The Coronavirus lockdown has changed daily life dramatically for almost everybody, as we are asked to remain indoors and to cut social contact. The gyms are shut, we can no longer pop to visit our friends and family and our kitchen tables are now our work desks.
This new reality can negatively affect our mental and physical health but there are a number of actions we can take to make things easier.
Here are my thoughts on how we can stay well and healthy in body and mind during this unsettling period.
1. Maintain a Regular Routine
Aim to wake up at the same time each day and head to bed at the same time. This is the same for all regular daily milestones such as breakfast, lunch and dinner. This routine will take away the extra brain energy or 'decision fatigue' required to juggle a new routine. Before you know it you'll be settled in the new way of doing your daily business. Remember to leave time for nice moments in the day such as enjoying a coffee with some dark chocolate whilst reading a book or watching your favourite Netflix series in the evening to wind-down.
2. Exercise at Home via Online Personal Training With Me
This should be a priority in your new regular routine. Contact me for Online Personal Training or download an app to support you with some body weight HIT style exercises you can do at home. Another option is to go for a run in the park or a very brisk walk. So dig out those dumbbells in the loft or as my clients have done - purchase some weights online. Whether burpees or deadlifts, however you do it - get moving.
Aim to exercise your body for a minimum of 40 minutes per day. Do exercises you're familiar with, are good at and always enjoy, or maybe try something very different. For example if you've never practised Yoga follow Yoga with Adrienne online - she's great!
3. Get Outside
Thank goodness Boris didn't decide to lockdown the parks, for now anyway. Make the most of it and get outside. This will do wonders for your energy, mental well-being and help you to top up your Vitamin D, and maybe even your tan.
Just as in normal life, pre-Coronavirus in the time before, aim to walk a minimum of 10,000 steps. Please remember to maintain the social distancing recommendations - 2 metres. You will feel better almost immediately. I find that everything seems so much less gloomy once I see smiling faces and happy dogs at the park.
I've never appreciated the lovely parks as much as I do now, and I will strive to make them a regular part of my everyday routine during the lockdown and also afterwards.
4. Eat Healthily and Balanced
Aim to maintain a healthy diet in this period. Whole foods, plenty of fruit and veg. Stick to a whole plant based diet for optimum well-being. Aim to stock up on wholegrain rice, pasta, buckwheat and quinoa. These all form a great base for your meals. Enjoy plenty of green leafy veg and a range of foods of different colours to help ensure you get a full range of nutrients. Tofu, beans, lentils, nuts will also help ensure you get plenty of protein.
5. Aim to Avoid Over Consumption - of the News
Consider only checking into the news once per day. This can really help to reduce feelings of anxiety. Sometimes I find myself scrolling the news endlessly and I feel quite terrible afterwards. If you are looking at the news try seeking out good news. We can find out about all the great work people are doing to support efforts to find a vaccine and all the amazing work healthcare workers are doing on the front-line. We can also look to find out more about how many countries are getting to grips with the virus and are turning the tide.
6. Do What You Love
Use this opportunity to do what you enjoy and what you've been meaning to do. Start practising Yoga again or read an inspiring book. Learn an instrument or a language. The options are endless. Lose yourself in your passions and try to have fun.
Funnily enough these days of social distancing are the perfect time to reconnect with friends and family. Get on Skype, Facetime or Zoom and say hello to people who mean a lot to you. Most people have quite a bit of extra time on their hands and would love to hear from you.
This is a stressful time for many of us. We may have had a finances hit, we may know someone who has suffered health wise or very sadly passed away. Our future may look more uncertain than ever before...
It's hard to imagine now, even though it's obvious but this difficult time will pass. In the meantime, be compassionate to yourself and others and stay positive, whilst doing your best to stay healthy and well.