How's Your Health During Lockdown?
Now more than ever, health is more important. And we’re not just talking about physical health. We’ve all faced challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic and no one was exempted from hardships. That doesn’t mean that we just succumb to all the difficulties.
Here at BodySlims, we want you to know that we are here for you during these trying times. We are ready to help you help yourself. We are starting a series of blog posts about the lockdown and how we can improve both our physical and mental health. Now let’s explore more about this topic, shall we?
What are the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health?
Let’s start with the elephant in the room — Is there a link to COVID-19 and mental health? Can the pandemic really cause depression?
According to the World Health Organisation, the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns are triggering mental health conditions and worsening existing ones. Feelings of bereavement, isolation, anxiety, are just some of emotions that people have experienced during this time.
Because of extended periods of lockdown, people can also feel a sense of “quarantine fatigue” or the exhaustion due to a restrictive lifestyle. With the holidays coming up, not spending it with a big group of friends and family members can make anyone feel a li’l blue.
While all these can make anyone feel like there’s no hope on the horizon, there are steps we can take to make things feel a little less overwhelming.
How do I keep mentally well during COVID-19?
Before we list down our pieces of advice on how to keep mentally well during this pandemic, let’s explore the connection between mental health and physical health.
How does physical activity benefit your mental and emotional health?
What is the link between mental and physical health? Is there really an effect between the two? In this section, we’ll unpack how physical activity helps mental health.
Many studies have proven that exercise produces chemicals in the brain that improves one’s mood. These “feel-good” chemicals called endorphins can reduce anxiety, boosts energy and brain power.
If that’s not enough to prove the connection between physical activity and mental health, exercise has also been found to:
Alleviate symptoms of low self-esteem that leads to social withdrawal
Decrease tension and stress
Give more energy
How to take care of one's physical and mental health during coronavirus pandemic?
Now that we’ve established the benefits of physical health to mental health, we can surely say that there are risks associated to having a sedentary lifestyle. That is the number one thing we want to avoid when taking care of health during this global pandemic.
The HSE recommends these pointers in keeping one’s mental and physical health at tip-top shape:
Avoid excessive eating and drinking
Sadly, being cooped up in our homes makes us prone to excessive eating, drinking, and even smoking. You may turn to food and alcohol for comfort but this can lead to weight gain.
Did you know that your eating habits can be linked to your emotions? This is why you may turn to food for comfort during this pandemic. Unfortunately, long-term comfort eating can lead to weight gain and affect your health.
It’s important to be able to recognise your emotions and deal with them in a healthy way instead of engaging in comfort eating and other risky behaviours.
Only read, watch and listen to verified news sources
It’s easy to fall in the rabbit hole of paranoia when reading the news. So let’s make sure to check the sources of those messages being spread in our Whatsapp groups. There’s no point panicking over fake news!
Another good practice is to limit your use of social media. While it is good to keep in contact with your loved ones online, this is also a place where people talk about their own worries or beliefs about COVID-19. This can increase your levels of anxiety and also expose you to potentially unverified information.
Stay connected and support one another
During times of distress, our families and friends are our lifelines. Thanks to technology, we can stay connected even though everyone is apart.
Take advantage of video calls, phone calls, text messages. Some have even found ways to play online together using apps and websites. Innovation is on our side!
Seek support from professionals
Face-to-face services are limited at the moment but you can still reach out to mental health workers in case you need their professional services.
The HSE has prepared this website that lists down the websites and numbers of different organisations that offer counseling services during this difficult time.
They are also advertising the number 50808, a free 24/7 text service, providing everything from a calming chat to immediate support “for people going through a mental health or emotional crisis”.
Don’t break your healthy routines
Your routine may be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak in different ways. The trick is to keep some structure in your day and make sure to squeeze in some time for physical activities
Here are some of our recommended steps to physical well-being
Keep a regular sleep schedule
Do regular exercise such as walking
Maintain a healthy, balanced diet. You may look at some of our recommended healthy recipes here.
Practice relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises
Do some arts and crafts
Take some online classes and learn a new skill
Attend religious services online
“Travel” by going on virtual tours online
How do I get my pre-quarantine body back?
First of all, it’s perfectly normal to put on a bit of weight during this time. Don’t be too hard on yourself but that doesn’t mean you should just surrender. Don’t forget that you have the power to bring back that figure you had before lockdown! Or maybe you also started reflecting about your life and you’ve finally decided to drop all your unhealthy habits and change for the better, for good.
If you’ve been reading this post, you know by now how important it is to maintain a healthy physique, especially during this time. And that’s why we’re here.
With the unique combination of calorie management, daily walking and with online motivational seminars, BodySlims is here to put you back in control. Have a look at our programmes, which include a calorie-controlled personalised diet plan, weekly support emails, weekly audio coaching, exclusive video content, personal weekly feedback, and more!
With programmes starting this January, there’s no better gift to give yourself this locked down holidays.
Book now >