Working out for yourself
It can be hard to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle if you can hardly leave your flat, let alone go to the gym or attend exercise classes. Creating healthy habits during quarantine is not easy but this time of isolation is also an opportunity for self reflection, so why not use this time to get used to some new habits that will still be beneficial once life gets back to “normal”.
Here we have composed a list of 10 tips and tricks to help you get back into the swing of things while the lockdown is starting to ease up. And some reminders on how to take care of yourself during this challenging time. Because remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
1. Get Up, Stand Up
Don’t just slump around on the couch watching netflix. Get up and get active. Even if you are not allowed to leave the house for more than the essentials, make sure to not forget you have legs! Maybe you can walk up and down the stairs in your building or transform your floor into a gym and do a workout. There are many free resources out there that you can use to create the perfect workout, but if this all seems a bit overwhelming, start with 5-10 minutes of stretching and do some simple body-weight exercises like push-ups, squats, jumping jacks and so on! It doesn’t have to be a HIIT workout or an hour-long yoga session. Start small and get your sweat on once a day and you will feel much better for it.
Even if it is dancing around your flat to your favourite music, research shows that regular exercise can alleviate stress and even help with depression or anxiety.
2. When You Can Get Outside, Walk
If it is grocery shopping or doing other errands, why not walk? Try to stay active in your daily life at every opportunity you can. Take the stairs, avoid the lift and if possible, walk or bike wherever you need to get to. Exercise is so much more than doing deadlifts or push-ups and can start as small as walking instead of taking a bus. It can seem daunting to start an exercise regime by yourself without having the help of other people or the infrastructure of a gym. But those little adjustments towards a more active lifestyle you can start to make right now will help you transition into more exercise once the regulations permit more activities outside or in the gym for example.
3. Get Some Sun
When we spend a lot of time inside we might not get enough sunlight. However, our body needs the rays of the sun, not just to produce Vitamin D, but also a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin gets us going in the mornings and is associated with boosting our mood and helping you feel calm and focused. Drops in serotonin levels have been linked to depression, and while this is usually linked to seasonal changes of sunlight hours, make sure you don’t hide away in your cave for too long!
4. Try Practicing Digital Minimalism
Light has a strong impact on our body, and so does screen time. Our devices emit a blue light that can interfere with our internal clock, which can lead to sleep problems because it stops our body from emitting melotonin, a hormone that helps us sleep. Excessive screen time has also been linked to increased risk of depression and anxiety and the sensory overload can reduce our ability to focus. So make sure to stay clear of your devices for an hour before you go to sleep and try to reduce unnecessary screen time.
Digital minimalism describes the idea of only using your devices for things that matter, such as calling family and friends, and to be mindful of how we use our gadgets in our everyday life.
5. Skip Deliveroo And Get Cooking
While it is tempting to lean back and wait for your dinner to arrive at the door, this quarantine is a good opportunity to get cooking yourself. It can be fun to try out a new recipe and let’s be honest, it will also help you fill your day! But not only that, by cooking your own food you will know exactly what you are eating and it will probably be healthier than takeout, too. It can be hard to stay physically active during times of lockdown but having a healthy and balanced diet is also key for your wellbeing. There are many vitamins and nutrients that you should not miss out on to keep your body in its best possible shape.
One essential part of your diet for example are omega – 3 fatty acids that are naturally found in fatty fish, krill and some types of algae. These fatty acids have many positive impacts on your body such as reducing inflammation, improving heart health and helping your muscles recover from exercise. If you can’t reach the recommended amount of omega – 3 through food alone, check out our shop to browse our range of omega – 3 supplements.
6. Do, What You Never Had Time To
Write a “should do” list and start cleaning out that closet, organise your inbox, sort through your photos and make an album, write that poem or work on your short story. This isolation can feel like a punishment, but it can be a gift if you change your mindset. We all have those project we have been meaning to tackle so now is a good time to get started.
7. Meditate & Journal
Those are some habits linked to mental wellbeing. While we are living through a pandemic, it is easy to get negative, stressed and worried. There is a lot of uncertainty about the future right now and this can be hard to deal with, especially in today’s over-organised and structured world.
Journaling can be a tool to help you order your thoughts and clear your mind of unwanted clutter and therefore help you focus on what is important. It can also be useful to get in touch with your feelings and might be a good way to unearth some issues you have not had the time to deal with while being busy working and being productive. The isolation might force you to spend more time than ever by yourself and this can be a good time for self-reflection and to get back in touch with yourself and look at how you can best cope with such a situation.
Meditation will not necessarily make you relax, but it will make you aware. Aware of what you are thinking and feeling and once you understand what is causing you stress or worries, it can be easier to confront those issues and give you more freedom over the way you respond to your current situation. Because while there is a lot out there right now that we have no influence over, what we can control is our reaction. So by being aware of what we are feeling we can take a step towards dealing with those feelings instead of letting them rule our life.
8. Learn Something New, But Useless
We are hardwired to always be productive and often associate our self-worth with our output. So take this opportunity and time at your disposal to learn something new. But something new that has nothing to do with working, being productive or getting better at your job. Just learn something fun for the sake of it. Maybe how to juggle, fold an origami bird or draw mandalas. Get creative and remember not to put any pressure on the outcome but solely focus on the learning and creative process behind it. In such a serious time it is important we don’t forget to play!
9. Read A Book
We all have it, the pile of books we haven’t read yet. There is always something to learn from someone else’s perspective so dive right into that book you’ve been meaning to read and keep your mind busy with some knowledge. If you want distraction, go for some light fiction but there are many genres out there to suit whatever mood you’re in, (but maybe stay away from dystopian fiction).
10. Take A Real Breath
Times are hard right now so remind yourself to breathe deeply. Inhale through your nose and down into your belly. Exhale for a bit longer than you inhale. Our breathing is at the same time an unconscious reflex of our body that we do without thinking and at the same time, a tool we can consciously use to calm ourselves down. When we are stressed, our body reacts to this mental tension and vice versa. If we are stressed or scared, breathing deeply sends signals to our brain that everything is ok, in turn helping our mind to calm down. Try reconnecting to this primal skill we all have and see how it can help you relax and make the most of this special time we are currently living in.
While these are just 10, there are many things out there you can do right now to take care of yourself. Hopefully this article has helped and inspired you in some ways to take control over your situation and to be aware, that you can always control how you react to your circumstances, however hard they might seem.