How to keep your body and mind healthy during lockdown

Monday, 25 January 2021

 





While there is not a magical recipe or an elixir we can drink to achieve inner peace and get rid of all our worries and anxiety, there certainly is a way we can improve our state of mind and relax our senses.
You know what people say: 'The Little Things Matter'
And it is true!
You don't need to start with huge overwhelming efforts and pretend it is okay, then fail and blame yourself by making it even worse. 
The best thing to do is to start small but try your best to be consistent.

And if you have no idea what the heck this means and where should you start from..
Well, read below and I hope you get inspired and less scared in your abilities to do and create some good habits or just enjoy a bit better days.




1. Start your day on the healthy side.

A good promising day should start with some good fuel in your body. And what better energy than some vitamins and nutrients.
Even if it is an 8am or 9am r a 10am start ( listen to your body if you are not currently working)
you are going for, wait for a little for your body to wake up before having some breakfast.  
This way your metabolism will have the chance to flush out any remaining toxins from the night before, while you have your morning hot water with lemon, tea, or coffee ( preferably not the last one)


Breakfast wise, keep it light but nutritious, ideally something that will keep you full until lunch time.


Toast with some fruit or veg or a bowl of cereal are the easiest simple choice and you can play around with the options here a lot. Whether you go for the avocado and a fruit combo or the classic egg on toast, you just simply can not go wrong.


2. Finding a hobby you enjoy

We are all so different as characters and so are our interests. With that in mind, my suggestions below are merely scraping the top of a vast deep sea of possibilities you can dwell in, to keep your mind occupied and relaxed.
For example, I like blogging in my spare time and really enjoy writing about topics that interest me or I have had experience in, and think I can help people benefit from my articles. 
So, I like to write down ideas for blogs I can later explore, research, and expand into a beautiful creation here. The scented candles is always a plus as we humans react, even subconsciously, to scents. They tend to relax us and make us feel cozy.


Some people enjoy writing things in their diary and planning possible business adventures, or just sketching ideas and dreams for the future.
Or simply plan a bit the day ahead: like what groceries you would like to get, or maybe you want to cook something specific and you need ingredients.
Or perhaps you have bought an online course and you are broadening your horizons and knowledge.


I add a cup of tea to go with that activity as well. I recently gave up the habit of drinking coffee and switched to tea which I found was the best thing I could have done.
After the week of massive headache withdrawal symptoms and being moody at almost everything, I have discovered I do not need coffee! At all! My body found ( I do not know from where) the energy to wake up and get me through the day and that energy was better balanced and even throughout the day. 
Now, I know it is a trivial thing to say and you have read this everywhere, BUT I am confirming it is true.
Do not get me wrong, I love coffee and will still treat myself one or two cups a month, but the will power to stop cold turkey is amazing and definitely something to celebrate as an achievement.



So, this can be something you can do as well. Get rid of one unhealthy habit. 
And trust me when I say this: do it cold turkey style. Nothing else helps as for me it is just teasing and slow torture. 


Another piece of advice to help you with the transition: 
Whatever you choose to get rid of, find a replacement for it, preferably on the healthy side of the spectrum.
And when you do get creative. What I mean is this: I knew how much I love coffee and I had to make myself excited about tea, so I got a fancy tea mug and went to the shops on the search for special decaf teas.
To my surprise, these babies come in all different colours and cute packaging and as I am such a sucker for a good design, it wasn't long before I got a few kinds of goodies.

( Let me know in the comments if you would like me to write a post about a few tea brands and types really good for you)


Also, the walk to the shops provided e with some much-needed exercise and fresh air.
This brings me to the next little help:

3. Go for walks outside

Even the short walkies will be good for you. Why? Because they will get you out of the state of mind you are and refresh it with some new ideas or simply relax you a bit. You can go to the nearest shop or just put on your favorite sneakers and walk around the blocks of your neighborhood.


Or go get those ingredients for the recipe you were looking to cook for lunch or dinner. Remember? The one you wrote in the morning in your journal. This is an easy trick to make your day flow as naturally as possible and all the things you do touch/connect to each other somehow.


Another thing you can do is go for a walk, with a mission in mind. Maybe you want to get some flowers or fallen branches of trees you can re-plant. Or you perhaps would like to go to that park nearby you always wanted and explore a bit your area and discover new cute streets.





4. Cook something new

Introducing a new flavor and tastes to your diet is very beneficial for your brain and body.
Our Brain easily gets bored if we only eat one type of food for a prolonged period of time and this is one of the main reasons people reach out for unhealthy snacks or lose appetite.
Introducing a new taste is a way of intriguing ourself=ves and in particular, our taste buds and brain, which in return will make the satisfaction of the cooking process even bigger.
I mean who hasn't felt that pride after finishing a recipe and eating the tasty result of our own efforts?!
And the good thing here is that they are so many cooking books to provide you with some really healthy and tasty meals for the whole family.


Also, Nothing like the thought that you have just learned a new recipe and provided your body with much-needed nutrients and protein.


This of course includes sweets. What a better way to treat yourself but with home-baked muffins or a cake.


Another added benefit is: You will spend more time in the heart of your home- The kitchen.
Socialize with your family and discuss more delicious things you can all cook together.
You can even start a little ritual, like every Saturday one of you bakes something. Or perhaps a cooking competition as a game with a prize.


5. Keep it light

I am talking about food here and why is it so important not to overeat.
What happens to our body when we overeat? We get sleepy because all of our blood is taken to our tummies to help digest that massive meal we have just hoovered. In return, we might simply go to one of those dead naps from which you wake up and you have no idea what day, year, or century you are in currently. 
So how do we prevent this? I mean even if we have our good-sized healthy meals, we might still feel a bit more hungry in between meals. 
Well, the answer is the power snack- pack full of goodness! 
Fruit, toast with a little protein or protein homemade balls.


Or a selection platter of a few good bits you like. You can always turn it into a healthier version of a cheese platter and call it a snack platter. 


And when I say keep it light, I mean to keep it light. It is a snack and not a full meal replacement.
Especially if you are not moving around much ( which you should ) it is not a good idea to stuff yourself without providing an outer for all that energy. 
This is another reason why our sleep suffers and certain health conditions worsens- overating and lack of exercise.


6. Make it cozy

Creating a cozy little corner where you can unwind can be really fulfilling and look very different for each of us.
Some of us like to create a burrito like a cacoon where they can snuggle and read a book or drink their tea,  others prefer the comfort of a sofa or a lounge chair, gazing through their favorite window at that burning sunset, while simply not thinking about anything in particular. Or maybe you enjoy going through some Interior design magazines, reading a motivational book while having a bath, writing that blog you have been planning, and lighting that favorite scented candle. 


Creating a little before bed ritual or an afternoon ritual helps massively your mind relaxation process and reduces anxiety and stress.





Another idea to relax is a good light book and a warm light. Go easy on your eyes before bed and get mentally ready that sleep is coming. Our brain is extremely sensitive and most people do not even realize how bright screen light can affect the quality of our sleep, not to mention our dreams. If possible avoid watching violent action movies before bed and pick something relaxing like a book or a podcast. Or a simple conversation with your partner.



Nothing like a good hot bath to relax your muscles and prep you for bedtime.


If you have a pet you can use them to unwind and vent a little about the things on your mind. I mean they will probably keep your secrets forever, which makes them the perfect listener. Or just simply play with them, snuggle them as they are one of the best destress methods out there.


You can end the day by writing some ideas and reflections you had throughout the day or simply prepping your to-do list for the week, month, or next day. Or just sketching something funny instead.


Lastly, try not to make it a late one and go to bed before 23;30 ideally. saying that I know it is not always possible and some late nights are bound to happen here and there but as long as you aim for the early night most of the time you will be able to get at least 8 hours of good sleep.




I hope you have enjoyed this article and please let me know your thoughts in the comments. How are you doing during the lockdown and how are you tackling your emotions?
Remember, it is absolutely normal and perfectly human for us all to have days where we are not okay , or are being moody and can not contain our emotions. Let them out and do not buckle them inside.
Your emotions no matter what they might be are important and you should own them.

Stay safe, well and enjoy the journey!


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