity and mindfulness while working and beating professional stress. I spend some time learning new things about my work every day – sometimes for 30 minutes and sometimes for hours, to enhance my skills and expertise.
Results? This blog has grown by 400% since the onset of Pandemic, and the continued growth brings me tears of joy. It has motivated me to learn, put more effort into growing further.
It may all look very smooth, but in between these, there have been moments of relapses here and there – the frustration of not being able to travel suddenly springing up, the dashed plans of my future, the anxiety of not knowing the future, the fear of outcomes, battling the initial set back in my revenue and general lack of motivation.
But whenever these moments occur, I go back to the mindset that I cultivated, or sometimes, I will let these things pass over without fighting. Surprisingly, this approach has worked in enabling me to overcome these down periods.
The Pandemic made me get my hands on things that I had longed and hoped to achieve – a sound mind and a healthy body, growth as a solopreneur, and being a consistent reader and a learner.
None of us know how long it will be until we can have the lives that once we lived. Many have been fortunate to get back wholly. Some of them have not been able to. It will not be the same world, at least for some time.
But we all can get through this together by holding on, by getting ready to face the world in all areas by preparing ourselves better.