We’re we are again! We’re back in Lockdown and we have to stay at home apart from our daily exercise and any essential travel. So, how can we stop ourselves from going stir crazy?
Social distancing (or physical distancing as we like to call it) is causing more mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. People aren’t having the physical interaction that we, as humans, need. We need contact with our friends and family whether that’s going for a meal, shopping, to the cinema or all the other things that we used to enjoy.
Mindset is very important during these difficult times. It’s vital to keep a routine, albeit a slightly different one. It’s very easy to fall into the habit of getting up late, not getting dressed, eating junk food at odd times of the day and watching tv and, before you know it, the day has gone. It doesn’t have to be like this. Think about all the extra time that you have to do the things that you want to do but don’t usually have time for. Plan things, make lists and work through them. It can be something as simple as going for a walk and Facetiming a friend or relative to decluttering the spare room and decorating it! Have things to do throughout the day!
Set your alarm for your normal time to get up (ok, you can have an extra half an hour’s lie in 😊), have breakfast and get dressed. This alone will make you feel better and more motivated to do things throughout the day. Plan healthy meals, use this time to try new recipes with lots of lovely fresh ingredients, that you haven’t tried before, now that you actually have the time to enjoy cooking. Maybe batch cook so there’s always something healthy there that will stop you reaching for unhealthy snacks. Eat your meals at your normal mealtimes. Have a read of our blogs for ideas on healthy meals:
Staying hydrated is very important so make sure that you’re drinking enough. I find this very easy to do when I’m at work in the gym as I always have a glass on the desk but not so easy at home. Here, I have to make a conscious effort to drink enough (By the way, I am talking about water and not gin here 😊). Aim to drink 2½ to 3 litres throughout the day. Signs that you are not drinking enough include feeling weak, dizziness, tiredness or fatigue, or urine that is very dark.
We cannot promote exercise enough to help with, not only mental health, but physical health too. Exercise releases endorphins which make you feel happier, sleep better and have more energy. It also helps you to feel less stressed and less anxious. Research has shown that exercise can be a very effective treatment for mild anxiety and depression. Plan exercise into your day, set a time and stick to it. It can be anything from a walk to a sweaty Zumba class, or both if you’re feeling energetic! Get changed into fitness clothes, and out of them at the end. Psychologically, this is important as it defines a specific time for exercising rather than doing a few squats here and there between doing other things.
If you’re not used to exercise, start by simply moving more. It’s important to build up slowly. Remember, exercise is a journey, not a race. The stronger you get, the more you will, not only be able to do, but want to do, meaning that you are more likely to carry on with this healthy lifestyle long after the lockdown has ended. It’s not about training for a marathon, take small steps and you will be amazed at how different and more energetic you feel. Get outside in the fresh air and go for a walk. Set yourself a goal, even if it’s only 10 to 15 minutes to start with, or a certain number of steps. This will still make a huge difference. You will feel so good when you achieve that goal that you will soon be wanting to do more. Use a Fitbit or an app to count your steps. You will want to reach your target every day! Meet up with a friend or family member if you don’t like walking alone and make it a routine whether that’s every day or 2 – 3 times a week. Aim to work up to 30 minutes of walking or exercising 5 times a week, which is the recommended amount by the World Health Organisation. We are so lucky that we have lovely areas to walk in and we should make the most of it.
Choose something that you enjoy doing so that you will look forward to it. We have lots of different online classes that you can either do live with us (great for accountability or the feeling of working out in a group), or later at a time to suit you. Have a look here. Simply request to join and we will send you the link for payment. We are only charging £35 for a full month’s access (rather than charging per class, as this would add up to over £100 and we want everyone to be able to access these whilst we’re all in need!) We have monthly programmes, including our January feel FIT and FABULOUS workout programme designed to keep you motivated with live classes, and help you reach your goals.
Have a read of our blog on how to have the motivation to exercise during lockdown:
If you’re lucky enough to still be working throughout this third lockdown, make sure that you make time for you. Try to find 30 minutes before work, during your lunchtime or in the evening (we know it’s hard to get motivated to exercise if you’ve been at work all day) but it is so important. Treat yourself too, so have a long bubble bath, a nice catch up with friends and family or maybe take up a new hobby to help you relax and unwind.
So, we have a choice. We can either end lockdown feeling sluggish, unhealthy and carrying extra weight or we can end it feeling healthy, fit and strong, having learned new habits to carry on into the future!
There is an end to this. The vaccine is now in place and we should slowly be able to return to normal life. Stay strong and remember, we’re here if you need us!
Caroline & Hannah xx