Being stuck at home is frustrating, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t keep fit and stay healthy physically and mentally. Looking after your health will also make it much easier to adjust to getting out and about again in future. These simple tips will help you to look after yourself.
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One of the common problems that people are experiencing during the lockdown is disrupted sleep. This can easily develop as a result of the breakdown of daily routine. You can fix it by continuing to get up at a sensible time in the morning even if you don’t strictly have to. Try to make it the same time every day and have a regular bedtime.
As soon as you get up, get some natural daylight and fresh air, even if all you can do is lean out of a window or stand on your doorstep. In the evening, avoid giving your body the wrong light stimulus by putting down your phone or tablet and turning the television off at least one hour before you plan to sleep.
You can also help to maintain a healthy metabolism by eating meals at the same time as you usually would. If you’re less active, you may need to eat less overall in order to avoid putting on weight. If you’ve been struggling to get hold of the same variety of food that you usually eat, you may be struggling to prepare balanced meals, but don’t despair.
There are lots of useful recipes online which can help you cook with whatever ingredients you’ve been able to find. Many garden stores are still operating and can send you seeds so you can grow your own herbs in pots on your windowsills. They grow fast, don’t need much care, and are densely packed with vitamins.
Monitor your health
It can be difficult to know what to do about day to day medical issues that arise when you can’t get to a doctor or drugstore as usual. Be wary of relying on advice from social media as there’s always a lot of misinformation out there. You can call your usual doctor to get advice over the phone, but lines may be busy, or you can get advice from a doctor or pharmacist online at reliefseeker.com.
Prescriptions can be ordered online and delivered to your home. Don’t be tempted to borrow drugs from friends or lend them yours, even if they have the same symptoms, because everybody’s medical history is different and there could be side effects or drug interactions that are worse than the original problem.
Getting exercise when you’re stuck indoors won’t just help to keep you in shape – it will also improve your general health and your mood, helping you to feel more energetic and more focused. Massage and gently stretch your muscles in the shower in the morning to help them loosen up, then do ten or fifteen minutes of jogging on the spot, jumping rope, or dancing before you settle down to breakfast.
This will give you a healthy appetite and get you ready for the day. Two to three times a week, do some more prolonged aerobic exercise – how hard you want to push it is up to you, but the important thing is to keep your heart going faster than usual for at least 20 minutes at a time and to feel out of breath for a little while afterward. This will look after your heart and lungs.
Protect your mental health
Mental health can also suffer when you’re stuck indoors, so set aside some time each day to do things you enjoy. Listening to music can be a big stress reliever, as can doing something creative. There are lots of collaborative creative projects online that you can get involved with. Playing computer games is a great form of escapism and joining multi-player games online will help you increase your social contact.
Try to spend time with friends and family online, whether on social media or chatting through platforms like Skype or Zoom. If you find yourself struggling with panic attacks or intense feelings of depression, you could consider online counseling or use free online resources designed to help you cope.
Being stuck inside may not be much fun, but it’s far from impossible to deal with – after all, hundreds of thousands of elderly and disabled people, prisoners and people manning bases in hostile environments like the far north do it every day for years. If you look after yourself, it can be an experience that enriches your understanding of life rather than just something you have to endure.
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