The coronavirus outbreak in the UK and the Government’s lockdown response has shocked our normal existence. For those who are young and fit, in good health and with no underlying conditions, the stress and anxiety of the situation has no doubt affected us at times. Headaches, sleeplessness and feeling tense are just some of the symptoms we might experience.
The good news is there’s lots of advice out there and we’ve put together a programme of Six Stay at Home Wellness Tips that we hope goes some way to help:
With the help of our friends, we’ve also developed a free Bowood Little Book of Wellness for you to download. We hope you enjoy it and that it helps make your at-home time that little bit easier.
The Government has advised that we can take one daily form of exercise each day while ensuring we are social distanced from others (at least 2m apart). A daily walk or run gets the blood pumping around the body, releasing those feel good endorphins and gets us out into the fresh air. Exercise is also one of the activities listed to help people relax if feeling anxious at this time on the NHS’ useful advice page.
For those of you that are usually more active, there’s plenty of free online yoga and fitness exercises available at this time. Joe Wicks’ daily 9am workout for children on Youtube is probably the most well-known at present and many adults join in too. There are many more online exercise classes available. In fact, Bowood’s own PT Trainers are posting workouts on their Instagram accounts – follow: @martyndrake_pt @chrisalchin_pt @ptryanbodman
A bad news story spreads much quicker than good news, which is why our newspapers and online news sites are full of bad news. If you consume all coronavirus news, the majority will be bad news stories. Give yourself a break and turn it off. You’ll be thankful for it.
If you do like to know what’s going on or the latest Government advice, set yourself a time limit or a restriction on the number of articles you read. And only do it if you are feeling strong enough. Make sure you seek out the good news stories such as Captain Tom’s incredible NHS fundraising. There’s also a global good news site you can visit too https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/
Mindful activities are those that keep you in the moment, switch off your thinking and help you relax while at home. This can be by becoming more aware of your thoughts at a given moment or by connecting more with your physical self.
For some people this might even be doing the washing up but for others baking bread, playing an instrument or colouring in a picture are all deemed mindful activities (see our Little Book of Wellness at the end of the blog).
There are lots of simple online bread recipes to try out, while many people have become more adventurous and started making sourdough. The kneading and proving of the bread can become a meditative activity. While the achievement of the finished loaf also provides a feel-good factor, and something nice to eat – if you can locate some flour in the first place!
When resting, an adult breathes about 17,280 to 23,040 times a day or 12 to 16 breaths per minute. If we exercise we take more breaths and being stressed out can also mean the rate rises.
Most of the time we take short, shallow breaths using only the very top part of our lungs, into our shoulders and chest. Whereas deeper breaths into our stomachs and diaphragm aren’t usually regular, unless we focus more on how we are breathing.
Breathing exercises can help us relax by slowing down our heart rate and sometimes as a result, our thinking. A big part of yoga is deeper breathing so if you want to exercise and focus on your breathing this is a great activity. If you’d prefer to sit in quieter mediation there’s many online breathing apps or web advice pages available.
Sleeplessness often goes hand in hand with anxiety and for some, disrupted sleep has a big knock-on effect on day-to-day living. Good sleep has numerous benefits but one that we will all be thankful for at present is it boosts your immune system. It also boosts mental wellbeing.
To improve your chances of getting the six to nine hours of daily recommended sleep for an adult, there’s lots of things you can do to including: taking a relaxing bath before bedtime, establishing a regular routine going to bed at the same time each night, no screen-time in the hour before bed, or reading a book prior to going to sleep to quieten the mind.
A good night’s sleep also increases your sex drive, which could be another way of getting a good night’s sleep as exercise also helps!
We all know by now that we need to eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables but eating well and regularly ensures balanced energy levels. Too much sugar in our diet gives us energy peaks and troughs, affecting our mood and how we feel – high or low.
The correct balance of food groups, vitamins and minerals, also boosts our immune system while lowering the risk of illness and more serious disease.
We now have the time at home to enjoy the activity of cooking good food while taking care of ourselves, so try out new vegetarian recipes or vegetables you’ve never tried before. You might be pleasantly surprised and do yourself some good in the meantime.
Finally, while a glass of red wine might go well with a meal, don’t be tempted to drink too much alcohol at this time. Ensuring you drink 6 to 8 glasses of water or fluids doesn’t include booze. Everything in moderation will help keep your at-home health and wellbeing programme on track.
To assist we’ve developed our free Bowood Little Book of Wellness for you to download. We hope you enjoy it and that it helps make your at-home time that little bit easier.
Stay well from the whole team at Bowood x