In the UK we are midway through with our 5th week of lockdown due to the pandemic, I suspect many of you who are looking at this blog already do some of these but I thought it would be helpful to highlight 9 hacks to support ourselves during these times:
1. Plan your day, have a routine
For most of us we have lost our daily routines which give structure to our day and week. This can result in us feeling lost and not sure what to do to fill the day. Why not embrace this opportunity to get things done you have been putting to one side.
Brainstorm things you need to get done, you could organise these tasks based on how long you think they will take to complete (for 10mins or 30mins etc). Once you have your list you can figure out when and where you can get them done, don't forget to give yourself a reward to enjoy at the end of your productive day.
2. Get out of your pyjamas
This is a habit which can prevent us from engaging with the day, getting dressed into your day clothes can help to focus your mind. Remember to wear your exercise clothes to help motivate you if you are doing an ‘at home’ work out. When I take online Osteopathic consultations I wear my clinic uniform, this helps me stay in my therapist mindset.
3. Keep hydrated
Like our planet we are composed of 60% water therefore keeping hydrated is important and even more so that we are now spending more time at home. Those of us who are diabetic or on certain medication have a greater chance of suffering from dehydration. The NHS (2019) list symptoms of being dehydrated including: feeling lightheaded, dizzy, tired, strong smelling urine and having a dry mouth, lips and eyes. Keep yourself topped up during the day with water to reduce these things from manifesting. There is evidence that suggests drinking coffee and tea is not as strong a diuretic as we may believe. A study by Bhalla and Gupta (2018) suggested that for a healthy adult 300mg of caffeine a day has no negative effects, this roughly equates to 2-3 cups of coffee or 4-5 cups of tea.
4. Reach out to friends and family
I am sure many of us are already doing this but with our current situation it is an ideal opportunity to reach out to friends and family. Many people are using online platforms such as Zoom and Skype however for some people a simple phone call is more than enough.
5. Working from home
As many of us are working from home, take time to make sure your workstation is set up appropriately. If you do a lot of typing from a laptop you may find it beneficial to plug a full size keyboard in to minimise stress to your wrists and upper body. Look at the position of your screen as it is recommended that you have this at eye level where possible. Make sure you actively plan for regular breaks, this will give you the opportunity to move your body and help minimise aches and pains.
I will be posting a future blog with tips and ideas to manage working from home next week.
6. Keeping active
Now more than ever it is important to keep active, if you are still happy to leave your home then take the opportunity to go for a walk, you could include 5mins of walking briskly to raise your heart beat.
Alongside this you can also access lots of classes online, the exercise industry has stepped up with the current climate as an opportunity to deliver a variety of classes to support the current demand. You may find that if you are a member of a gym they may have classes you can join, I offer a small group online Pilates classes Monday to Friday at 9am where members can access the class via Zoom.
7. Re-engage with something you enjoy
With more time at home we have the opportunity to re-engage with something you used to enjoy, this may be art, playing an instrument or reading. Tapping into those activities that make you feel good will have a positive physiological and psychological effect on your well-being.
8. Eat well
I can put my hand up to this one, at the start of the lock down I would binge on snacks to get me through the day. I would get an initial sugar rush but then feel exhausted after a couple of hours. After speaking with friends this was a coping mechanism as my mind was racing at 100 miles per hour. I now take time to plan and prepare my meals as I did before the lock down and feel the benefit!
9. Self care/affirmations/exploring mindfulness
Looking after yourself is important at any time, more so in our current climate. I have found some mornings I would feel overwhelmed with everything and would get annoyed with myself especially if I had not done enough with my day. I have found exploring my mentoring techniques which call on mindfulness and NLP have helped me to acknowledge my frustration and that it is a normal reaction to the current climate, and to let it go. I would urge you to explore this, even if you are not open to the concept, as you may find some strategies to help manage your well-being.
I hope that these hacks are helpful with managing these challenging times. As a part of my community do reach out to me if you would like to have a chat.
Engage, Inspire and Empower your Well-being
Complementary Therapist, Mentor and Tutor
Certified STOTT PILATES Instructor