How to Keep Your Mental Health in Check During Covid-19

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We chat with the founder of Soul Alive Luke McLeod on how to manage stress and anxiety levels.

Despite the slow lift of lockdown restrictions happening weekly across each state in Australia, many of us are still feeling the effects of isolation with restaurants and cafes still in the limbo stage.

But there are many ways you can manage your stress and anxiety and keep your mental health in check whilst stuck in these turbulent, unknown times.

Soul Alive is Australia’s first live streamed meditation service which aims to help introduce meditation in a convenient way, and in a relatable manner to all its participates.

The founder Luke has practiced mediation for more than ten years, studying it in India, and he has worked with major brands including AMEX, Lululemon, Laing O’Rourke and IAG, helping staff combat major corporate stresses of a busy lifestyle.

We chat to Luke on the importance of mediation and on his new project starting this Sunday (tomorrow) called 5-Alive, a new five week mindfulness challenge designed to help you master you inner world.

The challenge cost is one easy upfront payment of $48 for the five weeks and then followed with a $7 a week commitment after the five weeks, which can be cancelled anytime after the first five weeks have passed.

There is no doubt Covid-19 has reaped havoc on the world. What are some of the main issues concerning mental health that people may or may not be aware of?

“Even though we’re now slowing starting to come out of isolation, I think what’s now going to have an impact on people’s mental health is the ripple effect COVID-19 has had. Particularly the economic impact.

We know that financial strain and stress is one of the leading causes of depression and anxiety, so smart financial management right now is essential along with mental exercises, like meditation, which will certainly help people navigate difficult emotions.”

What are your top tips for helping people reduce the stress and anxiety that they may be feeling in light of Covid-19?

“The obvious one would be to try some meditation like Soul Alive. The science is now conclusive that meditation is proven to help reduce levels of stress and anxiety.

In saying that though, if you’re feeling a lot of tension in the body I would recommend doing some type of physical exercise first to release that tension. That could be going for a run, some yoga or a good stretch. This will bring the body into a better state before meditation.

You have been meditating for over 10 years now. What made you get into it?

“I originally got into meditation to help me work more productively.  I remember reading an article in a business publication that did a study on successful people in different fields, sport, business etc and they found that one of the common habits they had in common was meditation.

It wasn’t until a series of events in my life broke down when I really turned to the practice and experienced the more deeper, spiritual elements of meditation.”

What is meditation and how does it work?

“The most simplest definition is that meditation is a mental practice of continually focusing on one thing in the present moment. Whether that might be a mantra, your breath, a sound, feeling or visual. By doing this it pulls the mind out of the incestuous flickering of thoughts that flood our minds and brings it into the present moment, which is where the essence of life exists. 

Do you have some tips to get people started?

“My first biggest tip for anyone starting out to is to shift your perspective of it. Move it from something that you feel you need to do (e.g. to decrease your stress, anxiety etc) to something you simply want to do and are excited to do.

This releases the pressure of it and allow’s it to do its work. The other big tip would be to celebrate when you catch yourself wandering off or getting distracted. Most people think when this happens they are doing it wrong. This couldn’t be further from the truth. That is meditation.

The act of continually bringing your mind back to that point of focus and with each repetition, makes your mind stronger.  Luke is hosting a 5-Alive mindfulness challenge which starts this Sunday. It is designed to help you master your inner world.”

The idea for the 5-Alive challenge came about when Luke wanted to give people a ‘mindful’ challenge to complete whilst in isolation. Along with making it easier for anyone to take up and stick with meditation and develop mindfulness habits to last a lifetime.

What you can expect:

  • 5 x live guided meditation classes every week for 5 weeks
  • A new mindful topic to master each week
  • Soul Circle catchups with other 5-Alive members
  • Weekly live Q+A’s
  • A progress tracker to keep you on track

The 5-Alive challenge will start this Sunday and it’s not too late to register for the event here.

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Rebecca Wilkinson

CONTRIBUTOR

Say hello to Bondi Beauty's Beauty Columnist. Rebecca is a pescatarian, who may yet become vegan. She loves all things beauty, health & travel with a weakness for coffee. If she's not answering her mobile - it's probably because she's trying out the latest beauty craze like ice baths or rubbing smashed avo on her face. We know, what a waste of smashed avo. Reach out to her with your beauty questions.

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