All over the world there have been a number of restrictions put in place due to COVID-19 which have impacted our regular day to day lives massively. As a result of this, our mental health has been greatly impacted by these rules and regulations. But to help us keep ourselves balanced we have seen a large uptake in people exercising and getting creative, so within this blog post we are going to look at the various ways in which you can improve your physical and mental health during a lockdown.
Find Activities Which Engage Your Brain
While in a lockdown you might find yourselves spending a lot more time at home by yourself. And more often than not we find that alone time can be precious but can also be hindering to your mental health if you have too much of it and feel isolated. During these times you may find that you find yourself binge watching TV series and movies or endlessly scrolling through social media. But these provide only a limited amount of satisfaction and engagement before becoming mundane.
Therefore, you could start to find activities to fill your day with which will keep your mind engaged and almost distracted from the current situation to create a feeling of peace. You could work your way through puzzle books such as wordsearches, crosswords, sudoku to keep your mind active. There is also the option to join in with online and TV show quizzes as well as the possibility to start a family, friends or work quiz which could also give you the social interaction you may have been craving.
As well as looking into puzzles and quizzes you could also join a number of online courses and start studying a subject which has caught your eye, but you have never found the time to sit down and go through properly. Finding a course that interests you will keep you motivated and could also help with future endeavors by providing you with ample knowledge on new subject areas to further your career or open new doors.
Finishing an online course or puzzle will give you a feeling of satisfaction and motivation to continue engaging your brain more while at home, and thus will make the time by yourself feel less of silent endless boredom.
Keep in Contact with Friends and Family
While in a lockdown there are often restrictions in place which mean that your social interaction with friends and family are impacted. Whether you live locally to them or in another part of the country, being in a lockdown could make you feel even further from your loved ones. Therefore, it is crucial that you keep a steady stream of contact going with family and friends as to fulfil your social needs. This will not only benefit their mental health, but it would also do you the world of good too.
To prevent the feeling of loneliness you could create a weekly or daily routine of checking in with family members and friends whether it be over the phone, on a video call, joining a quiz or doing a doorstep visit (if your restrictions allow). Although you won’t be able to interact with them properly, this will still give you the satisfaction of talking and interacting with your close ones.
You could also extend this social interaction by speaking and checking in with neighbours especially those who are vulnerable or isolated themselves. You can see if they need any assistance whether it be to go shopping for them or picking them up their prescription. This sense of community will help you build ongoing relationships with your neighbours and will mean the world to someone in need.
Another way to keep on top of your mental health while in a lockdown situation is to get creative. During this current pandemic we have seen a number of people taking up new hobbies such as baking, painting, reading, drawing, knitting, sewing and much more. Finding a new creative hobby is sure to keep your mind engaged as you begin or continue on your journey to perfecting your new craft.
We have also seen many people turn their newfound creativity into a viable business during this pandemic as added financial assistance during these uncertain times. However, having this goal at the top of your list could make your inspiration and motivation very limited, so we recommend finding enjoyment in the creativity before looking into making a business out of it. You could start by gifting your creations to family and friends as a ‘thinking of you’ present or you could keep your previous creations to log your development and progress in the hobby.
Following Exercise Plans at Home
As well as keeping on top of your mental health, it is also important to keep your physical health intact too during a pandemic as the temptation to overindulge and laze around is high. While at home there are many distractions which will keep you from working out but making sure you get into a routine of this would certainly help. You could look at scheduling your day or setting alarms to remind you what activity is when for example a morning workout followed by breakfast then an engaging puzzle or activity before calling a loved one. However, if you find yourself at home with family and children, this will need to be taken into consideration and you could also involve them as well.
Online you can find a variety of workouts on streaming platforms which have been put together by a qualified trainer to ensure that you get the most out of your workout. You can follow pre-recorded workouts or join in a local livestream which will give you that one on one motivation and interaction with other people who are also following the routine too.
If working out at home is not for you, you can also workout outdoors (depending on your restrictions). Venturing outdoors for your daily exercise is fantastic for your mental health as it gives you access to fresh air as well as natural surroundings which also provide you with a sense of escape if you find yourself confined to your home.
When it comes to exercising outdoors, you could devise a running routine and start jogging around your local area. If this is not something you have done before, this is a great way to explore your local surroundings and you can always adapt your route as you find new areas to explore. As well as this you could also find a local nature reserve where you can get to easily, these areas are great for a variety of outdoor exercises such as running, walking and cycling.
Also taking your local restrictions into consideration you could always arrange to exercise in a local park with a friend or family which will give you added social interaction while keeping fit. And also, if you live with your family or younger children you could go out to your local grassy area and take a ball or frisbee to turn exercising for the whole family into a fun game.
Improve Your Mental and Physical Health Now!
Above we have discussed a variety of ways to boost your mental and physical health during a pandemic whether your local area is in a lockdown or has any social restrictions in place. If you have found any of this helpful or have your own ideas to add, get in touch over on our social media pages where we would love to know what you have done to get through 2020. And don’t forget that you can also browse our wide range of fitness clothing and equipment over on our online store – Sports Fitness.
This article was written exclusively for Sports Fitness by Loren Astbury