Welcome to day 2 of our #mentalhealthawarenessweek series with a post on how to stay healthy! This was requested by a dear friend. She makes amazing YouTube videos here, so definitely go and say hi!
This is something very important and although no one really knows what life will look like from now on, it’s good to reflect on what helps and what doesn’t when trying to stay healthy during a pandemic.
Here are some ideas of things to do to stay mentally and physically healthy whilst self-isolating, quarantining or staying home for long stretches of time.
Keeping your body moving is so important for your physical, but also your mental health. And I don’t mean run a full marathon on your balcony. If you’re anything like me, you need to make it as easy and convenient as possible for yourself.
I like to do some yoga in the morning and, when I slack, I make sure I go for a walk in the afternoon after work. Some days I don’t do either and in those days I try not to give myself a hard time about it.
My mood normally lifts when I follow a routine and get my body moving, so I see it more as a gift to myself than something ‘I have to do’.
Why not try a class you’ve always wanted to but were too scared? I know I’ve avoided going to some yoga classes in the past for fear of ‘not being good enough’. Doing it from the comfort of my own floor (with a mat) has given me extra confidence.
2. Eat well (and have fun with it)
Imagine it is your grandma or your mama saying this to you: ‘you gotta eat’.
Banal, but true. Make sure you eat regularly and healthily. There are lots of healthy recipes blogs out there (this is one of my favourites) so you can really get as crazy as you want with this. You can make it fun and you can share your creation if you’re isolating with family/partner/housemates.
Not only are you giving your body the good stuff it needs (aka YOU need) but you are also stimulating your creativity by cooking something new.
3. Stay hydrated
Drink up! We are made of something like 80% water (don’t quote me on that) so it is so so so important that you drink water throughout the day.
If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try fizzy or flavoured water. Keep your caffeine intake to the minimum (I try, I swear!) and reduce how many units you consume per week.
This will all add up to you feeling better.
4. Pull a Marie Kondo
I watched the documentary ‘Minimalism’ on Netflix the other day and then went on a de-cluttering spree. The result: a clearer space and a clearer mind! It’s crazy how much our environment influences our mind (this is also an existentialist idea) and tidying up your living space will leave you feeling more focused, grounded and connected to yourself and your space.
There is also something to say about our consumerist society and the value there is living a simpler, more minimal life. We surround ourselves with objects we don’t use or need and they just end up cluttering our life.
This is something I am trying to incorporate more into my life.
The power of meditation in improving one’s mental and physical health has long been proven and nowadays it’s so easy to do it.
Just download apps like Headspace or Calm and try your hand at meditation.
You can do it on your own or with someone else. There really are no rules!
Now, this is a very personal one. I started working from home during this pandemic and I have found that compartmentalising work, relaxation and fun in my living space has been key.
I make sure I transition into work and out of work every day by either going for a walk or savouring my (first) morning coffee. Check out this little post on rituals for some ideas on incorporating rituals into your life.
I also make sure I leave space for something fun every day. I’ve tried making bath bombs and drawing more. I use this blog to destress and decompress. You can find your own fun – there will be something for you!
I also make sure that I prepare myself for sleep. I try to stop using my phone and checking emails after dinner so that my brain has a chance to relax and stop thinking 100 miles an hour. I will read a book or have a bath to make myself extra feel extra sleepy before bed.
This is all for now, folks! I have found that these simple things have really helped me adapt to the new Covid-19 normal and I hope you will find this useful.