In the first part of our tips on how to make the most of our time in lockdown we paid particular attention to nurturing happiness.

In this blog, we’re looking at it from another perspective and considering some of the ways we can nurture personal growth!

However, we know that living with a medical condition is difficult at any time and, during this period, it may be harder than ever. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself, don’t put pressure on yourself to change your life completely. The following are just some ideas that you might like to experiment with.

Self-Development: Nurturing Personal Growth

“My definition of success? The more you’re actively and practically engaged,

the more successful you will feel.”

Richard Branson


Workout At Home

image of woman working out at home with yoga

Perhaps unsurprisingly the concept of home workouts has spiked in popularity since the lockdown. Yet what is unquestionable is the absolute value of working out at home regardless of a lockdown or not.

There is no greater tool to workout with than your own body. Period. Zero equipment needed. Zero pricey gym membership subscriptions required. The only thing you’ll need to find? A little bit of passion and commitment.

Exercise is not a vanity action. Exercise is our conscious effort to simply move our bodies, effectively, with the aim of being able to do so more easily over time. Why? Because moving our bodies more easily means living a more comfortable life and who doesn’t want that?

Still, all of our bodies are unique and we all have our limitations. Yet, we are all united by the simple fact that we each own a body and have the responsibility of looking after it to the best of our abilities.

So what is a home workout and how do you do it effectively?

A good home workout simply involves:

  • An appropriate warm up and active, albeit gentle, stretching
  • Bodyweight exercises which could include mastering some yoga poses, pushups, squats, a more intense aerobic activity such as burpees, some stair climbing or a steady state form of cardio such as brisk walking or jogging
  • An appropriate cool down and some passive stretching (a quick scroll through Youtube will provide you with dozens of great video guides)

Of course, we also need to factor in a healthy dose of recovery and we do this by ensuring we get enough sleep (approx. 7.5-8 hours a night), a nutritious, balanced diet and plenty of water.

The best place to start with any form of exercise is consulting with our doctors before beginning, as well as a thorough understanding of our physical limitations. So please, when engaging with any home workout, do so safely!


Reacquaint Yourself With… Yourself!

woman relaxing with a bath

There’s no escaping it; there is one person you are stuck with for your entire life and getting to know them, accepting them and loving them, more every day is time well spent. Who is this person? This person is you!

The notion that self-isolation is something to dread begs the question: why? Is it really so difficult to hang out with yourself for a little while?

We should love and appreciate ourselves, and enjoy spending time alone. By embracing our identity, our thoughts and our subtleties, we allow ourselves to enjoy life more.

If we don’t already feel completely comfortable with ourselves, is there a more worthwhile endeavour?

Interestingly the better we know, and the more comfortable we are with, ourselves the better we are then able to give ourselves to others. The more present we will be in our social interactions and the more invested we can be in those relationships.

What’s more, in developing greater levels of self-appreciation, the more positive the consequences on our mental health will be.

Try considering self-isolation as an extended holiday with yourself. See it as an opportunity to learn more about who you really are and to love yourself more for it. Perhaps you could have a few date nights yourself; if you're arty you could embark on a self-portrait project or you could simply...


Discover Meditation

woman meditating by an open window

A really rewarding way of discovering ourselves better is through meditation.

Whilst we can achieve a meditative state by engaging in something creative or work that allows us to move into the "Flow State" (1), choosing to engage with any of the many practices of meditation has proven to have hugely positive results.

A really fun way of trying meditation is to find somewhere to sit comfortably for 5-10 minutes and close your eyes. Paying attention to the sounds of your environment, try to individually identify each of the sounds that are contributing to the music of your world.

Can you hear the birds singing? What direction is the sound coming from? How many birds are chirping?

Is there a rumble of nearby traffic? Picture in your mind’s eye the traffic, the drivers, the wheels as they roll along the tarmac. How vividly can you paint that scene?

Perhaps there are other people you can hear, or some construction work still taking place a few streets over. Maybe, if you listen closely enough, you can hear the rustle of tree leaves dancing on that gentle spring breeze.

As you methodically work your way through the soundscape of your everyday, you’ll emerge from those few minutes feeling more intune with your surroundings than you thought possible.

Even better, you’ll have spent 5-10 minutes with a mind free of worry or stress. You might even feel refreshed and recharged. And you might just fancy doing it all again tomorrow...


Make Some Music; Listen To Some Music

mother playing the guitar whilst her daughter dances

Making and listening to music is just as much ‘me time’ as it is ‘self-development’. When it comes to music, the two are practically indistinguishable. The magic and medicine of music are as old as time and as important to our psyches as food is for our bodies (2).

When we listen to music that we already know, we are most likely to listen to songs that have a deep resonance to us. Music is the perfect compliment to our memories and there will be many songs personal to you just because of their connection to past events.

Conversely, when we listen to new music, we are exploring the novelty of new compositions and are, however consciously, excited by the prospect of new pleasurable discoveries.

On the other hand, making music requires a different level of involvement but can elicit equally emotional responses. No matter whether you are an accomplished or student musician, manipulating an instrument to produce melodic noises is an act of creativity; a joyous expression of oneself.

Music, therefore, is not just good for our ears, it’s good for our health too.


Learn a Language

image of an open text book whilst someone studies

Language acquisition is a life skill that can be both beneficial and, hopefully, a fun, engaging activity to stimulate the mind with.

Unlike many other nations, language learning is not institutionalised here in the UK. In fact, 68% of UK citizens do not speak a second language. Compare that to the 98% of Swedes, 92% of Norwegians and 96% of Danes who are at least bilingual and the difference in cultural attitudes to languages is apparent.

Scarily, a 2016 survey revealed the UK to have the lowest percentage of 25-64 year olds reported to be be able to hold a conversation in a foreign language. Yet, remarkably, learning a language is thought to not be a difficult challenge, it’s just a different kind of challenge.

Why not investigate a new language and see how much you can learn in a week of regular study? There are many online services and apps that can help support your language learning and two of the best are Duolingo and Babbel.

Fun fact: MedicAlert operates in over 100 different languages and dialects, so no matter what language you already speak, our team speaks it too.


Go All In

gentleman playing close attention to the work he is doing

We live in a world and a time where our attention is continually diverted. An unlikely benefit of the COVID-19 quarantine has been how much it has forced us to slow right down. Suddenly we’re finding ourselves freer from the rat race than we’ve probably ever been.

Even though, statistically, our attention spans have never been shorter (3), we have a wonderful opportunity to embrace the new pace of life and give more of our attention to fewer things.

Consider, for example, the act of making a coffee. What’s your typical process? Quickly spoon a mound of ground beans into the cafetiere, pour in some boiling water and run off to continue getting ready for work whilst it brews a bit? And that’s if you’re being fancy.

Have you ever considered how many grams of beans are needed for the perfect cup? The perfect Dalonga coffee? How much water, and what temperature, leads to the best brew? Have you ever measured how much milk the perfect cup requires? Or simply sat for five minutes consciously savouring that cup of morning Joe?

Probably not. Most of us don’t.

How about when you talk with friends or family? Or anyone, for that matter. Do you really, truly pay attention to what is being said? Do you make eye contact, do you use attentive body language? How connected is your communication with them?

The results of such a shift towards giving your full attention might take you by surprise. It might just result in some unexpected, easily achieved, upgrades to your life. So next time you do anything, go all in. Take advantage of the attention you can now give, and strive to be present in all that you do.

The core aim of MedicAlert is to support its community of members through providing medical records curated for use in emergency situations, to medical professionals via our 24/7 emergency helpline. This is complimented by the wearing of our unique ID jewellery, custom-make to detail your most vital information.

At MedicAlert, we know that health and peace of mind go hand-in-hand. To find out more on how MedicAlert membership keeps you safe in emergencies whilst providing the confidence to remain active and join in, read a selection of our members real-life stories or call us on 01908 951045 for more information. 



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References to other websites herein are done so with sincerity and an open appreciation for their content.

References:

  1. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/flow-state-what-it-is-and_b_9607084
  2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/music-and-health
  3. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-04/tuod-aoi041119.php

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