Nicky Duffell, nutritional therapist and transformational coach, shares some tips for maximising your time at home during lockdown.

She says you can use your period of self-isolation as a springboard to tune in to your inner wants, needs and emotions.

We’re in unprecedented times right now. We’re in the unknown. Right now during lockdown, we each have an opportunity to tap in to how precious life is. As we move through this we may even have some space to do the things we love (albeit on a limited basis).

I’ve been dancing around the kitchen with my daughter this past week as a way of moving my energy but also to watch her, to take her in.

Now more than ever we have an opportunity to heal. It’s going to be hard, but together we can move through what life is asking of us.

Here are some suggestions of how you can maximise and get the most of our this time during lockdown: to listen to your own body and needs so you can support yourself and your family. To trust what you instinctively know.

Calm your mind

1) Your mind is powerful. The mind is geared towards survival and may likely be in survival mode right now. This can take you into many different scenarios to keep you safe and protected. But with that can come fear and anxiety. Overthinking causes your mind to be busy and stress to accumulate in your body. This increases the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, to name two.

2) Become aware of what’s going on in your mind. Notice your inner dialogue. So much of the mind chatter is unconscious. I invite you to create a loving awareness about what’s going on in your mind, free from judgment.

meditation calms your mind

3) Meditation is a powerful tool to help calm the mind. It’s steeped in ancient wisdom and also backed by scientific research that shows it reduces stress and anxiety. If you’re new to meditation try an app such as Headspace or Insight Timer.

Or you can simply count your out breaths for a count of ten, then start again. It’s actually near impossible to get to ten without getting distracted and thinking of something else!

Make time for physical nourishment

1) Think about how you can nourish yourself right now: through what you eat, how you move your body, how you rest and how you care for yourself.

Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables where you can. We often eat the same things on autopilot so perhaps take a pause before your next meal and tune in to what your body needs.

2) Movement can bring you out of your head and back into your body. It can also move the energy in your body. There are so many ways to move: walking, dancing, yoga, tai chi, qi gong. Try any one of these. Remember no one can see you dancing in your living room so let rip!

3) I also invite you to stop reading this right now and just breathe deeply for a minute. Breathing deep into your body has been shown to calm your central nervous system.

Most of us will be in the stress state, which activates the sympathetic nervous system, which in turn down-regulates the immune system. Breathing slowly and deeply is therefore important for optimum immunity.

massage will help you feel relaxed4) Think about how you care for you body. Resting and getting good sleep is also great medicine for your immune system. You can take it a step further by nourishing yourself with beautiful body products, or giving yourself a massage (get your partner involved if you have one).

I like to just lie on the floor, to let the weight of my body go and feel supported by the ground beneath me.

Have awareness of your emotions

1) Become aware of how you’re feeling. You may feel grief, sadness, anger, frustration. It’s not uncommon to feel a tidal wave of emotions when encountering something so unknown and uncertain.

2) Notice how you’re dealing with your emotions. Are you numbing them out either with online shopping, alcohol, food, chocolate or endless box sets? Bring in a loving awareness again and just notice the habits you’re adopting and how they’re impacting you.

There is no right or wrong to how you’re feeling and you don’t have to change how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling angry, that’s OK; if you’re feeling scared that’s OK too.

3) Journalling can help you navigate how you’re feeling. Getting all your thoughts and feelings down on paper is cathartic. It doesn’t need to be neat and tidy. Emotions aren’t neat and tidy! Be with whatever it is you’re feeling if you can, and allow your emotions space.

Jack Kornfield, author and Buddhist practitioner, talks about inviting in your emotions, welcoming them rather than pushing them away. When you do this, they tend to lose their power, so you’re not fighting against them.

Nicky is a registered nutritionist (mBANT, CNHC) and transformational coach. Find her on @nicky_duffell and her website Nicky for Life. She is leading a 6-week programme starting today (March 30, 2020) for anyone ready to tap into how precious life is and to evolve as a human being. She also work one-to-one with clients.