I don’t know about anyone else but this lockdown has got me oscillating between feeling great and then not so great. In case you guys are feeling the same I have some tips that keep me upbeat and motivated. Hopefully these will help you survive the coming weeks in isolation.
Establish a routine
Our lives over the past few weeks have kind of shifted immeasurably. More so for some, than others. I am certainly feeling for all you parents out there having to hold down your jobs and take on the extra role of home schooling your kids too. Establishing a strong routine during these obscure days will help to keep you focused, productive and fulfilled. If I am having a slightly off day then my structured and purposeful routine stops me from gravitating towards bad habits such as sliding back under the duvet and re-watching Killing Eve for the third time! Here’s a little exercise you can all do to help manage your time effectively.
Write down everything you MUST do each day. Work, home schooling, meal times, showering, working out etc. Write the times next to them.
Then write down the things that ideally you would LOVE to do each day. This could be the things you don’t usually get time to do such as meditating, reading, yoga, walking, DIY, cooking from scratch, baking, learning a new skill etc. Write down the amount of time you’ll spend on each one. Be careful not to cram too much in, this shouldn’t feel stressful.
Create a framework for your routine. Try to include at least one thing you would love to do each day to create a healthy balance. Write it on a board, create a spreadsheet or simply write it out on paper and stick it on the fridge. See mine in the picture above, I don’t think there is any danger of me being bored! Don’t forget to add in regular breaks.
Start your day with exercise
Whether you choose to exercise in the am or pm is very much down to personal preference and usually I would suggest to exercise whenever you feel works best for you. However, starting your day with exercise can have huge benefits mentally and can prepare you for the day ahead. It also gets it done so that you don’t have to think about it for the rest of the day.
Get jobs done
Achieving things that we wouldn’t usually, gives us that feel good chemical reaction in our brains. Those jobs that you have been putting off because you’ve been really busy, now is the time to get them done. This could be...ensuring your house is spotless, tidying the garden, clearing out cupboards and wardrobes, clearing out your fridge/freezer so that you can fill it with essentials.
My next blog will go in to much more detail about how to eat for optimal health during the lockdown. So for now I am just going to say, try focusing on nutritious food that will support your immune system and boost your mood. However don’t stress about your nutrition and don’t be too restrictive as life feels tough enough at the moment. Find a balance and eat some foods you enjoy whilst being conscious of your health and gaining weight.
Learn a new skill
For me its blog writing...
Whether it’s learning to bake, mastering a frog stand? So many of you can use this time pick up a new skill. From knitting to the perfect handstand, learning skills means you can set goals and get excited about something new, as well as see yourself improve week by week. Always wanted to tackle push ups or double unders, now’s your chance and please keep us updated through the online members group.
Quiet times are my favourite times and when my brain works at it’s best. I have been wondering (literally around the woods) what I can do to enhance my life once this is all over. I have also thought lots about what I don’t want to go back to doing. Use this time to reconnect with yourself, slow down your mind and practice being alone.
Heres a list of things you can do to help create some quiet time and reflect on your life.
Walk - take a stroll in our bucolic forest and practice mindfulness by appreciating the surroundings.
Meditate - most of you probably feel like this is a bit of an effort or just simply don’t know where to start. There are some seriously good guided meditation apps or podcasts you can use for this. Headspace offer a free trial so that you can see how you get on before subscribing.
Take a digital break - when you get a notification on your phone, how long can you go without picking it up and looking at it? My guess is not very long at all. These days we are glued to our phones and the reason behind this is, it’s an addiction! The creators of these apps have designed them to be this way. It can be difficult to be productive and present when you are living in a world that is not real. Don’t get me wrong social media definitely has it’s uses but aimlessly scrolling through feeds for hours on end can become an unhealthy habit. Have set times throughout the day where you are not attached to your phone, maybe whilst training or eating meals would be a good place to start.
Pamper yourself -take a nice relaxing bubble bath.
Spend quality time with your co-isolators
Make the most of this time to appreciate whoever it is you have around you. If you are fortunate enough to live with others, spend quality time with them, play board games, watch movies, exercise together. If you know someone who is completely alone, take the time to catch up with them regularly by video calling them.
Reach for positives where you can and just remember this will end
There will be good and bad days and it’s ok to have bad days. However, we are all in this together and it’s important to try and pluck some positives from these overwhelmingly uncertain times. I hope that when the virus dissipates we will all return to normality but with a better understanding of what really matters in life. We will appreciate family and friends and find time to be with them. We will no longer worry about money, how we look or what we are wearing out on the weekend, what car we have sat outside our houses, or how many followers we have on instagram. We will be more creative, less wasteful and hopefully we will continue to support our communities, those in need and carry out acts of kindness as we are doing now. We will appreciate small and local businesses and help them to get back on their feet. Most of all we will realise that our health has to be our number one priority.
Let us accept what is happening and embrace these changes in our lives.