Coronavirus has impacted on most of our lives in one way or another. Social distancing and self isolation can affect us all in different ways. There is an enormous amount of advice on what to do and what not to do on the internet but what is it we can really do to help ourselves during this time?
Here's 5 useful tips which could help make a difference to how you feel if you are finding it difficult at this time.
1) Be Kind To Yourself
All around you, on social media, it seems people are baking bread and fabulous cakes, learning a new language or instrument, painting, sewing, gardening or writing a novel. What is important, is to not compare yourself to them. It really is ok to not want to do anything of those things. Once you get rid of that pressure you can have a few days of not doing very much, if anything at all, without feeling like a failure.
Some days you might not even feel like washing or getting dressed. If you can set a challenge to shower and slip into clean clothes then do it. Once you’re washed and dressed you may feel a lot better and ready for the day.
Having an organised bathroom may tempt you in with fluffy towels and your cosmetics and lotions on display. Open the windows for fresh air and if you're up to it listen to music in the shower! Just 'being' is everything! Everyone is dealing with this situation in their own way and your way is as valid as the next person’s. So once you're up and dressed you can do whatever you want, or much nothing at all. It's your day.
And if you need some bathroom organisation, Zip Bags are ideal for putting in your soaps or cosmetics in. They may even lift your mood and will certainly brighten your bathroom.
2) Have A Lovely Cup of Tea
Did you know that there are 5 main categories of tea and they all come from the one plant called Camellia Sinensis? There is white tea, black tea, green tea, oolong tea and pu-erh tea. Then there is flavoured tea like Earl grey or Jasmine tea or Lemon Ginger.
Tea contains antioxidants and the health benefits from drinking 2 to 3 cups of tea a day is impressive. They range from helping to reduce stress, lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes to lowering blood pressure.
So, if you are feeling a little stressed, treat yourself to a nice drink of tea. Not only will you feel relaxed and refreshed you will know you're doing something healthy. It's even good for your bones!
They say tea stays warmer in a fine bone china mug, so if you'd like to enjoy your tea nice and hot, see Jin Designs Mugs, perfect for all hot beverages.
3) Try to exercise each day
The thought of exercise can fill some people with horror but there are different forms of exercise for different abilities. Not all exercise has to be vigorous such as running. It can be moderate, where you can raise your heartbeat on a walk or cycle.
Did you know exercise is proven to boost self esteem, mood and depression too? It’s not just for our physical health such as muscle strengthening and lowering the risk of many illnesses. Now, more than ever we need to look after our mental health too. Socially isolating is not natural to us but by finding ways to exercise our mind and body we will feel much better.
Play up-beat music and dance when you’re doing your housework. Find a step you can walk up and down a few times during the day in your house or garden. Keep moving when you can. Utilise the permitted daily exercise outside of the home. Walk, cycle, run, look at the scenery, the neighbour's garden, do what is easy and comfortable for you in the time.
There are many videos on the internet that will help you stretch, get stronger, stimulate your mind and keep your body going after sitting around. Look for the ones you can do easily and build from there. The idea is to enjoy exercise. Don't do anything that will put you off!
Sometimes it can help to keep a diary of what you have done each day. You’ll not only feel you have done something positive but all those endorphins will trigger a positive feeling and will help ward off depression, anxiety, help with stress and improve your sleep.
4) What's for Dinner?
If you can create a routine to break up the day now may be a good time in which to try out new and nutritious recipes. You may not feel like becoming the next Jamie Oliver or Mary Berry but you can still enjoy good food. Aim for replacing some of your treats for healthier snacks. Or try baking some of the treats you love. Homemade is often better than factory processed and the method of following a recipe and baking your own treats can be therapeutic and even relaxing.
There's been an increase during lockdown of local farms and cooperatives selling fruit and veg boxes with free delivery even in cities. Check them out and you will have fresh vegetables in which to make soups or salads. Chop a banana over your cereal, make a veg or fruit smoothie. Add more fish to your diet or cut back on sugar. These are simple steps you can do to keep yourself mentally and physically healthy.
Eat off your best plates, decorate the dining table, even if you are own your own. Food can be something to look forward to and a special daily treat of health on a plate. It always tastes better when it's nicely presented too.
5) And Breathe
Some of us work much better with a structure and that’s why self isolating can be difficult because our usual lifestyles have been disrupted. By breaking the day down into a new routine, it could be much easier to manage and survive well. Keep it simple. If you can wake up at the same time each day and go to bed at the same time it will be the start of being able to fit everything else in where you think works best for you. The main thing is to find a ‘new’ normal for you where you can look after your wellbeing.
The days can be very tiring even if you haven’t done much! By eating regularly, exercising regularly and importantly, for our mental health, relaxing regularly the days will pass with minimum stress and anxiety.
You may not be a meditation type of person but remember to breathe and keep the oxygen flowing into your lungs so it gets to your brain!
Setting time aside where you can listen to chilled music, or the sound of silence, in a relaxed, ambient space is a great way to look after yourself.
Light a candle. Close your eyes. And breathe. And keep remembering, it won't be like this forever.