Keeping yourself in tip-top shape can be challenging; especially now with COVID-19 keeping many of us indoors. However, life doesn’t have to stop. It’s just as important now, if not more than before, to continue following a healthy lifestyle.
At Home Exercise
Going to the gym is not an option under the current circumstances, but you can still exercise from home. Before you ask, no, it is not a good idea to put dish soap and water on the floor to replace using a treadmill. The meme is hilarious, but you can seriously get hurt; don’t risk it. Instead, try these work-outs.
- Chair squats strengthen your leg and core muscles. Stand in front of the chair, with your feet spread apart. There should be about the length of your shoulders between them, and your toes should be pointed out. Squat until your bottom touches the seat of the chair, bending with your knees and extend your arms as you do so before standing back up.
- Another great way to keep in shape at home is to practice yoga. Some of the benefits of yoga include increased flexibility, muscle toning, protection from injury, and balanced metabolism. It’s also a means of reducing stress. The best part? All you need is a yoga mat. If you don’t have one, a small rug, a towel, or even a blanket will suffice.
- There are a variety of activities you can do daily, such as jumping jacks, jump rope, push-ups, sit-ups, dancing, following aerobics videos, and stretches. Being active doesn’t have to be a chore- have fun with it.
Mental health is just as important as physical well-being- especially during these times of social distancing. Being stuck inside, socially isolated for an extended period of time can take a major toll, particularly on extroverts. The absence of routine and lack of things to do can cause depression to set in. Depression negatively impacts multiple aspects of a person’s life, including appetite, sleeping patterns, hygiene, and overall mood. Licensed clinical psychologist Claudia W. Allen provided advice to combat depression during social distancing and/or self-quarantine in an article for the University of Virginia that is as follows.
- Get up every morning and get dressed, even if you’re not going out. Try to stick to your normal morning routine as much as possible.
- Make a schedule to follow each week. Be sure to include productive activities as well as fun ones in order to keep structure and balance in your life. Allan says this is important for not only emotional wellness but also stimulation. Some new hobbies to take up could be reading, knitting, yoga, home workout videos, baking, learning a language, board games, drawing or painting, dancing, home improvements, gardening, etc. The world keeps moving, why shouldn’t you?
- If you’re able to go outside, do so at least a little bit every day, whether it’s to walk your dog, go for a run, or just to soak up some sun.
- Avoid being overly absorbed in social media. Scrolling through news feeds for hours on end may kill time, but it won’t fulfill your social needs. Allan suggests using social media with purpose instead, for example, to talk to your friends.
- If you are in a position to help someone out, go for it! Being helpful and kind is a great picker-upper.
- If you live with roommates or family, planning alone time and time together will uphold personal space, and may prevent irritation with each other.
If you find yourself struggling with anxiety or depression, reach out to a professional. Even if you are under self-quarantine, there are a variety of online therapy options.
Self-care is particularly hard without proper motivation. If you give up because you feel discouraged, you’ll find yourself right back at square one. Luckily, there are things you can do to keep yourself moving forward.
- Keep in contact with people who make you feel good. For example, if you tell someone that you lost five pounds, you’ll want that person to be the kind of friend that says, “I’m so proud of you!” or “Great job!”. Stay away from people who would provide negative responses such as “That’s it?” or “Who cares?”
- Everyone makes mistakes. If you slip up, don’t punish yourself, or give up. Remember that you are only human and that all you need to do is try again. Think more about your achievements than shortcomings.
- Be patient with yourself.
- Make a to-do list for every day, or week. You can include things like “take a walk”, “eat a vegetable”, “do the laundry”, “meditate”, or “morning stretches”- whatever it is you’ve scheduled for yourself. As you cross items off, you’ll feel great, and in addition, you’ll be less likely to forget.
- Don’t forget to reward yourself! For instance, if you’ve been consistently getting up on time, or learned how to do something new, celebrate! Bake some treats, buy yourself a present, or dance around the living room- whatever makes you happy.
Don’t let Coronavirus get you down. Live your life as healthily as you can, and don’t forget to enjoy it.