At the start of 2020, no one could have predicted how drastically daily life across the globe would change. As the coronavirus pandemic has gripped every nation, full lockdowns and social distancing have changed our routines and our lives beyond recognition. And although everyone is hyper-vigilant for the signs of the virus itself, equally we are all realizing just how valuable general good health is. After all, no one wants to find themselves requiring urgent medical treatment at this time. Good health of mind and body also gives us the resilience to meet the challenges that this unprecedented time is generating.
So how can you best look after your body, mind and your health in lockdown?
Find A Remote Workout
Gyms across the country may be shut, but that is no excuse for neglecting your health by failing to do a workout. Lots of online workout apps have made their routines available for free or very reduced prices in an effort to help out, so it’s a great time to try a few different platforms and see which one suits. Mix it up to keep it interesting, from downloading a HIIT workout app to get your pulse racing and burn some calories, to following Yogalates on YouTube to get your body more flexible. It’s a good idea to set yourself some gentle goals to keep motivation high. Something like the plank challenge could see you increase your core strength in quarantine and emerge in better condition than when it began!
Get Outside Where Possible
If you are allowed outside for a daily form of exercise, take the opportunity to go for a walk – the fresh air and sunshine help your body in so many ways, from lifting your mood to resetting the body’s circadian rhythm and helping you to sleep better at night. You could follow a programme such as Couch 2 5k, which helps novice runners to build their strength up gradually. Or even if you can’t leave the home, if you have a garden then planting bulbs and tidying up can be a good way of getting some outdoor exercise and much needed fresh air.
Listen To Your Body
At this time, it’s more important than ever to tune into what your body is telling you, and learn to respond. If you have a nagging injury, don’t overdo it. Aim to sort the problem out with some physiotherapy, or if not, just learn some simple stretches to release tension in the body. Rest when you need to – it’s important not to let sleep routines slide, even if you don’t have the same reasons to get out of bed in the morning. Keeping it consistent with rest is the best thing for maintaining your health. Ensure that you continue to eat a rainbow every day to get vital vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants into your body, and consider a superfood supplement to help boost your intake as well. Take it slow where you need to and use the time to become much more aware of all the small signals your body gives you.
Start A Journal
Being isolated and/or being quarantined can wreak havoc on your mental health. It is crucial that you check in with yourself, be mindful and understand how you are coping with all the changes. Writing down your thoughts and feelings during this stressful time can help relieve some of your anxiety. You will be surprised how much journalling can help you. Especially if you are someone who tends to bottle things up. Let your mind go wherever it wants to as you write. Your journal is a safe place to explore your inner most worries. And wrap it up by purposefully listing a few things you are grateful for. A blank notebook or even a scrap piece of paper will do in a pinch. If you are having trouble getting started journalling, just doodle or draw.
Talk To Someone
Just because we are physically distancing from each other, doesn’t mean we can’t reach out and text, chat, call or skype with others. Humans are social animals and we need to feel connected with others, even in times when everything is normal and good. It is even more important during these times. If you are isolating by yourself or your anxiety is over-whelming, please reach out to someone. And conversely, I urge you to take the time to check in on your friends and family too. You never know who is struggling and you very well may be able to lift each other up.
Take A News/Social Media Break
I know you want to be up to date with everything that is happening out in the world, but for your own sanity, you must take breaks from the news and social media. It can be so draining, both physically and mentally, to be constantly bombarded with updates. Try a day, or even an hour, without checking your phone, TV or laptop. Turn off your wifi if you have to!
No one knows how long the current lockdown will last. You have to be prepared for the long haul. Taking care of your mind, body and health will ensure that you will be able to cope for the duration plus be ready to resume regular activity when it is over.