Sydney has entered its fourth week of lockdown, marking close to a month of being away from our normal routines. It’s easy to form some not-so-healthy habits during lockdown, and if you’re feeling anxious and unmotivated you’re not alone. In a time like this it’s more important than ever to look after yourself and prioritise your health, so we’ve put together five simple tips for staying healthy while you’re staying at home.
Tip 1. Stick to a daily routine
It is important to keep some normality to your daily routine during lockdown. Sure, if you’re working from home it’s tempting to sit in your pyjamas all day and cosy up in bed to work, but that’s not going to make you feel your best. Instead, write out a daily routine and stick to it. Get ready in the morning to set yourself up for the day and continue a routine until bedtime to stay on track.
Tip 2. Stay active
Studies show just a few minutes of activity each day is enough to trigger the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain. Whether you’re going out for a walk, doing some yoga, or even just dedicating time to stretch, this is an essential part of your day to keep you healthy and moving. Bonus points if you get some fresh air during exercise.
Tip 3. Stay in contact with family and friends
During such an uncertain time it’s important to stay connected to those closest to you, and have people you can support and receive support from. Luckily for us technology makes it easier than ever to connect with loved ones during a time where face-to-face contact isn’t possible. From calling your family throughout the week, to throwing a games night with your friends over zoom, make an effort to stay connected to those that mean the most to you. Sometimes having someone to simply talk about our day to can lift our spirits and boost our mood.
Tip 4. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is the act of being fully present and aware of what is happening in the moment. Practising the art of mindfulness has been proven to help reduce stress and anxiety, as well as improve memory and concentration. Incorporate mindfulness into your routine by taking time to eat your meals without distraction or practice mindful breathing by slowing down your breaths and counting down from five when exhaling. If you’re looking for some practical advice on how to be mindful, check out the lockdown-specific mindfulness videos made by mind coach Emma Murray at @highperformancemindfulness.
Tip 5. Set aside screen-free time
It’s easy to get caught up working or scrolling through social media before realising you’ve been online for hours. Spending too much time stuck to a screen can interrupt sleep patterns and negatively impact productivity and mental health. To prevent this, dedicate time out of your day to go completely technology-free (something to schedule into your daily routine). Use this time to stretch, read a book, get outside or spend time with loved ones living in your home.