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8 Self-care Tips for Coronavirus Lockdown
Amid the nationwide lockdown caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic this week, many of us are experiencing uncomfortable new realities, myself included. Homes have become offices (if we are lucky enough to still have employment); most children are off school and many grandparents have become isolated; freedom of movement has been largely curtailed to the point that even driving to the beach for a quick swim or surf might be deemed socially irresponsible.
Worrying about our health, our finances and our families is inevitable, but it’s essential that we preserve some normalcy for the sake of our mental and physical well-being. Here are some of the things that have been helping to keep me calm during isolation:
Exercise is essential for both physical and mental health. It’s also a great way to create a routine at the start of each day. Now that we’re all locked out of the gym – who am I kidding, I never went to the gym in the first place! – we’re lucky that exercising at home as never been so easy.
My friend @foodfitnessflora wrote a great blog post this week featuring a selection of online personal trainers. Hopefully, you can find one that will be an inspiration for you!
The government allows you to do one form of outdoor exercise per day. Make the most of it by immersing yourself in nature, if possible. Appreciate the spring sunshine, the plane-free skies and the wildflowers.
If you don’t have access to a local, green space, take time to admire the architecture and the quiet spaces around you instead. Having limited time outdoors should make this outdoor tranquility feel more precious than ever.
Boris Johnson told the nation: “If your friends ask you to meet, you should say ‘no’.” However, now is not the time for loneliness, so although we must heed his advice, there are other ways to stay in touch: voice-note your friends on Whatsapp, hold a group FaceTime with your family, do yoga with your pal on Zoom or download the Houseparty app and play games with friends you haven’t seen for ages. Or maybe ditch the apps and pick up the landline for a good old-fashioned chat.
The coronavirus outbreak has caused people to panic-buy everything from toilet paper to hand sanitiser, pasta to tinned tomatoes. And women are now reporting a shortage of period products too, as people stockpile tampons and pads. Please think before you buy these products because shortages could affect vulnerable women who can’t afford to stockpile.
Are there alternatives you could try? The Mooncup is an excellent option because it can be re-used again and again . If you’ve been considering one for a while, now could be the perfect time to try it.
Make sure you take a break from the constant screen-time and news overload. This is particularly important in the evenings, when getting relaxation and good sleep is fundamental to our health.
I aim to turn my phone off from 9pm to 8am every night and leave it downstairs so that I’m not tempted to look at it overnight.
Facing three weeks at home, it’s important that you create an environment that feels good to you. Marie Kondo, the author, suggests you simplify and organise your home space by getting rid of physical items that do not bring joy into your life. Start with your kitchen table and then take it one drawer at a time.
Take 10 To Be Zen
Although science suggests that meditation can reduce inflammation caused by stress, it’s not for everyone. Why not try listening to a calming podcast instead? I love ‘On Being’ with Krista Tippet
Alternatively, ‘take 10 to be zen’ and simply eat that next chocolate bar mindfully with no distractions. That’s my kind of meditation.
I’ve been feeling a little useless since lockdown kicked in, sat at home with little work to do while my sister is out working tirelessly as an NHS nurse. If you’ve also been feeling like this, why not register as an NHS support volunteer, or check in with an elderly neighbour? Don’t underestimate the buzz of a good deed – for the recipient and yourself.
Stay safe and, when these lockdown days are behind us, remember to continue practicing whichever positive strategies work best for you.
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