This is a collaborative post
The COVID-19 global health crisis is affecting people all over the world.
To avoid the spread of the virus, we all must follow social distancing measures. For many of us, this means needing to stay home and minimise the contact we have with the outside world.
You may have to work from home instead of going to the office, and your kids may not be able to go to school.
The idea of a lockdown may provide the opportunity to relax and catch up on life. However, the novelty may quickly wear off, and the reality of spending weeks or even months at home is likely to take its toll on both your mental and physical health.
Here are five ways to ensure you are taking the best possible care of yourself during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.
Make Sure You Have Somewhere to Work From Home
If the company that you work for has asked that you work from home, you will need to adapt to this new challenge.
Many people may think that working from home is easy. However, when you have multiple distractions, it can prove challenging.
In addition to this, it can be hard to separate your home life from your work life.
This can all add up to stress. If you are unable to leave your work at work, you may feel as though you’re never getting a break.
To avoid running into the many problems that you may face when working from home, you should set to work, creating a healthy workspace.
Make sure that you have adequate natural light, as this will make the environment more comfortable. However, if you’re going to need to use video conferencing software to attend meetings, you’ll need to be able to set your screen up away from the light.
Make sure that you have somewhere comfortable to sit. Posture is important, and if your chair is not suitable, you may end up with back pains.
Take breaks often, and stick to office hours.
When the working way is done, close the door to your workplace, and turn off emails on your phone.
Have a Schedule in Place
It can be very easy to drift out of a routine in these strange times. However, having a schedule in place will help your mental health considerably as it will give you a focus to work towards.
At the start of the week, make a list of all of the essential things that need to be achieved that week. Then, make a list of things that you would like to do that are less important.
Create a to-do list for each day where you tackle one of your priority jobs as well as some of your smaller tasks.
Make a meal plan and decide what you’ll eat throughout the week. By planning your meals, you’ll be less inclined to eat bland or unhealthy convenience food.
Plan in your working day and work in times for homeschooling to take place.
Take Exercise Daily
While under lockdown, you may be less active than you usually would be. Inactivity can lead to physical and mental health problems.
If you are permitted, go outside and exercise.
Outdoor exercise is an excellent opportunity to get some air in your lungs, get your blood pumping, and enjoy the benefits of vitamin D from the sunlight.
Depending on your current fitness level, you could either go for a walk, a run, or a cycle.
Try and find a few different walking routes so that you can keep your daily exercise interesting.
You may also want to check out some online fitness videos or find a personal fitness trainer that provides a remote service.
Take the Time to Eat Well
During the lockdown, you may get into a habit of snacking between meals on unhealthy items such as crisps or sweets. It can be a very easy habit to get into, particularly if you have prolonged periods where you are sat down and have access to the snacks.
While the indulgences may be distracting you from everything that is going on in the world right now, you may be setting yourself up for some severe health problems outside of lockdown.
The additional calories that you are taking in coupled with the lack of physical activity, may put pressure on your heart and other organs.
A poor diet based on snacks that are high in fats and sugars will also be bad for your mental health. Once the good feelings that the food gives you wear off, then you’ll be left feeling lethargic and maybe even upset at yourself for eating so much stuff that you know you shouldn’t have.
Take the opportunity to make some positive changes to your diet. Get plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables into your meals, and find the time to find some recipes for meals that you can really look forward to eating.
You’ll no doubt have some extra time on your hands since you do not have to travel to work, so use this time to make meals that require some preparation. You’ll feel healthier and happier for it.
Remember to Relax
During the COVID-19 public health crisis, it can be easy to get yourself into autopilot and get on with life. However, we’re living through one of the most stressful times in modern history. We don’t know what the future holds for us, our health, and the global economy. It is natural to have some worries about how everything will affect your life.
It’s okay to not be okay. Take the time to acknowledge how you feel about the current pandemic and allow yourself the opportunity to relax.
Practice a self-care routine that suits you. This may mean meditating, taking baths, or taking time to read quietly.
By allowing yourself to slow down, you’ll reduce stress and think clearer. This will help you get through the pandemic in a healthy way.