The spread of Coronavirus is causing us all to face some very strange times, times when staying in has become the new going out. Whilst for some the prospect of some down time at home could be very welcome, for others it can bring about a whole news stress, not just from economic and health concerns but merely the claustrophobia of being cooped up for potentially a few months. So at times like this looking after yourself and your family becomes even more pressing, so here are out top 5 tips to keep you in shape mentally and physically and relieve the stress.
1. Firstly be kind to yourself - Family life can be hectic and stressful even at the best of times. So try spin this time into a positive. View it as the perfect opportunity to slow down and to focus on yours and your family’s well being, bond and enjoy each other’s company but there may also be times when being together gets a bit much. It’s perfectly natural to crave some personal space, and when you do, be sure to take it. Find a place in your home you can be alone, be it your bedroom or bathroom, soak in a relaxing warm bath, read a book or take 5 minutes to meditate. Originating from India, it is still a somewhat under-utilised practise here in the UK, studies have shown that it helps to alleviate stress and combat depression. We will all face challenges to our mental state the long this got on so take a look at some apps you can get to help. Calm is a good one for example, with sessions that range from 3-25minutes so give it a try.
2. Eat well - Keep out of the snack cupboard and learn to fuel your body properly. Whilst we cannot cure or prevent Covid-19 from our diets alone, it is important to keep our immune system working efficiently by drinking lots of water and eating well. So eat as much fruit and vegetables as you can, think green vegetables and red fruits, which are rich in antioxidants. If you cannot get fresh supplies then frozen works well since the process ensures the majority of the Vitamin C is retained. Tinned fish can be a good source of Omega oils too, which are good for the heart and blood pressure.
If food supplies are proving tricky to obtain, use the time to broaden your recipe library. Find new recipes which utilise different ingredients and perhaps cook in different ways. A pressure cooker can be a great investment, as it is especially useful for cooking with grains or rice; not to mention stretching out meals to go further. Take a look at www.kuhnrikon.co.uk for good qualilty versions and they also offer interest free Klarna payments so you can spread the cost burden too. Juicing is also a great alternative. We have long been avid followers of Juicemaster Jason Vale who now has a major celebrity following. Juicing can help alleviate symptoms of various ailments as Jason’s film Super Juice Me will highlight but you rcan also buy his books from Amazon or his own website. Additionally, try to keep alcohol consumption under control during these times too. I know only too well how easy it is to sit and sip, but alcohol can also be a depressant so if you start to feel low at any point, make that the first thing you cut out.
3. Keep in touch - whist we may not be able to physically see each other, we are lucky to live in modern times with multiple apps to keep in touch. From FaceTime and Facebook to Snapchat and House Party, there are plenty of ways to not only speak to your family and friends but see them too. From the beginning of time, social connections were important for survival, now connections are proven to fulfil our needs for a sense of belonging, feeling we are not alone and valued by others. But also connections lead to general increased happiness, better health and a longer life. So rich out and get in touch on a regular basis, it would be easy to become reclusive during these difficult times.
4. Get fit or keep fit! Take care of your fitness and reduce stress - not only can being stuck alone with the kids climbing the walls cause you stress, but worries concerning the Coronavirus and indeed its economic impact can creep up on you very quickly. When we are stressed, our body releases a hormone called Cortisol. Whilst this helps the body to face attacks from injury or illnesses too much Cortisol can have a negative impact. It can convert protein into glucose, increase body fat and diminish muscle mass. In extreme cases this can lead to other dispositions such as Diabetes and Osteoporosis. Hence managing that balance of Cortisol must be high on our list of priorities now. Ensure you and your family keep your fitness program as much as possible. Maybe even improve it. If you haven’t had a regular exercise regime, now you have some more time given lack of travel and commitments, is the ideal opportunity to change that. They say it takes 90 days to change a habit which is why we are big proponents of a fitness company called www.beachbody.com. With a huge variety of workouts to choose from, the majority are 30, 60 or 90 days because they too know the power of that 90 days with an aim to changing longer term habits rather than just a quick fix. With workouts ranging in difficulty, everyone can find something that challenges them!
5. Set some goals - there’s nothing like that quick burst of Dopamine that releases through your body as you tick something off of your ‘To Do’ list. Dopamine is a ‘feel-good’ hormone and neurotransmitter that is an important part of your brain’s reward system. It is associated with learning, memory and motor system functions. in short, it is released whenever you learn something new, correctly remember information, or are being active. Therefore, the best goals you can set yourself are those that keep your brain and body active. So make a list of those jobs around the house you’ve had time for before. Try to complete something daily or host regular game nights, like we now do, both fuelling our competitive nature and problem solving skills as well as allowing us to bond as a family unit (for this reason, monopoly is strictly off the table!).
If nothing else, we hope the above just gives some food for thought. Stay safe everyone, healthy and happy. We are thinking of you all x