It’s a strange time isn’t it… Temporarily life has been put on somewhat of a pause and with such disruption to daily life it has never been so important to look after your health and wellbeing.
To help with the adjustment, here are some of our top tips to help keep you healthy, both physically and mentally.
Tip 1: You Are What You Eat
Although a Netflix binge with tortilla chips and dip and a family-size pizza is super-tempting, it’s as important as ever to eat a range of healthy and balanced meals and drink plenty of water.
Eating healthily is not only important for our physical health but is also important in maintaining our mental wellbeing too.
The vitamins, especially B vitamins, found in foods including eggs, poultry, fish, bananas and green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach are important for our brain and the ‘happiness’ chemicals serotonin and dopamine that regulate our mood.
You could even use this period to kick-start healthier eating habits – the extra time you’re at home is a great time to batch cook. You can find a range of healthy recipe ideas perfect for batch cooking online.
Tip 2: Routine Rules
So, the alarm might not be set quite so early but it’s still important to get up, shower, change into ‘proper’ clothes (step away from the pyjamas) and retain some sort of structure to your day to help you focus and keep some normality to your day.
Split your day into different activities of perhaps 45 minutes to an hour.
If you’d normally exercise for an hour in the evening then keep that routine. You might not be able to go to the gym but you can still take a walk or go for a run or bike ride (as long as you follow Government guidance on social distancing), or smash a home workout – you can find some examples in Tip 4.
Tip 3: Make use of Technology
Socialising is going to be very different for the next few weeks. But, we’ve never had so much technology available at our fingertips to help us stay in touch with friends and family.
Make sure you stay connected with friends and family – text, call or FaceTime them, download the Houseparty app, Skype or Zoom and have a chat. However you do it be sure to check in and make sure they’re ok.
Talking is always important and it’s going to make a real difference over the coming weeks.
A word of warning – try and limit your news intake to reputable sources, and beware of fake news on social media (Russia didn’t really release lions to ensure quarantine). If it’s news about Coronavirus always check the details on the gov.uk website or through a fact-checking service such as fullfact.org.
Social media has a place, it is a fantastic tool to stay in touch with friends and family whilst we’re unable to visit them in person, but be careful how, and how much, you use it. Your mental health will thank you.
Tip 4: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
Exercise has obvious physical health benefits, but it is also key for maintaining good mental health. It releases endorphins that help us reach our happy place.
Why not kick-start your day by joining in with Joe Wicks’ PE lessons at 9.00 am every morning?
If 9.00 am is a little early for you, you can find loads of great workouts – from simple home routines for complete beginners through to more advanced HIIT sessions for seasoned gym bunnies – on The Body Coach TV YouTube channel.
You can also join in with a live daily workout on the PureGym Instagram (check their profile for the timetable) or follow along later on their Facebook page. GymShark have also made all home workouts available free of charge on their iOS app.
Tip 5: Do Something You’ve Always Put Off
If you’ve always fancied learning something new, now could be the best time to get started.
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn a new language – now could be the perfect time to download Duolingo – or if you’ve got a list of books you’ve always wanted to read, now is your chance to do it.
The Open University offers hundreds of free online courses ranging from 1-hour crash courses to a more in-depth 84-hours of free online learning.
Tip 6: Explore Some of the World’s Favourite Cultural Hotspots
Broaden your horizons and take a (virtual) trip to some of the world’s most popular attractions.
Discover the New Seven Wonders of the World including the Taj Mahal, Macchu Pichu and the Great Wall of China from the comfort of your home.
Tip 7: Take the Best Seat in the House
Experience the joy of a show or concert without the expensive drinks and snacks!
Lots of your favourite artists are live streaming and carrying out virtual duets with their showbiz pals, you can find a healthy list of online performances here.
If theatre or musicals are more your cup of tea why not take advantage of the seven-day free trial on offer at BroadwayHD or, for your favourite West End shows the National Theatre have announced that they’ll be streaming a free show on their YouTube channel every Thursday from the 2nd April.
Tip 8: Take Some Time for Yourself
In these uncertain times even the most laid-back among us are feeling a little more anxious; it’s important to remember that’s perfectly normal.
Remember to take time for yourself and look after your mental wellbeing.
You can also find a free Coronavirus Sanity Guide from the team at Ten Percent Happier, a mix of audio clips, videos and articles will help you stay centred in these uncertain times.
We hope you find some of the tips above useful. If we’re missing anything or you’ve found useful tools to help you why not share your top tips with us on our social media channels?
Remember to stay safe, stay at home and look after yourself and we’ll see you soon.
*Please note, the College does not endorse any of these links, we have just listed a few in one simple place for your leisure.