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Staying motivated during Covid lockdowns

Updated: Sep 21, 2020

Working from home may sound great to start off with, but after weeks of it, it's really easy to slide into a funk and land in a bog of demotivation and negativity. Here are some thoughts on little things we all can do to keep our spirits up.

1. Maintain a routine.

Staying up till whenever you feel like it and waking up at noon might be fun for a few days, but in the mid/long term it's a sure way to insomnia and having all your days blending together. Not good. So, try to go to bed at approximately the same time every night and set an alarm to wake up in the mornings. Get dressed for the day - don't spend 24 hours in the same pair of pajamas! Although I've ditched makeup for the time being, I like to put a little effort into putting my hair into a simple but neat style for the day, rather than leaving it in the messy bun I usually use for brushing my teeth and washing my face! It makes me feel more pulled-together and prepared for my day.

2. Exercise

Most dance studios, ourselves included, are offering online dance lessons now. So, no excuses to let your dance skills get rusty! Although most of us don't have a huge space to practice, there are definitely a lot of things like posture, timing, balance, and footwork, that can be worked on very effectively via the online lessons.

You can also supplement your dance lessons with daily challenges from workout apps. I'm using an app called "Home Workout" - you can choose targeted exercises for arms, legs, abs or full body and set your fitness level to suit. There are different exercises every day and each set takes 10-20 minutes. I've found the arm workouts to be really helpful for better ballroom dancing posture. And ab and core workouts are always a good thing to prevent strains and injuries.

3. Get creative

If you like to read, it's a great time to buy a kindle and subscribe to kindle unlimited, which gives you access to loads of books for a small monthly fee! I also enjoy The New York Times and for random stuff reddit's long reads threads is a treasure trove of interesting articles.

If you can sew, why not make some washable cloth face masks? I'm guessing they will be part of our lives for some time to come. I tried the patterns on this site (scroll all the way to the bottom) and they work great. The large size is a good fit for most adult men, and the medium should fit most women. I skipped the filter pocket:

Here's a Youtube video that shows you how to sew the mask. I would recommend the pattern above rather than the one shared in the video:

4. Cook

I've never liked cooking much but have discovered that I'm not that bad in the kitchen after all. It's much healthier than ordering out and saves a ton of money. Recipes for one-pot meals in the oven are my favorite, quick, easy and delicious!

Hope this is helpful for some, and in the meantime, Ramadan Kareem, and we hope life in the UAE continues to go back to normal, or the "new normal".

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