We’ve all felt the stress and strain of lockdown at one point or another. During these difficult times, our mental and physical health really need a helping hand. With some simple changes to your daily routine, such as getting enough sleep, eating well and staying connected with people you know, you can really boost your mood and remain healthy during lockdown.
Here’s our top 7 tips to keep you healthy and happy during Level 5:
1. Keep a routine
It may seem like a difficult task to stick to a routine during lockdown, however, keeping some normality to your every day is vital for your wellbeing. Getting enough sleep, eating regularly and staying hydrated will help boost your mood and energy levels. Focus on maintaining a regular bedtime, take some time to wind down at the end of the day and avoid having caffeine or alcohol late at night. Scheduling a balanced range of activities in your day including physical exercise will also help with your sleep quality. Why not swap your daily commute to work with a walk each morning and evening.
2. Stay physically active
With the gyms closed and the daily commute cancelled for most of us, staying physically active can seem like a tougher task now more than ever. However, maintaining our physical wellbeing is equally as important as minding our mental health. Although it may not be as sunny heading into the Winter months, just getting outside for fresh air can really help alleviate stress and anxiety. Nature is a great way of reconnecting so aim to engage in outdoor exercise for at least 30 minutes every day; this can include walking, running, cycling and even gardening! While staying within your 5km radius, why not set a target each day to beat your daily steps? Download our free location
app here to find out your 5km radius.
3. Eat healthy
We’ve all been subject to emotional eating during lockdown. It’s crucial to eat regular meals (recommended 3 meals per day) to prevent hunger and avoid over-snacking. Schedule your meals at the same time every day with some healthy snack alternatives such as fruit and nuts in between. With all the spare time in the evenings, why not use this time as an opportunity to get adventurous with cooking and learn some new culinary skills?
4. Stay connected
Although many of us can’t see friends and family face-to-face at the moment, it’s still important to keep in touch and stay connected. Speaking with the people you care about can give you (and them) a mental boost. Here are a few ways you can do just that:
- Call/Text family and friends: Aim to speak to different family and friends throughout the week, even if it’s just to simply say hello and show you care.
- Arrange an online activity: Whether it’s doing an online quiz with colleagues or catching up with family members remotely for story time, arranging an online activity that allows both voice and video chat can really bring people together.
- Write letters: There’s just something sentimental about a handwritten letter. If you’re feeling old school, reach out to someone with a heartfelt letter- whether it’s to someone across the pond or just down the road. Did you know our parent company, An Post, have set up an initiative where you can send free post to nursing and care homes?
5. Relax with some self-care
Don’t forget to give yourself a break! This is particularly relevant if you are trying to working from home, with or without kids. Maintain a healthy relationship with yourself by making time to do the things you enjoy. Find something that totally absorbs you, whether that’s reading, baking, watching Netflix, listening to music or a podcast. Immerse yourself in something you love every day and you will instantly feel better for it. Check out our top 7 alternative Netflix picks
to watch at home.
6. Practice mindfulness and gratitude
Mindfulness is the act of being fully present in the moment and helps you to relax and refocus. There are many great ways to practice mindfulness such as yoga and simple breathing exercises, but here is one of our favourites below:
The Five Senses exercise for Mindfulness:
- Notice 5 things you can see
- Notice 4 things you can feel
- Notice 3 things you can hear
- Notice 2 things you can smell
- Notice 1 thing you can taste
Apps such as ‘Calm
’ and ‘Headspace
’ are also free resources to help improve your daily mindfulness. While it can seem hard to remain positive during lockdown, aim to change your mind set by look for the positives in every situation – decide to work on noticing the flowers and not the weeds.
7. Limit screen time
While staying informed, it’s also important to carefully choose your news and media sources and limit your overall screen time. If you feel overwhelmed with information, take a “digital detox” and limit your access to once a day. ‘ScreenTime’
is an app that limits screen time on devices and ensures you take a break from your tablet or smartphone to help prevent anxiety and improve productivity. So now, after reading this blog, take a 15-minute break for yourself to do something you love.
And remember, this lockdown won’t last forever! So for now, stay safe and be kind to one another - we’re all in this together.