Don’t think of lockdown as self-isolating, start thinking of it as a self retreat as you disconnect from the world with a few simple rituals, focusing on your sensory experiences to uplift yourself during this time at home. Take a few moments to indulge your senses.
'Be aware that what you look at has a direct effect on your mood and emotions,' explains Amber Lordan, Head of Service aboard the 85.6m (280.1ft) motor yacht AQUILA. 'Limit how much time you spend watching the news or on social media and instead immerse yourself in interactions with loved ones, perhaps with a family member living far away with a video call.'
Masseuse and Yoga Instructor Susanne Rosic, who is a crew member aboard the 74.5m (244.5ft) LADY E agrees. 'Immerse yourself in the greatest healer of all - Mother Nature,' she says. 'With spring in the air, the elements are at their finest. Try to get outside for at least half an hour each day and simply look up at the sky, down at the ground beneath your feet. Appreciating the beauty of nature whenever you can will help to sooth your mind.' Connecting with nature is a call back to what is essential in our lives.
'Taking time to listen is another sensory experience that will relax your nervous system,' says Amelia Marshall who is a Stewardess and Personal Trainer aboard the 73.5m (241.2ft) motor yacht SIREN. You don’t have to go into a full meditation, but simply focusing on your breath and hearing the silence around you will help you to connect with your emotions and, with practice, will uplift you on a dreary day.'
Listening to music can also be therapeutic and moving to the beat can help to shift any tension. Finally, when it comes to listening ensure you listen to those surrounding you. Whether at home or by phone, the need to connect is one of the most important lessons of these times.
According to scientists, 75 percent of our emotions are generated by smell. From conjuring up memories to soothing and lifting the spirits, scents play a major role in our wellbeing. Despina Dimou, Chief Stewardess aboard the 42.6m (139.9ft) motor yacht EMOTION2 recommends something as simple as burning a scented candle or using an essential oil to help calm the senses. 'Add oils to a warm bath, lie back and relax as the scent drifts to the limbic part of the brain which helps to control emotion, mood and memory,' recommends Despina.
Many of us are finding creating new dishes is one of the most grounding pursuits of lockdown. 'Try mixing things up, rather than eating the same thing every day,' recommends Barry Orr, Executive Chef aboard LADY E. 'Experiment with fresh food (when available) and eat to suit your mood. White fish is perfect if you are looking for a light dish, while a steak is more suitable if you feel lacking in strength. And of course, the more fresh fruit and vegetables you can have in your diet the better you will feel.' And finally, for a real feast for the senses, transport yourself with a few simple dishes from your favourite cruising grounds.
Time spent with loved ones can help with oxytocin, which helps to reduce anxiety and stress. 'A simple hug from a family member (one who you are self-isolating with) will make you feel good - the firmer the hug the better,' explains Pimwara 'Gib' Choksakulpan, stewardess and masseuse aboard SIREN. For those who aren’t living in self isolation with family members, self-nurture can also work.
Gib suggests a daily self-massage or body-awakening exercises and acupressure, all of which can be achieved at home using online guidance. 'And, if you really want that spa experience at home you could always order a few of your favourite lotions and potions available from leading spas around the world,' suggests Gib.
Our senses really can lift our mood and have the ability to help us shift habits. Spending just a few minutes each day thinking about how we can utilise the senses for the better can help to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle in these uncertain times.
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