We’ve all felt the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic in different ways. For some, lives have been flipped on their heads and for others it’s a matter of adapting to the changes and moving through cautiously. What is a common theme for us all however, is the slowing down of the day to day. We’re spending more time at home than we have in years and for some this is a welcome reprieve to our chaotic lifestyles, for others it’s a hard slog to navigate families and schedules. To help you I’ve compiled a list of my top isolation tips to keep your body and mind happy and healthy during this time.
- Daily routine – whether you’re doing this journey alone or you have a clan to look after the simplicity of a routine can be a game changer. One of the hardest aspects of this pandemic is the uncertainty of the situation. We just don’t know what will happen next. Setting your alarm, getting up and moving your body is key. If you’re working: scheduling your day into productive blocks, including breaks and ensuring when you finish up, you are actually switching off. If you’re not working it’s still important to have a routine: write a list for the day and then break it into manageable chunks. This is super helpful if you have kids at home! Kids thrive on a routine and you can even have them help you plan the days activities.
- Plan ahead – one of the biggest things I’m hearing about during this time at home, is how much snacking and unhealthy eating people are doing. It’s easy to snack when you’re at home and bored, everything is at our fingertips. We skip a meal and then we snack and then we’re not hungry. And then we skip another meal, which eventually causes us to snack again and then the cycle continues. Now I’m not proposing to halt snacking altogether but structuring your meals and being prepared is key! We’ve all got a little extra time up sleeves to try out new recipes and re-acquaint ourselves with our kitchens. Whether you choose to do this at the start of the week or schedule it in as part of your daily routine, now is the time do some food prep. Planning your meals will ensure you’re satiated daily with nutritious wholefoods and will avoid unnecessary boredom snacking. You may even learn a new skill, like baking bread or making gnocchi!
- Stock up! – We’re all trying to do our part to stay home so when you do head out to get groceries, use your time wisely and make sure you stock up on the good stuff. This is where planning ahead comes in so wonderfully! Rather than aimlessly wandering the store have a list prepared of all the ingredients you will need for your meals, include random extras so if you’re feeling creative you can mix things up. As soon as you get home get washing and cutting. It’s so easy and super helpful to set aside an hour after your weekly shop to organise your produce. That way when you’re ready to cook, half the prep is done and the actual food cooking can begin plus if you’re feeling snacky you will have an array of colourful wholefoods to nibble on!
- Move, move, move – Move your body, every day, as much as you can. Find the beauty and flexibility in this extra time at home and get creative with ways to be active. Schedule it into your day (why not try a sunrise walk to start the day?) but also be flexible with your time. If you’ve been staring at your work for 2hrs but can’t focus any more, try a backyard Pilates or circuit session to burn some energy and centre your attention? Perhaps you’ve got a 20min window while the kids nap, why not hop on the mat for a quick yoga flow? One of the positive side effects of social distancing is the amazing free online fitness classes that are now available! There are even some classes that are scheduled at specific times so you can join others through Instagram live and all workout together.
- Stay connected – Rather than social distancing, I prefer to call it physical distancing because staying connected to my friends and family is just as important as moving my body or eating consciously. Thankfully there are so many wonderful virtual ways to stay connected these days – schedule a weekly group FaceTime call with your friends or perhaps Saturday night trivia via Zoom with your social group is more your thing, either way reach out to your people. Even if you’re feeling ok, there may a friend on the receiving end who really needs to chat and a call from you could be just the thing to brighten their day. You’ll also be amazed at how friendly people are on your daily walk, I’ve noticed as social distancing continues, the more morning chats and friendly hellos I receive from strangers each day (at a safe and respectful distance of course)!
- Use screens consciously – more time at home often means more screen time. Whilst I’m not here to shame anyone on their usage of screens during this difficult time I am here to remind you to use them mindfully. We’ve all got a list of things we want to do if we had more time…. Well that time has come! Dig out that list and get cracking on all those things. Start that veggie patch, fix your bike, start a sewing project, build something, re-wax your surfboard, anything! Step away from those screens and venture down that to-do list and feel a sense of accomplishment when you cross items of your list!