While being unable to go outside during isolation, we must adapt the way we keep fit and healthy. Physical and mental well-being are closely linked, so it is important to maintain the balance of both.
- Eat healthily – Maintaining a healthy diet is always important. Try to plan meals ahead of time and ensure that you are getting the right nutrients in the right proportions. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get the balance completely right, but ensure that you are putting the right food into your body. There are plenty of resources on the internet about eating healthily, but try this webpage as a starting point.
- Eat in moderation – When we lack our usual structure, it’s easy to forget to eat or to snack continuously throughout the day. Try to eat regular meals and resist snacking between meals. If you need to eat something, opt for healthier snacks like nuts, fruit and seeds. This should help you to feel less sluggish and will give you more energy.
- Keep hydrated – Water is a fantastic source of hydration and if you have access to clean tap water it is virtually free! Make sure you keep hydrated to keep your physical health in top form.
- Good quality rest – Try to go to bed at a reasonable time and wind down before you go to sleep. Avoid activities with screens that overstimulate the brain such as working on a laptop, using your phone, playing a video game or watching TV. Try an activity like reading a book, having a bath or meditating before going to sleep.
- Raise your heart rate once a day – Exercise is an essential activity to maintain while in isolation. An amazing way that gyms etc. have adapted to the current situation is to put their classes online – many are offering them for free. There are a multitude of apps, YouTube videos, Instagram and Facebook lives, and blogs where you can find the perfect workout for you, no matter your passion. Most recent online classes are tailored for people being at home with no equipment. If you have Instagram, Gymbox posts several classes every day on their live story which are fun and varied. There are also some great exercises on the NHS website, Youtube, and Sean Vigue's channel. Yoga is also a great exercise which combines physical activity and mindfulness, helping with grounding and stress-relief.
- Doing too much at once – If you aren’t used to copious amounts of exercise (particularly around the house), don’t throw yourself into it instantly as you could become injured or over-tired. Build up slowly to your goal and pace yourself, listen to your body and if you need a rest or a day off take it!
- Trying to do everything – There is a multitude of ideas and advice out there - you won’t be able to do everything. Instead, try a few things at a time to make it more manageable. If one activity doesn’t work for you replace it with something else. Everyone is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. Try not to lose motivation if you encounter a series of activities that don’t work for you, with perseverance you will find things that do.
- Unhealthy coping strategies – Smoking, drugs or alcohol may feel good at the time but can have detrimental effects in the short and long term, particularly if used as a long-term coping mechanism. Try alternatives like exercise, meditation or calling a friend.