<h5>By Joie Goh</h5>
Isolation doesn’t mean stagnation. While it can be tough facing several more weeks of staying in and not being able to go to your happy places, here are some ways to make it a time of personal growth. We can get #strongertogether because we’re in this together.

<h3>Set goals</h3>
Feeling hopeless and anxious about the global situation? We get it, it’s totally understandable. But one way to overcome existential dread is to set small, attainable goals throughout the entire period of lockdown, and also day by day. Studies have shown that the satisfaction of achieving your goal, no matter how small, <a href=”https://www.psychologytoday.com/sg/blog/the-truisms-wellness/201610/the-science-accomplishing-your-goals”>gives your brain a dopamine hit</a>. It can be something as simple as writing a to-do list of everyday chores, and ticking them off as you complete each task. Each time you tick something off, your brain gets a spike in dopamine levels!

Want to aim bigger? Give yourself a more challenging but still realistic goal. Always wanted to improve your split flexibility? Then set a goal to do at least 30 minutes of hamstring, quad and hip stretching each day. Have a reading list that you’ve neglected due to a busy work schedule? Take the time you might’ve spent on commuting to work, and put it towards reading. Not only will your mind be enriched each time you close a book, so will your mood be improved!
<h3>Stay connected</h3>
We’re lucky to live in a time where we can not only talk to our loved ones while living worlds apart, but also see their faces while doing so! If you’ve been meaning to have that coffee catch-up with your university buddies but your schedules never seemed to match, now’s the time to do an online coffee date (or drinking party). Apps and programs like Zoom and Google Hangouts have made it easier than ever to communicate.

Even better, regular online interactions to provide positive social support to your friends and family <a href=”https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2921311/”>can improve your resilience to stress</a>. Whether it’s checking in with just a text message, or a long leisure Zoom chat, make it a point to interact with the ones in your life beyond the folks you live with.

“I find myself feeling closer to some people than I ever have since the circuit breaker began,” says our co-founder Linda. “I’ve been having hour-long FaceTime conversations with my loved ones, and the fact that I’m not having my attention pulled in many different directions, like if we were meeting face-to-face outside, has made me more present in my interactions with them.”
<h3>Make exercise a habit</h3>
This is a no brainer. Studies after studies have proven that exercising is a <a href=”https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/more-evidence-that-exercise-can-boost-mood”>sure-fire stress buster</a>. Sweating it out not only increases endorphins, it also boosts your health and immunity – especially vital in these times!

In particular, working from home also means that general physical activity is greatly reduced. Whether you’re working by sitting at your desk, curled up on the couch, or lying in bed with your laptop perched on your knee, staying in one position for hours at a time can do a number on your posture. Getting up and moving can help undo the inevitable strain and stiffness in your neck, shoulders, back and limbs, and can help you focus better as well and be more productive overall. Win-win!

Can’t feel motivated to move, even with the overwhelming selection of online workouts all over the internet? Join a virtual fitness class instead, like the WeBarre Virtual classes. Not only does it give you a sense of familiarity and happiness at seeing your favorite instructors, each class full-length class is live and interactive. Doing a virtual class means you’re also sweating it out with an entire community together at the same time, and being able to check in and say hi to your barre-dies and instructor!

“I like that it’s a live virtual class so I’m held accountable and have to finish as if I’d shown up at the studio,” says WeBarre regular Lee. “If it was a video it would be too easy to press pause and be distracted!”

“Although we are all physically apart, it is heartening to see familiar faces taking classes together and sharing the same energy and positive spirit,” adds Rachel, another WeBarre regular who attends virtual classes almost daily since the circuit breaker began. “It’s really ‘barre, burn, repeat’ everyday for me!”

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