Lockdown is no longer a novelty and by now you’re probably settling down into some sort of daily routine. But is it a healthy routine? Maximising your physical and mental health over this time is crucial and luckily all it takes is a few small habit changes to help you get there. Here are some stress-busting habits to try out:
1. Pay attention to what you eat & drink
Banana bread still warm from the oven. Half a bar of chocolate in front of the TV. We understand - food and drinks are a comfort over this time. But we need to try and keep it balanced, as what we put into our bodies really affects our overall health. Registered dietician Philippa Bramwell-Jones gives the following tips for eating better over this lockdown period:
2. Fit in some exercise
If you live in a small space, we understand it may be challenging to exercise, but it really is more crucial now than ever. The 6 to 9am outdoor exercise slot does give you the opportunity to walk, run or cycle near your home, but if you find it too crowded out there, there are lots of workout options to try at home. Download a yoga or Pilates app or try one of the many free tutorials on YouTube. Use a skipping rope. Do some gardening. Try out a HIIT class. Just 30 to 40 minutes each day will do wonders for your mental and physical state.
3. Maximise your sleep
Sleep is when your body heals. It’s a way of processing emotions and giving you the rest you need to face a new day. Phillipa also says that melatonin levels correlate to infection risk. So, take a melatonin supplement daily if you need it and get as much rest as you can. There is absolutely nothing wrong with afternoon naps, if these are an option for you.
4. Get your nature fix
This is harder to do if you don’t live in the countryside or suburbs, but it’s not impossible. Spending time in nature has been proven to improve mental and physical health, reducing anxiety and depression. If you can’t access a park near you, it could simply be about sitting on your balcony in the sunshine or breathing in some fresh air through an open window. Plant some herbs in a pot and then harvest them, weed your garden if you have one, or simply take a break while hanging up the washing and notice the birds in the sky.
We know this is a difficult time, so we hope these stress-busting habits help add a dose of calm into your life, improving your overall health and happiness levels.
Want to find out more about the mental health benefits offered through your medical scheme? Get in touch with your Sasfin Healthcare Consultant today.