Image by FutureLearn.
We’ve been in a lockdown for a big part of this year for now and we can clearly say that most part of it hasn’t been easy for us. Especially for students, our dream university life has been in a grey area with the university closed, projects put on halt and travel plans cancelled. With most of our time being at home, our regular habits might be affected to be worse than better. With the bed and food at home being by our side every time, it is definitely difficult to avoid being sluggish and difficult to escape the laziness to get our daily responsibilities fulfilled. Not only that, our mental health could be affected by the anxiety of being alone and homesick during the lockdown. Such detrimental psychological and physical effects of lockdown were well documented by Financial Times. Below are tips to keep healthy and active at home which I have also taken as a habit.
Find a routine
Image from Maine Center for Acupuncture.
With much more time to ourselves whilst being at home with lesser time spent moving, it is easy to say that we have more time to work on ourselves and our daily tasks. However, it is easy to get off track of our schedule as time seems not to pass quickly within the four walls of our room. As such, it is important to set a routine that fits our daily missions so that we can stay focused on completing the tasks, take breaks and also do physical exercise to keep ourselves active. As for me, my routine has been set by the amount of task that I have, which is explained in my next tip.
Try to keep busy
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I’ve personally kept a list of tasks for myself that spans up to the whole week. Whenever I finish a task or see anything exciting, I’ll add that to the task list, with the idea that I’ll always be occupied with tasks and new projects to work on. This method has worked for me to maintain my work momentum and productivity thus far. Here are 50 things that you can also try at home as well. Take this opportunity as well to keep on challenging ourselves and seek self-improvement by having an end goal in sight. You can also challenge your friends and family to take up the challenge with you from their homes, keeping you connected and competitive.
Try a new hobby
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Perhaps you might want to try cooking a new recipe, gardening in your backyard or try new home workout methods. Regardless, there are many new hobbies that we can try whilst we are on a lockdown not just to release stress but also to keep away from boredom while learning new skills. I’ve personally taken this period to learn how to bake, do some gardening, blogging and also improve my programming skills. I’ve also known friends that organised ‘House Olympics’, which I feel that it’s a great activity to try with your housemates!
Stay in touch with friends and family
Image from Lewi Blake
One positive in this era, access to powerful communication technology is easy and it’s never been easier to stay in touch. Although many of us can’t see friends and loved ones face-to-face at the moment, we can still keep in touch. Call your family, arrange online activities, send messages or even go old-school and write a letter. There are plenty of ways to keep in contact with our loved and cared ones. Speaking with the people you care about can give you (and them) a mental boost.
Practising good mental health
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With all the change and uncertainty in life at the moment, taking care of your mental health has never been more important. There are several benefits associated with positive mental wellbeing, including things like reduced stress and anxiety, improved moods and clearer thinking, a greater sense of calm and increased self-esteem. There are also several tried and tested methods that are proven to help people in various situations deal with trying times such as the COVID-19 pandemic, as listed from this link.
To maintain good mental health, I would recommend practising mindfulness. A great place to start with mindfulness is with some basic breathing exercises. Take one minute out of your day to sit and focus on your breath. Notice the air going in and out of your nostrils as your chest rises and falls. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to focus on your breathing. Getting enough sleep is also important so that we are always well rested and replenish our tired minds.
If you’re concerned about your own mental health needs, the NHS has a mood self-assessment tool that can help you understand how you’ve been feeling.
Stay physically active
Image from Future Learn.
The hardest part about being active during lockdown is starting in the first place. Try to resist the urge to rest on the sofa and end up spending all of your time there. As for now, we can still exercise outside during the lockdown, so make sure to take advantage of that. As well as taking care of your mental health during the lockdown, it’s equally important to stay on top of your physical wellbeing and keep your body moving.
Staying healthy is a habit. Evidently, it’s vital that we all take care of our physical and emotional health during this difficult time. With some simple changes to your daily routine, such as getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, and keeping in touch with people, you can boost your mood, productivity and stay healthy.