Heath Tips for Lockdown
Heath Tips for Lockdown
We’ve just come to the end of our first week in national lockdown. Things seem to have escalated quickly, it feels surreal how rapidly life has changed, just a couple of weeks ago we were going about things more or less as normal. But we’re now all grappling with a new normal. From a health perspective, keeping free of infection is top of mind for all of us and of course staying at home, social distancing and good hygiene are the key factors. Thinking beyond that might feel all too much currently, but keeping focussed on your nutrition, hydration, movement, sleep, connections to others and stress levels will all help you keep healthy at home and will support your immune system. The key to this is keeping it simple – now is not the time to challenge yourself!
- Try to ensure you continue to eat a rainbow of fruit and veg every day to maximise your nutrient intake. Fresh might be in short supply currently, but frozen is good too! I always have frozen peas, sweetcorn, broccoli and berries in the freezer. Things like apples and potatoes will last a long time stored correctly.
- Watch for snacking – being at home all the time could make you more tempted to visit the fridge regularly. Try and have a few healthy snacks to hand, things like hummus with carrot sticks, some Greek yogurt with berries from the freezer or a hard-boiled egg with a few cherry tomatoes are all good. Don’t beat yourself up for the odd chocolate biscuit either, sometimes it’s just what’s needed!
- Batch cooking is a good option to save time, things like bolognese sauce, bean chilli or fish pie all freeze well.
- Make sure you continue to drink plenty of water during the day. Set a reminder if that helps.
- Keep an eye on your booze intake, whilst it can feel like a treat after a day juggling home schooling and work, it’s good to have at least 3 evenings a week without alcohol
- Keeping active is really important. We’re allowed out once a day for exercise, so make the most of it with a decent walk, run or bike ride. If you live close enough to walk in nature, even better.
- Try to move regularly whilst at home too, get up a least once an hour to stretch and walk around a bit.
- There are a lots of good home workout options – try downloading an app or having a look on YouTube.
- This is really important for a healthy immune system. Keep to a regular sleep schedule even if you don’t have to get up as early as usual without your commute.
- Follow the usual sleep hygiene guidance to limit screen use within the last hour before bed and give yourself time to wind down.
Connection to Others
- We can’t see our friends and family in the way we’d like, but we’re fortunate to have technology to enable connections. Schedule regular time to call or video chat.
- Helping others can increase our own wellbeing and there are lots of ways to get involved. Many areas have set up community groups to help others or just donating to a food bank with your shop is really helpful.
- Probably the hardest one to manage currently! If the news is making you feel anxious, try and just catch up once a day rather than constantly scrolling.
- Manage your expectations – this may be the time that you’re able to learn and language or clear out your wardrobe, but it could just as easily be that as well as a full time job, you’re having to manage your children, cook and clean more than you’d have to normally and find time to go the supermarket because your usual online delivery isn’t available. Don’t feel under pressure to do more, just getting through the week is an achievement!
- Practice gratitude – I’ve done this for a long time, but it’s even more helpful now. Spend a couple of minutes each day thinking about what you’re grateful for, whether it’s that you’re healthy, the sun is out so the kids could play outside or you managed to get a pack of toilet roll! Finding the good things in every day helps make things feel a little less overwhelming.