10 Ways To Look After Your Well-being When You’re Confined To Home
SBC’s tips on boosting your mood and taking care of your well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic
We’ve seen social distancing and self-isolation in operation, and have now all been asked to stay at home for weeks. Whilst this is essential for keeping ourselves and others healthy, it doesn’t make it easy on our mental health or well-being. Feelings of cabin fever, along with constant news updates, can lead to feelings of anxiety. So, what can we do to avoid this?
While we are being forced to press pause on our usually busy lives, let’s look at this in a different light. We have been provided with a plethora of opportunities and it’s somehow easier to take stock now, as we are all in this together.
There are some simple things we can do to take care of our emotional well-being and maintain a positive mindset, such as; exercise, eating well, maintaining hydration and enjoying some fresh air. With this in mind, SBC has put together 10 simple ways to make this difficult and uncertain period a little easier for all of us…
1) Set Some Structure
First things first: As human beings, we naturally crave a little structure for the sake of our mental well-being. So, if you are now are working from home, it is important to keep as much routine as possible. It’ll also give you a sense of control.
Continue to get up at a set time, get showered and dressed, and use designated periods of time to focus on work and be productive. Make sure you still break for lunch, just as you would normally. Put time aside to exercise, even if this is just going for a walk alone or with members of your household. Remember the two-metre social distancing advice when you meet others on your route. Don’t be tempted to stay up and watch TV all night, a set time for bed is also important for structure.
Planning your daily routine will help with that feeling of restlessness.
2) Move Your Body
Exercising releases those all-important endorphins to bust through stress and instantly boost our mood. You may initially feel you’re limited in the amount and type of exercise you can do, but it’s still important to get your body moving. There are plenty of options to workout at home…
Doing something you enjoy is critical for your mental health, so choose from dance workouts, weight training, HIIT, yoga, Pilates, etc. If you normally go to the gym, have a swim, or go for a run at a certain time, try to set aside that same time for your new exercise regime.
There have never been as many fitness apps and online videos, which provide classes on demand. With us all in the same boat, many celebrities are now providing live exercise and dance classes. If you’re a regular gym-goer, you may find your gym is now providing online content for you to follow at a time to suit you. The choice is wide and free.
Movement will help get your blood pumping and uplift your mood. Only thing is, now we have no excuse to miss a workout again!
Whether you’re sharing your space with loved ones, or you’re going solo, regular communication with your nearest and dearest is essential.
Certainly, a time to be thankful for the digital age, we can enjoy group chat, video calls and play games with the family online. It may take some getting used to, especially for those less tech-savvy relatives, but it will no doubt leave you feeling much better than before you logged on.
Social media is a double-edged sword when there is so much bad news, so if you are finding your feed is bringing you down, switch off or scroll on. This takes us to our next point…
4) Keep News To A Minimum
Of course, it’s important to stay aware of what’s going on at the moment, but that doesn’t mean watching or listening to the news for hours on end. An overdose of bad news will, undoubtedly, increase anxiety and have a negative effect on your mental well-being. Choose times to tune in to make sure you hear the important updates and enjoy your time in between.
5) Fresh Air & Sunshine
Obviously, if you have symptoms, or live with someone who does, then you need to stay isolated. Otherwise, break your day up with a walk you can’t beat the well-being benefits of fresh air!
Current advice is to only go out for exercise once a day, so make sure you enjoy the fresh air and feel the sunshine – where you are lucky enough to have it. On a warm day, open a window and sit by it, or sit in the garden. This is also a great time to get lost in a book.
6) Blitz The House
You know the saying ‘tidy house, tidy mind’ – now you have time to give those neglected areas plenty of attention.
Don’t overwhelm yourself though, you have time, maybe just pick a small area of your home and give it a spruce. Perhaps focus on cleaning out your wardrobe on one day and de-clutter the kitchen cupboards another. One thing at a time. Organising our homes helps relieve stress and boosts our mood – plus the sense of satisfaction afterwards is always a plus.
7) Breathe & Relax
Sometimes the simplest things are the most effective when it comes to you well-being, and this is the case with taking some big, deep, breaths.
Deep breathing floods our systems with happy hormones, tricking our brains into making us feel instantly calmer and content.
Put aside 10 minutes, find somewhere quiet, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. In through the nose, out through the mouth with a steady count in and steady count out.
Just focus on your breathing, and when thoughts intrude – and they will – just return your attention back to your breathing. You may also know this as Meditation, which many people practice daily to withdraw from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. Doing this often will help keep your anxiety levels low and your mind at ease. This is excellent when combined with your yoga or Pilates routine.
8) Stay Healthy
It’s always very important to get a good night’s sleep, eat plenty of fresh food and drink lots of water.
A healthy diet can help to keep your immune system working well – so it’s a great time to enjoy eating a range of healthy foods and enjoying making delicious food for yourself. Ditch the processed food now you have more time to spend in the kitchen.
If you have food buried at the back of the cupboard or in the freezer, now is the time to utilise it. You’ll be surprised at what you find. If you’re lacking recipe inspiration, head online and start your search by focusing on what you have found. At the present time you’ll find your favourite TV chefs providing recipes using store cupboard ingredients, so it’s never been easier.
Everything mentioned so far is an element of self-care, but here we want to focus on pampering yourself. We are often so busy in our day-to-day lives, ensuring everyone else is happy, before taking ourselves and our own well-being into consideration. Now is the time for you. Go make-up free for a few days, your skin will thank you, but continue with your skincare routine. Take your time cleansing your face and body. This is a great opportunity to exfoliate and pop on a mask. Continue by massaging in your favourite serum and moisturise, before enjoying your clean and radiant complexion.
Take long, relaxing baths, light some candles and have a glass of something cold and delicious while you lie back and switch off. This is another time to enjoy a mask – specifically for the face, eyes and hair.
Take time on a home manicure and pedicure, before painting your nails, rubbing in cuticle oil and moisturising hands and feet. Right now – it’s all about you.
10) Variety Is Key
There is more you can do in the comfort of your own home than you may initially release. Make sure you mix your routine up a bit.
Read books, do something creative, like painting or drawing, and don’t forget mental stimulation such as sudoku, puzzles and crosswords.
If you’ve been putting off a project, now is the time to do it… cooking, sewing, painting, learning a new language, DIY, etc. Hobbies are a great way to practice mindfulness, as they often require you to concentrate solely on one thing – which subconsciously banishes other thoughts.
Stay Safe, Stay Strong, Stay Happy!