Lockdown living: Tips to stay mentally and physically active at home

Life is full of surprises, and events that sometimes shatters one’s daily routine. One such event that came at the time when it was least expected is undoubtedly the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus. It has bought the world down to its knees and changed almost everything. With very little hope of returning back to normal life, there is so much uncertainty about what tomorrow might look like.

Some people enjoy taking risks and living unpredictable lives, while for others it can be extremely difficult to get used to the new normal. Living life with uncertainty is taking a huge toll on  physical and mental wellbeing.

While it is true that living a life full of uncertainties is hard, you must also understand that you're not alone in this battle.  It’s  important to realise that no matter how helpless you feel, there are ways to cope during these difficult times.

Instead of always thinking about when this pandemic will end or if life will ever return to normal,  come to terms with the situation and think of ways to keep your mind  and body calm and composed.

We’ve decided to make your life easier by suggesting a few ways to focus on improving your mental and physical health. Whether it's learning how to cope with stress or indulging in fun activities, we present an array of options with tips to plan it right.

Maintaining your mental health-
Be grateful- During these trying times, one of the essential qualities to cultivate is gratitude, the practice of being thankful for all the things that you value the most in your life. Cultivating this habit doesn’t require much effort or time, all you have to do is to think about the things that are going well in your life. In order to cultivate this habit, you must set aside some time everyday and do the following.

  • Before going to bed, close your eyes and think about all the positive things around you and learn to appreciate them and be thankful. Studies have shown that by doing this, it will help you sleep better.
  • Make a note of your joys- Making a habit of writing down the things you like or dislike is a good way to appreciate everything you have been blessed with. Try to write three things you enjoy the most, people who you love, things you are looking forward to and one thing that is going well in your life.
  • Practice mindful mealtime- Before and after eating, take some time and be thankful for the food that’s on your plate. When you start eating, slow down and learn to savour every bite.
  • Find ways to give back to your community- During these difficult times, you will surely feel more happier and satisfied with your life when you volunteer. Reach out to your friends and family and see how they are doing. Start with the ones who are most vulnerable right now. While most people may not have enough money, if you do then think about donating some to an organisation that’s working tirelessly to help the ones in need during this pandemic.

Spending some time everyday to look around and be grateful for everything you have is extremely important for good mental and physical health. The health benefits associated with practicing gratitude are quite surprising. Want to know what some of these are? Well then keep reading.

A number of ways in which your body benefits are- lowers the risk of mental health problems, improves immune system, significantly lowers the risk of cardiovascular problems, and improves your ability to cope with stress.

Now that you have seen some ways to improve your mental health, let us move onto your physical wellbeing.

Focus on your physical health-
Not just your mental health, but even your physical health is important during these difficult times. The first and the foremost thing to do even before focusing on ways to reduce stress and anxiety is to prevent yourself and others from getting sick. One way to make sure you and  your loved ones are healthy is to practise social distancing, sanitizing your hands and wearing a mask. Along with these, focusing on your physical fitness will also be of great help to you.

While it is true that maintaining a fitness routine can be quite a challenge especially when you are all confined to your homes, but, there are ways to get yourself back on track.

Set some realistic goals- One of the ways to make sure you are dedicating some time and effort to focus on your physical fitness is to set some realistic goals. While you may be tempted to indulge in intense workout sessions to get the desired outcome,  in doing so you're causing more harm to your body than good. First understand your body and limitations before setting yourself up for something that might seem rather impossible. Start slowly and work your way up to build stamina. Start with setting small goals and focus on achieving them.

Those of you reading this, might wonder, how can I stay physically active despite the closure of fitness centres? Well the answer is there are a number of ways to stay active just by staying home.

Here are few ways to help you get going-

  • Practice yoga on a daily basis- Yoga is a great workout which can be performed from the comfort of your home. There are numerous benefits associated with this form of physical workout. Some of these are-  practising yoga regularly reduces stress levels,  keeps your heart healthy,  improves immunity levels, increases muscle strength, enhances flexibility, improves respiration, aids in weight loss, relieves anxiety, promotes sleep, reduces chronic pain and improves the overall quality of life.
  • Exercise with loved ones- Exercising with your loved ones is one of the best ways to connect with your spouse or your family during these difficult times. Consider going for bike rides, walking, practicing yoga or playing games in your backyard.
  • Sign up for online workout sessions- Whether it's pilates, yoga or dance, there are several online classes you can sign up for. Additionally several fitness centres are offering private virtual sessions customised to your preferences, needs and schedule. There’s no better time than now to make use of these online sessions and get back on track.
  • Do chores at home that burn calories- Doing household chores like cleaning the house, lawn mowing, washing your car are great workouts to burn calories. Along with a sense of accomplishment, indulging in household tasks is a great way to keep your body active.

Although it might take longer than normal to adjust to the new fitness routine, it will surely help you optimize your wellbeing especially during this pandemic.

 -Akhila kakarala and Pic Courtesy: pixabay.com