1. HAVE A ROUTINE: set an alarm! Get up, get dressed and make your bed. Try to have a plan/schedule, even if it's as simple as one task. You need a purpose for each day.
2. EXERCISE: Plan a workout every day, whether it be a 40 minute cardio session or 10 minute stretch, exercise releases endorphins into the blood stream that make us feel good. Exercise has also been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. Avoid sitting for long periods of time (box sets are so moreish, we know!). If you have been sitting for an hour, maybe have a walk around the garden, or go up and down the stairs twice, or simply stand for 5 minutes.
3. SOCIAL CONNECTION: Now, more than ever, we need our friends and family! There have been studies that show being socially connected is as important to our health as our diet. So message your friends and arrange to Zoom, Facetime or House Party!
4. EAT WELL: You don't have to be on a strict diet to stay on track, just follow some basic disciplines - Avoid processed foods as these tend to be higher in sugar. Eat every colour of the rainbow, this can help to ensure your body is well nourished. Perhaps keep a food diary to make yourself accountable. Eat complex carbohydrates found in veg, fruits and wholegrains as they provide nourishment for our brains as they slowly release energy, which also stabilises our moods, thus helping our mental health too. Eating a well balanced, healthy diet reduces our risk of chronic illness, obesity as well as depression and anxiety.
5. SLEEP SOUNDLY: Sleep is absolutley vital for our bodies so they can repair, clear toxins and recharge. Create a relaxing bedtime routine by turning off electronic devices, read a book, write down any worries or reminders for the following day to clear your mind and bring the room temperature down. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal temperature for sleep is between 15.5 and 19.4 degrees celsius. The naturally lower nightime temperature is one of the signals to the body to produce melatonin, which tells your body its time to rest.
It has been a strange time for everyone. But just remember that no one has been through anything like this before. Whatever you are doing, we are all in this together, and you are doing great! Stay home, stay safe, and a massive thank you to all the key workers who are keeping us going.