Maintaining a healthy diet, keeping fit and of course maintaining high hygiene standards are the best things you can do to safeguard yourself against the COVID-19 threat. These three practices are both important for your physical and mental health- due to the sudden change in routine for most during this lockdown period.
How does one protect themselves psychologically during this period of a pandemic and a lot of uncertainty?
- Avoid information overload.
Put all your smart gadgets down for a while. Remember that “quiet hours” option on your cool phone – that you have never really paid attention to. Now is the best time to learn the necessary things it can do for you. It is important to give your mind a chance to breathe by taking breaks from social media and e-news platforms. Yes, news is necessary too, but you can regulate how much of it you consume without getting overwhelmed.
- (Re-) Discover your hobbies.
Yes! Remember those? The unfinished painting now stashed somewhere in the garage or the constructive book club discussions on WhatsApp when you discovered that completing a book was not as hard as you had imagined. Now is the time to not only enjoy them but also getting the chance to share those relaxing moments with your family. It may also be the best time to venture into that personal dream you have been thinking about but never really “had the time” to execute – starting a podcast or vlog, writing poetry, learning photography et al.
- Check-in on friends and family.
Observing social distancing rules does not particularly mean self-isolation. If you must use your phone at least let it be to make a call or sending out text messages to your family or friends, finding out how they too are coping with the pandemic. As it is to you, the commitment of time, love and care you show each other is still of importance to your loved ones. This especially helps in coping with the stigma of mental health disorders such as social anxiety.
- Breathe in, breathe out.
While at the verge of having a mental breakdown maybe amidst trying to work from home as efficient as you were used to before or trying hard to study for that upcoming exam online, just take a step back and just breathe. Replenish the Oxygen already used up by your mind trying to solve complex problems and trying to make sense of uncertainties. Just breathe.
Physical fitness is impossible without mental wellness. Regardless of the situation, channel positive thoughts towards your mind.
I cannot go to the gym; how do I stay active?
Even if you have not been actively going to the gym, starting a routine of short 5-10 minutes of exercise in between your daily activities can help boost your immune system.
Additionally, regular exercising comes with more health benefits such as improvement of your mental state as well as improved moods and increased energy. This is also a great opportunity to think outside the box.
These can include turning up the music and dancing with your children, jump rope sessions or even walking your pet dog- of course maintaining social distance.
You can also schedule a 5-minute yoga live session with some close friends, this will both be relaxing and a fun way to catch up. Alternatives to your aerobics class may include running at least once a day, a light jog or even a swimming session -again, be sure to maintain social distancing.
The key thing is to be consistent and to switch it up constantly because when your body gets used to one regimen, then it stalls and fat burning dips leading to a weight plateau.
Remember to also invest in comfortable sports wear, create or purchase a yoga mat, buy a set of dumbbells and if you need some extra support, invest in an online personal trainer who can help you set and stick to your home-workout goals.
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Stay home. Save lives.0