For most Ontarians, lockdown has been our reality since mid-November–and during winter, this can be tough. Most people are working or completing their studies from home and are feeling quite restless in their own spaces. Staying motivated has been a struggle for even the most active people in our society. 

So how do you stay motivated when you feel so stuck? Here are some tips to help keep you motivated and less stressed:

Take care of your mental health.

First and foremost, you need to take care of YOU. Your body and mind is a temple and needs to be treated with respect and love. Don’t allow yourself to fall into toxic patterns. It is easy to just sit on the couch and watch Netflix and eat ice cream to pass the time but this takes a toll on your mental health. Reflect on the positive things in your life, write in a journal, meditate for a few minutes a day, take a bubble bath–whatever you enjoy and will help you destress. These little things are important to help keep your mind at ease.

Start with gratitude.

Take the time each morning to start with gratitude. Expressing gratitude can decrease stress, increase optimism, and change how your brain functions and works. Grab a journal, write in the note section on your phone, or tell a loved one what you are grateful for. Try and be specific and stay away from generalized gratitude statements. Even if it is just one thing you are grateful for–like the smell of freshly brewed coffee–start everyday with what you are grateful for and why. 

Try something new.

It is never too late to learn a new skill in life to find out what you are good at. In a recent podcast by Jay Shetty, he mentioned that some of the most successful entrepreneurs and business owners tried hundreds of new things before they found what they were good at. Each and every new thing you try has a purpose in how you learn and how you grow. By trying something new, you will learn transferable skills for anything in life and will broaden your mind as it’s being challenged. Check out the podcast here to find out more.

Read a book or listen to a podcast.

With the pandemic, our screen time has probably increased two-fold which may leave to an increase in cognitive decline. Take some time offline and read that book you’ve been saying you wanted to start or begin listening to podcasts around the house to help continue to expand your mind. No time to physically sit down and read? Try listening to audiobooks instead.