How COVID-19 lock downs have similar effects on our mental health as being locked up?

“As long as your mind is free, your spirit is strong.”

This was the sentence that made my mind shift back into positivity during these strange times we are experiencing globally right now. This simple yet powerful advice came from someone who spent a substantial amount of time in confinement, most of it in a maximum security prison.

As much as I’m committed to provide you with business and marketing advice for your spiritual business, I’m also passionate about sharing tips on how to stay positive. I felt it’s vital to show our situation from a different perspective and decided to talk to an ex convict to understand how being in lockdown compares mentally to being locked up. I asked him to share his experience in light of our current situation and by sharing some of his story, maybe we can find some answers how to cope. He also reminds us that even though we are quarantined we still have small liberties; we have technology and the internet to entertain ourselves, to keep our minds occupied and to stay connected to our loved ones.

We might be physically confined but the most important thing is: not to be confined mentally. Having some of our freedom suddenly being taken away from us can definitely take its toll on our mental health. I wondered how this compares to being incarcerated?

Breaking free of a limiting mindset. Mental health

Does this COVID-19 lock down have similar effects on our mental health as being locked up?

I decided to ask this from someone, let’s call him Diego, who had spent a significant amount of time in confinement, majority of it being in a maximum security prison. Since he finished his sentence, he started a new life and left his old ways behind him to appreciate the second chance that life threw him.

I was curious to find out two things:

  1. What advice can he give to people during these times to keep our mind strong and healthy?

  2. What is that one thing he learnt to appreciate when he got his freedom back?

First thing that became very quickly clear to me was that no, our current lock down is not even half as bad as being completely deprived from all the important things in life: speaking to our loved ones, having our meals when we want to, being able to go for that walk to the supermarket whenever we need to. Being able to open our front door when we feel like, that freedom of movement we still have to take care of our essential needs.

As Diego explains, most people have never been confined of their freedom so it’s a lot harder to deal with it as compared to someone who has been conditioned from a young age and became prepared for it mentally. Also someone who is more of a social, extrovert character, who needs regular social interaction in life, can find this situation even more challenging than how it really is. So as a side note, think about those people in your lives who are extroverts and maybe give them a call a few times in these coming weeks.  

Listen to a short yet meaningful snippet of our interview with Diego
“We can communicate with people and look for emotional support”

It was interesting to hear some of Diego’s tips on how he kept his mind sane while also improving on his own self-development during his time in confinement. For us, during our quarantines these tips and advice can come in useful especially if you feel like that your mental state and emotions are already going through a roller coaster. For me personally, it definitely has been the case and I’m only on my 10th (or 11th?) day of our lock down here in Barcelona.

Shining light to symbolize power of mental health and positive thinking

You will need to train yourself to have some self-discipline.

Introducing a new routine, a new schedule will give you some certainty during these uncertain times. It creates a structure in your mind.

To stay mentally strong:

 “I practised a lot of discipline, I meditated, I worked out. You have to make a schedule right around your circumstances. What you create is a program, you’re programming yourself.”

“I used to be a very disciplined individual to withstand and outlast my conditions of confinement. I read a lot and the books that I read were the tools for me to be able to withstand anything mentally.”

How your mindset effects your physical health:

“Of course, none of us like to be confined but it’s either you remain strong mentally or you don’t but then you break mentally. And then you end up having all these other mental handicaps that could probably lead you to your demise. Anxiety, is one of the main ones and from anxiety you will build panic attacks and from panic attacks it could lead to health conditions.

Once your mental state is broken and your spirit is done then your physical well-being will go after it.”

Meditating figure in light to show importance of mental health

Learning to appreciate what’s important in life:

“What I appreciate in life is the small things, the joys. Health, freedom, those are the things to me that mean the most. Family, love. Everything else can come and go. Money comes and goes, success comes and goes but as long as you have what you stand on, what you believe in, and at the end of the day you have the ones that you love and then you love yourself, that’s what matters the most.”

“During our last conversation when we met for a coffee, I told you how grateful I am and how I’m not in the pursuit so much of being successful financially. Because I’m so grateful being free. I was disciplined and confined for so long and I even confined myself in a way of restricting myself of pleasure. I would do that purposely to become strong mentally. Like I would fast or would limit myself from being able to eat things like chocolate and stuff like that, that could bring small joys. Because if you don’t have something, you don’t want something then you don’t miss it”

I wondered by facing all these restrictions to our freedom through this lock down, has triggered any past traumas for him. Has it brought back some of those negatives memories, emotions or flashbacks?

“So far, I’m dealing with it quite well, it hasn’t triggered anything but then again I’ve been out of that situation for quite a long time. And I understand that this is for my own well-being and for humanity as well. Being a caring person, I don’t want to put other people at risk or myself at risk so you know, I have to be a law abiding citizen.”


If someone who had spent a tremendous amount of time being locked up in prison can understand how important it is to stay at home and complies with the lock down rules, then so can you. You really have no excuse.

If you want to get more advice and useful tips on how to keep your mental health in good shape and your mindset positive, you can listen to my latest podcast about this topic with The Fit Fun Podcast right here.

How are we shifting collectively during these challenging times?

How ironic is that we feel more connected to humanity by being isolated from one another? The little things in life that we took for granted now really teach us their true value. A walk along the beach or in the park, the hugs from your loved ones living abroad, the excitement of planning a weekend getaway. It never crossed our minds that these could be luxuries.


It’s only been 7 days for me since I’ve been in complete lock down and the first few days were actually a bliss like for so many of you as well probably. We could enjoy a bit of calmness in the madness, especially if we live in a city that usually would be bursting with life. For me, that’s Barcelona. But all we see now is empty streets and we started to recognise some familiar faces on the balconies across the street from us. We started waving over to those people during our morning coffees or throwing them a smile while another neighbour is entertaining us with some music to keep our spirits up. Or when we are clapping in unison at 20:00 sharp every evening to show our gratitude to all the incredible people working around the clock in health care, trying their best to safe as many lives as possible.


But as soon as we retreat from our balconies or windows, we are left with our own realities. Either you are sharing your 24 hours inside those walls with your family or living completely alone, it does take a toll on your mental state. It stirs your soul up. It makes you question everything in your life, all of your priorities, all of your time you have been dedicating to something.

Does any of that truly matter?
What are those moments that now you realise that you honestly cherish? What are those little life-snippets that make you feel that are creating some kind of value, some kind of meaning?

You start reaching out to people you haven’t talked to for a while, you start reading those books that have been collecting dust on the shelves, you start opening that expensive bottle of wine you’ve been saving up for a special occasion. You suddenly start expressing gratitude to those people that connected with you and showed you something positive, that taught you something meaningful, that stood by you during your darkest days.


This global quarantine is no longer about just putting people into isolation who might be infected with this coronavirus / COVID-19 whatever you want to call it. We are creating a whole different meaning to that state, what this quarantine really means and what it brings out of us.


I see the light and positivity in all this devastating times. I see people reconnecting with themselves, I see people telling their close ones how much they love them, I see people being more compassionate, more helpful, more humane. I see people trying their best to form communities, to strengthen their existing tribes, to care for each other. We needed to be isolated, quarantined to feel more connected than ever before. That’s the biggest quarantine irony and it is the best way to experience this together. Not in fear, not in worrying and not panicking. But by being there for each other, keep lifting each other up, shining a bit of happiness in others’ lives whenever we can.


I encourage all of you to use this strange time to become more connected. We are in this together and remember, this is temporary. It will pass and once we are on the other side, we will have a much different community, society and overall system. We will rebuild our economies together but most importantly we will rebuild ourselves together. We are all one. This is the time to really put that into practice.


So keep smiling at your neighbours, keep entertaining people around you, keep that light shining.

I’m on a mission to build a community, to help people who are working within the spiritual, esoteric and holistic industries reach their potential by truly focusing on their spiritual calling and turning that into their vocation. Learn for free how to start to turn your spiritual mission into your career.

3 things you can do now to keep your customers and build your network

I thought it could be a good time to share some of my tips and experience with you to learn how to actually carry on with your businesses, services and how to get more clients especially online.


Depending on where in the world you are right now, most of you likely to be already working from home and you’re looking at ways how to get a few customers back to your way maybe. Shifting your entire workload to more of a digital, online base. So maybe some of you are not fully able to do that but this is exactly what I wanted to talk about that those of you who are doing services that really require in person meetings, maybe you’re a chiropractor or a crystal healer. For those of you, this is a great time now to think a little bit differently and see what else you could be offering to your customers that doesn’t require you meeting them in person.

Because it is what it is, the current situation, you don’t really have much control over it and your financial independence might depend on it not having enough clients. And by financial independence I also mean being able to meet your basic needs of the bottom layer of the Maslow pyramid.


So start thinking a little bit different and do a couple of things that could generate you some revenue, maintain the loyalty of your existing customers and bring in some new clients along the way.


There are 3 things you could be doing right now that I wanted to share with you. 3 ideas to get started with as an alternative to meeting customers in person to KEEP YOUR business GOING.

CREATE AN ONLINE EVENT


Most likely you have some social media page, presence, you have your website. If you have any of this, then it is a great way for you to create events online. You can use many different services to promote your online gathering: Eventbrite, Facebook events, Meetup or simply arrange a time via Hangouts / Zoom. For some of you maybe Instagram is your most efficient platform then use that to promote your event and just remember to add the link to you event in your Bio as you can’t add clickable links to Instagram posts.

An idea for a topic you could be covering for your online event:
Helping people keeping a positive mindset. I think this is something that we all have in common, we understand how important it is to have a healthy mindset and to keep that positive attitude. So you could be running online workshops sending out some tips, tools or some exercises even how to rewire your brain as a lot of negativity is going around right now in news outlets, in social media.

People are being thrown into a bit of a panic mode which obviously generates fear for many of them. Fear is such a low vibrational energy to pass around and it’s definitely not a great mindset to have. And some of you who are highly sensitive, empathetic to the collective you might be feeling this as well. So it really is a good time to help people/ show people how to shift their mindset towards some higher vibrational level feelings: being more positive, more optimistic or show them how to feel now gratitude for actually what they do have in their life. So this is one thing you could be doing.

NURTURE YOUR EXISTING CUSTOMERS

Another thing you could be doing is to reach out to your existing customers, really show them that you are there for them. Offer them some advice, anything that could be adding some positive value to their lives. They will really appreciate your efforts and when everything calms down and sort of goes back to a bit more usual then they will remember you and you will have that strong customer loyalty that you are now building up with them. Use this time to really follow up with them or with your previous leads that didn’t convert into paying customers. So reach out to them as well offer them maybe some free advice and tips or just a quick check up if they have any concerns or questions, is there anything you can do for them. Offer your extra free time now to give back to the community.

You are planting seeds now: nurture your existing customer base and your potential leads.

Maybe you received some messages through your social media platforms or some of your leads sent you emails, contacted you on your website or they called you or messaged you on WhatsApp; go through all of these inboxes and see if there is anything you could recycle and reach out to them.

Topics you could get these conversations started: giving them some free positive advice relating to your service. For example if your service is related to alternative medicine or holistic healing that would be a really good angle right now to put together a recipe for a natural immune system booster and send it to them. I actually have my own favourite recipe as well and now I’ve been ‘overdosing’ myself on ginger, garlic, turmeric and cinnamon. So maybe share some of your home-made and natural immune system boosters which could bring a bit of benefit to your potential customers.

BUILD A COMMUNITY

I promised you 3 ideas so here is the third one: reach out to people who are in similar shoes like you professionally. Start building your professional community now. This is a great time to get together virtually.

I’m on a mission to create some form of unity and community out of this whole situation.

Let’s try to look at things in a positive light and let’s reach out to each other and build a very strong, functional network of like-minded positive thinkers, people who are devoted to make a difference and help others, to improve their mindset and personal or spiritual development. So anyone who is out there, trying to spread positivity and light as to speak, I invite you now to reach out to me as well and reach out to each other and start forming communities. Start having conversations, maybe you can do an online event together, maybe you can reach out to customers together offering them more useful tips.


Try to follow these 3 potential options that you could be doing with your extra free time right now which will help you create stronger connections with your existing customers, with your professional network and could also generate you more customers moving forward once everything is a little bit more settled and calmer. People are going through right now a lot if internal work, re-evaluating and re-prioritising their values ad what’s important in life.


I would like to wish you to stay positive as well, which I’m sure is what you’re doing already without me having to remind you of this. Also wishing you peaceful weeks ahead of you, as much as it is possible and productive days on an internal level, so hope that you can find some time to create something more meaningful in your life right now and add some value to society and communities, which are transforming rapidly as we speak.


Feel free to reach out and connect with me as well at: timi@connectonemarketing.com
You can also book in a free consultation with me to get some more customised tips for your spiritual business.


Take care of yourselves and stay positive. ✨💙