The coronavirus pandemic has had a dramatic impact on each of our lives, especially when it comes to our mental health.
As more parts of Metro Detroit reopen, many people are struggling to to adjust. How do you begin to find your motivation and focus?
Read: How experts say pandemic has impacted mental health
Lobsang Chunzom, of Limitless Health Institute, is a Buddhist nun who teaches meditation around the world. She now uses her experience to help people adjust to the world after the pandemic.
“Languishing is a kind of dullness. It’s a feeling that we have that we don’t even know we have because it’s on such a low-grade dullness that stays with us,” Chunzom said. “We aren’t even aware of it and that seems to be what the problem is because we don’t notice it till it’s almost too late.”
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Chunzom said people are noticing they’re feeling joyless and empty, and they aren’t alone. She said some of those feeling stem from not being at your desk in an office.
“Because many of us are working from home, and the work in the home kind of merged together. So that’s the flatline, like you know you have this moment where your energy is you walk out the door and you go to work,” Chunzom said. “There’s a shift in just that walking out the door, there’s a shift in your energy and your motivation for the day.”
But what if you’re not leaving your house to get to work?
“Just walking into another room, you almost have to you have to pull up that motivation and kind of make it like you’re walking into your new work door, even if it’s in New York, sometimes it’s just a corner,” Chunzom said. “If you have a larger place, than it is another door nice office in your home. But it’s that flatline, it’s that feeling that it’s coming. How do you make that shift in energy throughout the day? That requires more effort on our own because we’re not going out the door to work as much.”
She said that can make your days seem dull and boring. One solution can be trying to reach out and connect with others who might be in the same boat.
“I think it’s really super important to connect with others who are feeling the same way that you’re feeling. We have this program at Limitless Health Institute called the SelfCare Exchange program. And within that, we exchange how do I feel and how are you feeling today and we have a conversation. I tried to help you in with what your problem might be and your dullness and give you ideas maybe of how you can change the energy throughout your day,” Chunzom said. “And then you also give me some support and that helps me to actually take care of myself because I can see myself taking care of you. And now, that gives me a nice mental imprint that I can then see myself taking care of me.”
Connections are important, but she also said another helpful solution is setting a schedule. Setting parameters and a routine that includes time for yourself can help you figure out your motivation and focus.
“What is my intention for the day? “Chunzom said. “Sometimes, it’s for the week. The same intention is going to be the same for each day in that week if you have a weekly goal. It could be that could be a month goal. It depends. So set a goal.”
Once you feel like you’re off to a good start, that’s when she said it’s time to start thinking about how you can pay it forward. Helping someone else can lift your mood almost instantly.
“Within that schedule, you have to have something that’s really directly going to help others and that gives us this fresh idea,” Chunzom said. “While I’m doing that, it’s really nice for me to take five minutes, whenever, just saying that it’s such a cool thing that I have this intention to do this for somebody else.”
As we move into the next phase of the pandemic, she said it’s important to use what you’ve learned during the past year to help make new changes moving forward.
“We have changed, we have all changed. The entire world has changed and there’s no going back, so take the good stuff that we’ve learned from it,” Chunzom said. “It gives me a bit of hope that I can change this way that I’m feeling now.”
Survey: Nearly half of Americans say they experienced changes in physical, mental health amid pandemic
Chunzom said being able to recognize the signs of languishing, depression and PTSD is the first step in bringing someone out of the fog.
More information on the Limitless Health Institute can be found on its official website here.
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