Staying in Shape, Mentally & Physically, During the Covid Lockdown 2.0
As we approach our second lockdown in the UK, we all hold our breath a little longer in anticipation of how we approach it this time around. What do we want to do differently, or what will we do the same the second time around? The days are shorter but do feel longer and now is the time to really focus on taking care of our physical health and our mental health as we step into this next phase.
Joe Wicks YouTube Workouts
National treasure, Joe Wicks, who cheerily supported us through the last lockdown with his fun fitness workouts is back with three pre-recorded workouts per week, for the next 4 weeks. All the workouts are available on the Joe Wicks YouTube channel.
If fast paced workouts are not your thing, some level of exercise is vital for raising those feel good endorphins and helping not only with your fitness overall, but your mental state too. Why not make the most of the suggested daily hour of exercise and take a brisk walk around your local park or green space, or hop on your bike if you have one? Being outside in nature is well documented for improving our mental health which is key in these unusual times.
The weather is unpredictable at this time of the year, and the evenings draw in earlier, but pop on some wellington boots and a waterproof coat, pack an umbrella and step outside anyway to breathe in the fresh air.
Doing a simple stretch routine morning, noon and night, will encourage blood flow around the body and reduce stiffness and tension in the body, especially if you are working from home- these short stretch routines will give your mind, body and eyes a break from your home workspace. Searching “Easy Stretch Routine” on your search engine delivers plenty of simple ideas to inspire you for a short burst of gentle exercise.
Focus On Your Diet
Maintaining a healthy diet will help you feel better overall; steer clear of high sugar and high carb snacks, instead reaching for high protein or fruit and vegetable based snacks that will keep you fuller for longer, supports focus and concentration and won’t leave you feeling sluggish and bloated.
Cooking simple healthy meals from home will boost your immune system and your waistline will thank you for it. Nourishing and nutritious oats loaded with fresh or dried fruits, nuts and seeds and a little honey or fruit based syrup is an excellent way to start your day.
Easy noodles with vegetables, soups or warm salads made from in season vegetables are a great place to start for speedy lunches and can be topped with nuts, seeds and topped with a drizzle of oil for a dose of fat that aids brain health.
Cooking from scratch with clean healthy ingredients is a healthier option overall, than ordering high fat, high sugar take-out dishes. Many dishes can be cooked in bulk and portioned for the freezer, a quick option to defrost and heat up for those evenings where you are lacking in motivation but want to make sure you are fuelling your body with nutrients.
Supporting your mental health at this time is important too; if you are feeling levels of anxiety or low mood, connecting with family or friends via phone or video call is a good place to start.
Using a tincture such as Rescue Remedy or A.Vogel Passiflora may alleviate some symptoms of anxiety, or St. Johns Wort or 5HTP, to support low mood. Using essential oils in an oil burner can also help with the atmosphere in your home, for example, using lemon to energise or lavender to calm and relax. However, if you are feeling particularly low or anxious currently, please reach out to your doctor for further support.
What is vital to get through this lockdown period is finding something that brings you joy and committing to doing it daily. Whether that be reading, writing, listening to music or podcasts, drawing, baking, exercising, gardening, taking long baths, watching a favourite movie or TV series, dancing, singing, painting, playing with your child/ren or having a phone or video call with a much loved friend or family member, to suggest but a few.
Ensure you make time each day to do something light and joyful that allows you to switch off. What did you do to get through the first lockdown that you can do again? We would love to hear from you!