Life after lockdown: Keeping yourself healthy
With restrictions being eased and the end of lockdown on the horizon, we will be moving back to a more normal way of life. This, combined with warmer weather, means we will be getting outside more and being more active.
It’s important to remember to give yourself time to get back to the way things were before 2020 and ensure you’re keeping yourself healthy both physically and mentally.
The impact of long-term working from home
While some people have relished working from home, and perhaps already had an element of home working with their job before 2020, a lot of us have had to quickly adjust to the shock of losing an office space. The mental impact of spending 23 hours a day confined in our homes has been compounded by the challenges the pressures of work brings.
The lack of a dedicated office space could have left you hunched over a laptop at the kitchen table or balancing your laptop on the arm of a chair. Make sure you’re looking after your posture and taking regular screen breaks throughout the day. Set an alarm if you struggle to remember.
If you have been furloughed, especially from a physically demanding job, you may find it takes some time to get back to full speed, because your body can decondition. Take your time and ease yourself back into your daily routine and build in a warm up before you start any heavy physical activity.
Getting back to sports after lockdown
With restrictions easing, one of the first things many people hope for is the reopening of golf courses and tennis courts. Five a side football, rugby and many other sports will soon be back as part of our routines.
If you’ve been missing a round of golf you’re not alone. In the next couple of months, getting back on the course will become a reality. But before you dust off your clubs, make sure you are prepared to reduce the risk of injury. Thoroughly stretch and warm up – especially if you’ve had previous injuries.
The same goes for tennis and other racquet sports. The last thing you want after missing out on your hobby for so long is to pick up an injury during your first game.
Rugby, football and other sports – contact and non-contact – can also be physically demanding. And if you’ve not played a game for a few months, it will be easier to pick up an injury. Make sure you’re warming up properly and stretching before and after a game.
Readjusting to life after lockdown
As well as the obvious physical impacts the last 12 months have had, there’s also been an impact on mental health. Over the last year, phrases like “the new normal” have appeared in the media. But what does this mean?
Even people who have never struggled with mental health, anxiety or stress will have found the situation challenging. For those people who were already struggling before the pandemic started, this year has been incredibly difficult.
The important thing to remember is it is ok not to feel ok and it is ok not to feel “normal”, the level of uncertainty and disruption that we have faced is not normal. Many of us have lost loved ones, know someone who has needed hospital treatment or is still living with the effects of Covid-19.
Remember, everyone will deal with things in their own way. Give yourself praise for coming through this challenging time. Try and focus on things you are grateful for or anything positive you can take from this situation. Don’t focus on what you could have done differently or compare yourself to others – simply getting through this year is an achievement in itself.
Tips to help you move forward
We are now starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel and we all hope to be able to spend time with and hug our friends and family soon.
If you do feel stressed or worried about the future, there are some things you can practice to keep calm and focus on the positives.
- Focus on eating healthily and getting outside. Things are uncertain but there are things you can control that will boost your mood and overall health. Choose nutritious food over processed snacks and make sure you spend time outdoors.
- Put a time limit on news and social media. It’s important to be aware of the restrictions in your area but hours of scrolling news headlines can be more damaging than helpful. Set aside a specific time in the day to check the latest updates then stay away from your phone otherwise.
- Practice breathing exercises and meditation. In times of stress, our breathing patterns can change, and it feels difficult to “switch off”. If you find yourself laying in bed with a head full of thoughts, change your mindset with deep breathing.
- Make sure you get enough sleep. Sleep is one of the best things for overall health. Practising a good routine before you go to bed will help you drift off peacefully and stay asleep. Put down your phone at least an hour before you want to go to sleep and try to create a relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom.
Whatever situation, you may find yourself in, there are always small changes that you can make to help you move towards feeling better both physically and mentally.
You can read more about Mindfulness and Meditation here
Filed Under: Health Tips