In the past year we have all faced many challenges, due to the pandemic. We have got used to staying at home for everything from work, exercising and socialising. Many people have been left suffering with stress, Anxiety and depression. This has made us change our old habits and start forming new ones. We are all slowly learning, how important it is to take care of ourselves and others to feel better. Trying to slowly regain control over our lives and to stay safe, while lockdown starts easing. Everyone is starting to enjoy the little bits of freedom we have to see family, friends and to do the activities we enjoy. The most important thing we can do for ourselves, is to look after our health, wellbeing and to be as fit as we can be and not compare ourselves to others.
Considering all the ways our lives have changed over the past year, I would say we have all adapted really quickly. We have found many interesting ways to improve ourselves and lots of distractions to keep busy. We have to remember, that if we don’t look after our own needs first, we cannot help anyone else. You should never feel guilty, for spending a bit of time doing something just for you.
Helping Others – Throughout the pandemic we all realised how difficult it was for some members of society. Some families faced unemployment, lots of businesses struggled and some closed for good, lots of people had new working conditions, some felt lonely and isolated and many faced poverty. As a result, we knew they needed help and this helped us realise that giving back to these people, not only helped them but made us all feel happier that we made a difference. Helping others is, a proven way to help your mental health and general health. It was nice to see the sense of community spirit and people pulling together to help others. Also, the clap for the carers, showed how much people appreciated the work done by selfless people.
Healthy home-made meals – People have been learning to cook healthier meals, as they have more time to plan meals in advance. Many families were spending lots of money on food, while children were home from school, so parents found ways to spend less on food but still eat healthy meals. They have also, tried being more sustainable by trying to reduce the amount of food waste they throw away and coming up with alternative meals from their leftovers. I am not a fan of cooking myself but I love a good healthy meal, it makes me feel more energetic and better about myself.
Digital detox – We have all spent so much time on our computers working from home and communicating with friends and family on social media in the past year, we should be more digitally aware. The constant negativity around the world, seeing horrible stories on the tv and social media is having a detrimental effect on how we feel. It is making people really anxious and worried, about what’s going to happen next. Now more than ever we need to start taking a digital detox, to limit the amount of time we spend online to improve our overall health and well being. Taking a day or two off computers, phones and social media, can really help us regain control of how we feel.
Short bursts of exercise – Quick exercises of 20-30 minutes are becoming more popular, HIIT classes are the most popular. They take up less time and push and challenge the body and mind. Any type of exercise is good for us, as long as we do it properly and stretching helps our bodies recover quicker. Other forms of quick exercises can be found on TikTok, this has become a massive platform for professionals to teach people how to exercise. Also, Youtube has always been popular, you can choose lots of different exercises and go at your own pace. My favourites are Body Project, The Body Coach and Mike Thurston these help me improve my overall fitness and performance.
Sleeping – We are all aware how important sleep is but how many of us actually get the recommended 8-9 hours every night. Recent studies have shown that sleep patterns vary for each person, due to our body clocks. So we do not always need 8-9, some of us can survive on 6-7. Short sleepers often used to be diagnosed with depression or insomnia but many studies have shown that they are not ill and are actually more productive and energetic throughout the day, than people who sleep longer and they suffer less ill health.
Organic and simple skincare regimes – We all like to try new products when our budgets will allow for it but lots of people are turning to cheaper products or learning to create home-made products, as they are cheaper and they work well. Wearing face masks all year hasn’t helped our delicate skin and has left most of us with dry skin. Some of the natural products I like to use are Bicarbonate soda and lemon for teeth whitening, Argan oil and Apple Cider Vinegar for my hair, these are really good at conditioning and giving my hair a good clean. Ive also, noticed a change in the way people look these days, lots are now opting for more of a natural, realistic and attainable look, rather than the fake look we have seen everywhere in the last couple of years. I think people are becoming more accepting of how they look these days, even some celebs are going back to their natural looks.
Getting Outside – When lock down hit, getting out for a walk everyday was so refreshing. It was a chance to get out of the home, meet a friend, walk the dogs or to get out for exercise. Being outside really helps to boost our mental health, as well as being low impact fitness. It releases feel good endorphins that make us happy, even 20 minutes outside can have a big impact on how we feel. More people are walking now than ever before. Walking doesn’t even feel like your exercising, if walking and talking to someone and is an easy way to fit it in to your daily routine.
Mindfulness – Since lockdown we have all learnt to slow down and exercises such as yoga and pilates have become popular as people try to find ways to learn mindfulness through breathing, concentration and control to become physically fitter. Mindfulness a form of meditation, makes us aware of our senses and feelings in that moment. Most people get carried away with ignoring their feelings, either living in the past or daydreaming about a better life, rather than living in the moment and enjoying life. We all need to learn to be more present and to take care of our mental, physical and emotional feelings.
The rise in technology and changes in our lifestyles mean that whatever happens, we can all have a more accessible and relaxed approach to fitness, health and wellbeing. People have realised we don’t always need gyms to get fit, just a motivated attitude. The gym is not for everyone, some people just feel uncomfortable with lots of other people around, that’s when home exercise and gadgets can be really helpful. Our health should always be a top priority because if we don’t look after ourselves, then we cannot function properly. This will make it harder for us to care for others or complete our work to a high standard. There are so many ways to look after ourselves and we don’t need to spend a massive amount of time on it, even 10 minutes is better than nothing. Remember to do things because you want to, not because you feel you have to. Our mental, physical and emotional health is so important and we must try and slow down and focus on ourselves more, you should never feel guilty for a bit of self care its essential and beneficial to everyone.