The first half of the year 2020 went down in the books of history as one to remember. With the COVID-19 virus spreading like wildfire around the world, many countries had to effect the cessation of movement in some towns and cities that were considered hotspots. People had to stay indoors and avoid huge gatherings to protect themselves and others from the ravaging respiratory disease. The term, Lockdown, which was new to many people became the talk of the day in most places.
As of the first quarter of 2021, a lot of places are still under lockdown to minimize the spread of the disease as populations continue getting their COVID-19 vaccine shots. Well, this still means that people will have to stay indoors and even work from home a little longer than most anticipated. Unfortunately, this can be detrimental to both physical and mental health if extreme caution is not taken. It is also among the reasons why most countries are providing mental health assistance to their citizens.
Nonetheless, there are a few ways to take care of yourself even if the lockdown forces you to stay at home and keeps you grounded. Below are some tips on how to keep yourself healthy and physically engaged during the lockdown.
This is inarguably the best way to stay active, healthy, and physically engaged. Exercise enhances your flexibility and creates muscle strength. Besides, it helps to prevent diseases like blood pressure while boosting immunity. During the lockdown, our food intake levels have drastically increased. This can lead to weight problems that can be curbed with regular exercise. Therefore, by exercising, you are maintaining your health and physical appearance.
The best part is that you don’t even need a gym for a good workout. You can achieve the same in the comfort of your home. If you need more than what bodyweight exercises can give you, you can also invest in a few home gym equipment and set some space aside in your home for your workouts. An exercise bike is one of the incredible pieces of exercise equipment you will want to start with. In this comparison published on the IF-FIT website, the author provides a detailed look into the Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4 exercise bikes. They are both described as affordable indoor bikes that come with a good bunch of helpful features to boost your workout.
Apart from an exercise bike, other home workout equipment you can invest in includes:
- Balance ball
- Weighted armbands
- Resistance bands
- Weighted skip rope
- Exercise mat
Eat a balanced diet
When you go to work, it is easier to monitor your diet. Working at home means more diet cheat days. It is hard to maintain a good diet when all the processed goody-goodies are within your reach. Eating well requires discipline. Take advantage of the free time you have to practice cooking healthy meals. Enroll in an online cooking class or follow tutorials to learn about healthy foods. Try to say no to the desires of your sugary tooth. Having a meal consisting of all nutrients reduces stress, risk of diseases and gives you glowing skin. Remember to keep yourself hydrated.
Meditation or relaxation
Being indoors all the time and the resulting stress can lead to serious mental issues. Some people have fallen into depression because the events are overwhelming. Taking time off to meditate will help bring things into perspective. Try and understand issues and emotions that are troubling you. After identifying the cause, you can use online guides towards solving it. Besides, you can try mindful exercising. This grounds you to focus and live in the present. Deep breathing also helps in relaxation. Afterward, you will enjoy reduced stress, clear thinking, and an open mind.
Not having good rest is a cause of stress and reduced physical activity. Do not let the tough times affect your sleep schedule and pattern. Ensure that you sleep the recommended hours depending on your age. Spending most time on the couch and on TV can make you fall in and out of sleep. Do not substitute this for a good night’s rest. Good sleep will help take care of your emotions, weight, and mental health.
Just because you are socially distancing does not mean you isolate from the human race. Technology has made it possible to keep in touch with family and friends. You can Skype, send messages, phone calls or connect via social media. This helps you know you are not alone. Also, keeping in touch with people helps you remain physically and mentally sane.
Getting through this tough lockdown era requires patience and living each day at a time. Do not overwhelm yourself with fear of the unknown. Use the tips above and continue following the health guidelines provided.
Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He is interested in mental health and well-being.