My wife, T, loves these red shoes. She says they have pizzazz! In these days of sheltering in place and “safer at home,” it feels like the pandemic has sucked the glamour and vitality out of many of us. And that has such a draining effect on our outlook and sense of well-being.
Lately, Wellness Warriors, I’ve been thinking a lot about how isolation affects our mindset, even when we don’t notice it. We all feel more isolated lately because:
We can’t embrace people like we used to
We don’t see our family and friends in the places we love
Our freedom of travel has been restricted
Many of our choices for entertainment have been restricted or canceled
Numerous other reasons
Even the way we dress has changed dramatically. Many of us aren’t dressing up to “go” to work much anymore. Casual clothes seem to be enough to get through the next Zoom call. Still, how we reflect to ourselves in the mirror can sting us a bit. And all of this can make us feel pizzazz-less.
Rediscovering Your Pizzazz
There are many things we can do to recapture the vitality and glamour of our pre-COVID, pre-lockdown selves. Here are a few simple things you can do that will help improve your mood, outlook, and bring the pizzazz back into your life.
Gratitude – First and foremost, I believe rediscovering the pizzazz starts by acknowledging that we still have much to be grateful for and work toward. Take a moment to acknowledge all of the ways that are going right in your life right now. You can make a mental list of all the GOOD will help bring back a sparkle in your eye. Keeping a gratitude journal is also a great way to keep reminding yourself of all that is going well and that you’re thankful for.
Movement – Next, get moving! Go for a walk, dance around the house, take a swim, perk up your flower garden. As long as your body is in motion, you will feel better. There is a mind-body connection to inactivity that creates a dragging mindset. Motion creates energy and vitality.
Get outside – Time outdoors decreases stress, blood pressure, and heart rates. Instead of screen time, which frequently has the opposite effect, consider spending time in your yard, a park, in the woods, or just walking around the block after dinner. Relaxing outdoors is good for your mental health.
Stay connected to real people – Go out of your way to contact family and friends through video calls, regular phone calls, or even an in-person (safe and socially-distanced) get together. Even something as simple as chatting with a neighbor about the weather can positively affect your mood.
Pump Up the Tunes – “Hey, Alexa, play…!” While you’re working from home or starting or winding down your day, jam to your favorite tunes, and before you know it, you’ll be dancing! Also, try finding a live-streaming concert from your favorite artist, since you can’t actually go to a concert right now.
Dress Up – Or at least, don’t dress down. Yes, sweatpants and Lululemons are super comfortable, but try dressing it up a little to improve your mental outlook. I know only your top half can be seen on Zoom calls, but dressing it up a little will make you feel more like your old self, and walking past the mirror will give you a good feeling! Also, pick a night with your significant other or family and maybe have a dressy meal together. It’s not easy to go out to eat nowadays, but getting dressed up and having a meal delivered will definitely add that sparkle back in your eye.
Sleep – Getting a good night of sleep is helpful in so many ways. It gives you energy, improves your outlook, and improves your immune system. It also has such a big impact on your mood, and if your sleep has been less than stellar lately, you may be sleep-deprived and not even realize it. Getting your circadian rhythm back in check can have an immensely positive impact on your mood and overall health, so be sure to set a bedtime and stick to it.
Little Things – And don’t forget that the little things still count. Seek out the details that make life dazzlingly for you, like:
Putting fresh flowers in the house
Trying a new coat of paint in that room that you’ve been putting off to make it bright and cheery
Sending a goofy selfie to friends just because
For me, the fact that my wife still likes it when I wear red shoes for no special reason is worth the mindset shift! Let’s put some pizzazz back into our lives and spread it around…it starts with our heads and trickles down to our feet.
Until next time, Wellness Warriors, Live Well, Live Long!