By Jake Francis
This lockdown is already driving people crazy... People stuck indoors with family or on their own, trying to find something to do to maintain some sanity. I should know, I'm spending my time writing blogs to occupy my mind! But, all kidding aside, as a community that likes to be kept busy, this is a different kind of stress that we are having to learn how to deal with together. So, I wanted to come up with a few ideas to keep you busy - if you think of any others please share so we can help eachother.
1. Mindfulness and Meditation:
This is a personal favourite of mine. This is brilliant for clearing the mind and destressing, it helped me through university and it will help me through this period. It could help you too. Usually, I would say it will only take 5-10 minutes of your day, but not many of us have to worry too much about time now, so take your time. If you're new to it you can start with controlled or guided breathing - your fitbit watch has a feature for this, and I suspect there are a few apps or head over to youtube. This is a fantastic time to learn the art of mindfulness and meditation, and a skill you can continue to use when this is all over.
2. Quality Time with Family:
Now, the vast majority of us will with our families'. For some of us this can be quite stressful within itself. But, this is an amazing opportunity to spend some quality time with them. This might mean watching films together, exercising together, playing games (not Monopoly - guaranteed to cause arguments), talking, laughing, enjoying each others company. Obviously, there will be times when they annoy you (it will happen, I'm sorry). However, you can still take yourself off and do something else (perhaps number 1), but let's try and make the most of the time we have together.
3. Read a Book:
Reading is an amazing way to escape from the world, you can plunge your imagination deep into a fantasy novel, a gripping crime drama, or even an apocalyptic horror. Let your imagination run wild. If you're a boring sod (like me), you might prefer a non-fiction read. You could look into a new topic that you're interested in, but never get the chance to read, or expand your knowledge in your own field. I will be taking a look at some scientific journals, like the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
4. Keep Moving:
I know we are all confined to our homes, but it is so important to keep moving. Remember, we are still allowed to leave our homes for exercise once per day, so long as we are sticking to our social distancing. But, don't forget we can still exercise at home (which might better enforce social distancing, and improve our chances of beating this thing). There are plenty of ways you can exercise at home with or without equipment - circuits, resistance training, pilates, yoga. If you are injured it is still important that you move. If you are struggling with how to move or need some advice, why not check out our online consultations and the programs we provide. Let's help each other to keep moving in this difficult time.
5. Housework and Gardening:
This is sort of a continuation of number 4, because you have to move to do housework. Lets keep our houses clean, dust, hoover, etc. Give yourself a job each day, or a room to sort out each day. There's also gardening. I know many of us need to tidy up our plants, get rid of those weeds and get our gardens looking like the Chelsea flower show (challenge accepted?). These are great ways to keep moving, whilst doing something productive. If you throw yourself into these tasks, you'll get fitter without really noticing.
These are just a few ideas of what we can do. There are plenty of other things. I think the important thing is to help each other through this. I know we are social distancing, but we can call, skype, facetime one another to maintain our social support network. Set up community group chats to check in with everyone, and let's come together to support our vulnerable as well. We can beat this together.