Well, it looks like we’re facing another 3 weeks of lockdown. I haven’t found it too stressful so far, but I am in a very fortunate position where I can work from home, am healthy and don’t have young children who need to be entertained and home-schooled.
I was thinking of writing a blog with some helpful tips on how to stay healthy during the lockdown when it started, but I figured most people had a lot of other stuff to worry about, stress levels were very high and didn’t feel there would be a lot of appreciation for someone banging on about staying healthy on top of everything else going on, even though staying healthy never seemed more relevant.
So I’ve given you 3 weeks to start the day with Baileys on your cornflakes, eat way more than you need and carb-load as if you’re running a marathon the next day, but now the time has come to start being a bit more sensible to avoid turning into a lethargic slob, 2 stone bigger than you were when the lockdown started. If you continue like this for another 3 weeks you will likely end up depressed, overweight and with a severely compromised immune system.
To start with I would suggest to end the airport rules, where drinking alcohol is acceptable at any time of the day. As much as you may think you need a drink, it’s not doing you any favours. It lowers your mood, sucks your energy and seriously compromises your immunity. You need this like you need a hole in the head. Cut it down to moderate drinking 3 days of the week or cut it out altogether for extra bonus points.
If you’re not a teenager, don’t adopt the sleeping patterns of one. Even if you’re not working now, you’ll benefit from sleeping a least 7 hours and going to bed and getting up at normal times. The quality of your sleep will be better and you’re less likely to adopt weird eating patterns too. And, guess what, sleep is also hugely important for a strong immune system.
Eat your meals at the table, not on the sofa, not on the floor and certainly not in bed. If you’re not sitting at the table when you’re eating, it is unlikely that you are eating mindfully and you are much more likely to overeat. Go easy on the sugary, high-carb foods. High levels of blood glucose cause inflammation, reduce immunity, cause low moods, impair brain function and cause overweight. Remember, if it’s not in the house, you’re less likely to eat it, especially now you can’t go to shops whenever you like.
Try to take at least 20 minutes each day to yourself to do whatever you like, even if that’s nothing, as long as you find it relaxing. Looking after yourself is especially important now as it will help to keep you positive. Make a conscious effort to focus on positive things, no matter how small. It is easy to find yourself watching the news, reading the papers and surrounded by negativity most of the day but focusing on the positives will help balance your outlook.
Even if you’re not into exercising, make sure you do go out every day (unless you’re in quarantine of course) for a walk. If it’s warm enough, bare arms and legs to maximise vitamin D production. This will help your immune system (yeah, there’s a bit of a theme here) and is good for your bones, teeth and muscles. Make sure you move for a bit every hour. You don’t have to do burpees. Going up and down the stairs a few time, a little dance routine if you fancy it, a bit of stretching or walking around whilst doing a phone call will do. Movement improves digestion and supports the lymphatic system, which helps the immune system.
Hopefully you found this helpful and I wish that you and your loved ones stay healthy and sane. If you’re struggling, feel free to reach out to me for more support.