Well it’s safe to say that I don’t think any of us expected this did we? For a large chunk of the population, regular habits and routines will have dramatically changed over the past few weeks. Whilst the reasons for being on lockdown are certainly the right ones, finding ourselves in this situation may have an impact on our physical and mental wellbeing. I hope you find the following five practical tips helpful in maintaining and improving both areas of your wellbeing.
- Routine - Lockdown has disrupted our daily flow and routine and as most of us are creatures of habit, this can be unsettling. Mirror your normal routine as much as possible. Set an alarm….shower….get dressed. If you’re working from home, make sure you don’t work later than you normally would do in the office.
Some of the habits in your ‘normal routine’ may not have been as healthy as you would like them to have been; lockdown provides an opportunity to improve these, starting with nutrition.
- Nutrition - For many of us, one of the benefits lockdown has given us is time. This time can be used constructively to plan healthy meals and snacks to nourish you throughout your day. Create some structure and write a meal plan for the week and put it on the fridge door (or
anywhere in eyeline in the kitchen). If you can, eat fresh, nutrient dense foods and see how it positively impacts your energy levels through the day. Accessing the supermarkets is not as easy as it once was so use this opportunity to get the most out of the food you have and minimise waste. Love Food Hate Waste is a great resource for this.
- Environment - Creating a healthy environment isn’t exclusive to the four walls you live in; it is also about planning regular activities and landmarks throughout your days/week to cultivate a healthy environment in your mind. Treasure the time this lockdown may have given you to finish reading some books that you never completed, accomplish those outstanding DIY tasks or simply take the opportunity to unwind with some TV (I highly recommend Tiger King on Netflix). Speaking of TV - be mindful of how much news you consume. Whilst it is important to be kept updated as to what is going on across the nation be mindful that watching the news all day may negatively impact your mental health. Embrace the digital age we live in and seamlessly continue your normal social environment by connecting with loved ones over the multitude of video call apps on the market (Zoom, House party etc) or even be a traditionalist and make a normal phone call! Connecting together isn’t exclusive to finding out the latest gossip… Why not join a quiz or even make a decision to exercise together.
- Movement - As well as our visits to the gym and sporting activities being restricted simply being at home can impact our base daily activity levels. Our daily run for the bus, standing at the water cooler and walking to meetings have all been compromised by being at home. To overcome these barriers 1Life have developed an At Home Digital Membership – a platform which programs an accessible activity session each day, led by its own fitness teams across the business as well as world class Les Mills coaches. These sessions require minimal to no equipment and can benefit all levels of experienced exercisers as well as some kids and family exercise sessions in the mix for good fun too.
- Mindset – Coronavirus will have an impact on all of us; some more profoundly than others. If you are feeling low then 1Life’s partnered charity Mind has an excellent range of information and support to guide you through these difficult times. Be mindful of perspective, remember that this pandemic will end and alongside the joyous familiarity of embracing our return to ‘normal’, hopefully you will have embedded some healthy and sustainable habits from this change to our routine.
Finally, to pinch the words of Simon Sinek, ‘Embrace optimism. Optimism accepts the truth of reality and looks forward to a brighter future. Optimism is the foundation of hope. And hope keeps us moving forward.’