With the whole world trying to cope with COVID-19, we’re living in very strange and surreal times.
We are experiencing life in a totally unprecedented way and, even though we are several weeks into lockdown, no one really has a clue how it’s all going to pan out. Things will become clearer over time, but for now, we’re still having to go with the flow.
So, how can you stay mentally and physically healthy if you’re forced to stay at home?
How can you make positive use of your time and energy instead of treating it like an extended Christmas holiday, complete with binge eating, drinking and watching box sets?
If you’re sharing your home with spouses, partners and kids, how do you keep the peace when stress levels are running high?
For some familiarity is key, so keeping to a daily routine will give structure to your day. Maybe now is the time to create your perfect day!
Now is the time to respect your shut-eye and keep to a regular bedtime and wake up time (your brain fundamentally is quite boring and craves routine). Good quality sleep will help keep your immune system maintained and will also support your mental health; avoid drinking too much alcohol as that will have the opposite effect.
3. EATING HEALTHILY
There are all sorts of healthy foods with a long shelf life that may not be on everyone else’s supermarket shopping list.
- Lentils and beans – canned or dried for curries and stews.
- Cheese – feta and halloumi especially, but check the use-by dates on pre-packaged cheese, you will be amazed at how long they keep unopened.
- Fish – canned or jars of tuna, anchovies, sardines etc.
- Vegetables – canned or jars of olives, artichokes, peppers, tomatoes
- Nuts and seeds are calorie and nutrient dense, so you don’t need huge amounts to fill you up.
Remember, if you’re trying to lose weight, watch your portion sizes.
If you’re not already into a fitness routine, then maybe now’s the time. There is plenty of choice on YouTube – all levels of Yoga or Pilates, High Intensity Interval Training, you name it, it’s there. Decide what you want to do and go for it. If you’re new to exercise or haven’t done it for a while, then, of course, be careful and don’t go mad and injure yourself. The health service is strained enough already without another casualty!
If you’ve been thinking about starting to meditate, then why not give it a go. It’s great for stress reduction especially with the mental stress caused by the epidemic. Go online – there are loads of free guided meditations to suit whatever mood you’re in.
For some, there’s only so much TV or so many back-to-back box sets you can watch. Immerse yourself in something that will distract you, keep you mentally positive and give you a bit of a boost. Get inspired by a TED talk, learn something new, get creative, read those books you’ve been meaning to or even get around to doing some of those household chores that have been on the list for ages.
It’s a very stressful time for all of us and tempers are easily frayed. Each person should have an agreed room if possible where they can take time out if they need to calm down. It’s important everyone is respectful of this, you don’t how you’re all going to be cooped up together.
8. SEMI NEWS DETOX
We’re overwhelmed with ‘corona news’ at the moment and there’s only so much any of us can take. If it’s really getting you down then limit yourself to an update in the morning and in the evening, keeping yourself on a ‘need to know’ basis.
Treats are great for the soul and give you a sense of gratitude. However, we’re limited on what we can do, so even the smallest things make a difference, enjoy them and really appreciate them. Or make a list of things to look forward to when we get more normality back into our lives again.
10. FRESH AIR
Get out in your garden or on your balcony if you have one (of course without the risk of infecting others!) for a daily dose of fresh air, natural daylight and a vitamin D fix.
Writing a journal is a great way of getting any worries or anxieties out of your head. Even jotting down three things that you’re grateful for that day works. It doesn’t matter if it’s a notebook or an app on your phone.
12. SHARE THE LOVE
Most of all, look out for each other. Keep in touch with family and friends via WhatsApp, Skype or FaceTime with frequent calls to check they’re ok.
13. BE POSITIVE
With everything that is going on, try and keep positive and maintain your sense of humour. Be silly, have some fun and laugh at the stupidest things, after all, laughter is the best medicine.
While so much is out of our control at the moment but for the most part, we can look after our own mental and physical wellbeing as well as those closest to us.
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