Take Care of Yourself
Looking after our health and wellbeing is top priority right now and will put us in a better position to support other people and be ready for the bounce back when this pandemic is over. We will certainly need our energy then!! 😀
In addition to the specific rules on social distancing and hygiene, we can be proactive in looking after our mind and body to increase our resistance to illness and stress – simple things like getting regular exercise, good nutrition and sufficient sleep. Here are our top 10 tips to take care of yourself.
Try to eat healthily
One of the best forms of protection is prevention. Boost your immune system with wholesome nutritious food to keep up energy levels, help you feel good and better able to cope with stress.
Start your day well with a satisfying breakfast:
Find out how food can affect our moods and wellbeing
Apart from the obvious physical benefits, exercise is a great stress reliever and mood booster. Many of us won’t be able to get our usual gym fix or team game, but there are now tons of opportunities for regular exercise through apps and fitness videos, whatever regime rocks your socks! Here’s a few to try:
Barry’s Bootcamp – HIIT and cardio
Famous for their high intensity workouts, Barry’s trainers are livestreaming daily equipment-free workouts on Instagram; (you can find the session on stories for 24 hours after the live session).
There must be something for everyone here! Choose from 500+ FREE workout videos: search by length of workout, difficulty, equipment or no equipment, specific muscles etc.
Get outside if you can
Fresh air, sun and a change of scenery can do you a power of good. We’re still allowed out for one form of exercise (observing social distancing), so go for a walk, run or bike ride or do some gardening. If you can’t get out, at least open windows.
Unwind with activities you enjoy, or discover new hobbies – read a good book, bake a cake, binge watch a series, dance around the house to your favourite songs, listen to a podcast, play board games, create – paint, draw, make things. Or just sit back and chill!
Talk to people
Even if we can’t meet up at the moment, it’s important to stay in touch regularly with friends and loved ones. Call one or two people every day, to lift your spirits and theirs.
Reach out for support if you’re feeling worried or low.
Hone your cooking skills, dust off the old guitar and start playing again, download Duolingo and teach yourself a language or take a short online course. Keep learning, it’s good for the soul.
Create a pleasant environment
Turn your rooms into the space you want. Tidy and declutter (good for mental health!) Add decorative touches like pot plants, scented candles and happy photos. Redecorate or plan to redecorate (if your rental agreement allows). Borrow ideas from the Chinese art of Feng Shui or the Danish Hygge lifestyle to create calm and positivity in your home.
Limit unhealthy habits
We don’t want to be a snore…but do avoid increasing habits that might cause more harm long term, like alcohol, drugs and smoking. That’s not to say don’t enjoy a tipple – we most certainly will – but just be aware of when and how much you’re drinking.
Have a regular relaxation routine
Relaxation techniques like mindfulness, meditation, yoga and even just rhythmical breathing* are amazing stress relievers. You’ll get the most benefit from frequent practice, so try to set aside a little time every day.
* Rhythmical breathing is easy and calming. Just take slow deep breaths in…and out. Psychologist Belisa Vranich says ‘It’s meditation for people who can’t meditate.’
Cole Chance Yoga
Unlock your inner peace with online yoga. Join your pooch in a downward dog pose, or progress to the ‘one-legged king pigeon’ (seriously?!)
A great app with short mindfulness exercises for every day, to help you sleep soundly, move more and stress less
Get plenty of sleep
A good night’s sleep helps calm the mind.
If you’re struggling to nod off, stay away from stimulants like caffeine, alcohol and stressful TV programmes! Switch off electronic devices for a few hours before bed (their blue light suppresses melatonin, making it harder to fall and stay asleep). Instead, try some gentle exercise like stretching or yoga.