After spending many weeks at home to flatten the curve of coronavirus, you might have adopted many bad habits that are taking their toll on your wellbeing. While they might have served as a form of comfort when stuck inside your home, they could now be affecting your mental and/or physical health. If you would like to ditch your crutches, read the following advice on how to create a healthier body.
Increase Physical Activity
Life under lockdown might have led you to forgo exercise due to the demands of remote work or the closure of gyms. However, you must now focus on increasing your daily physical activity to improve your physical and mental health.
There are various ways to transform your fitness levels, such as:
- Brisk walking
While the sofa might look inviting, too much time sitting down can lead to cardiovascular disease, low energy levels, and weight gain.
Reduce or Eliminate Alcohol Consumption
It is believed Americans spent approximately $2 billion on alcohol during the lockdown. Sales reportedly shot up by 54% the week after the US entered the state of national emergency.
Many people might have turned to beer, wine, and spirits for comfort or enjoyment during the height of the pandemic. However, excessive alcohol consumption can cause various health complications, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, stroke, and digestive issues, to name only a few.
For this reason, you should aim to reduce your intake of alcohol or cut it from your lifestyle altogether. If, however, you have developed a dependency on alcohol or drugs, you must seek help immediately, which can help you take back control of your life and health. For example, you could enter an inpatient drug rehab program to help you to overcome an addiction and prevent a relapse.
Perform Mindfulness Exercises
It is only natural to feel anxious about venturing out into the world after lockdown. Rather than allowing worry and stress to take over your life, you must look for ways to combat it.
For example, mindfulness exercises can prevent you from reliving the past in your mind or worrying about the future. It requires you to take strong, comfortable, and deep breaths while focusing on the present moment and your senses.
Consume a Healthier Diet
Many people often use food as a coping mechanism, which is why it is natural you might have turned to junk food during the height of the pandemic. Yet, your food choices might have resulted in you gaining weight, damaging your mental health, and struggling with poor self-esteem. Rather than continuing to consume fatty or sugar-filled foods, adopt a healthier diet to lose weight, feel healthier, and grow your confidence.
To transform your diet and improve your health, you should:
- Eat breakfast every morning
- Drink plenty of water
- Consume colorful fruit and vegetables
- Avoid processed foods
- Eat fish twice per week
The above tips could help you to combat hunger, shed excess pounds, and develop a healthier, happier mind and body. You will also be surprised by the big difference a healthier diet can make to your skin, hair, and self-confidence.
Set Work Boundaries
If you are working from home, you might feel the need to work harder than ever to excel in your role and impress your employer. As a result, it could lead to you starting work early and finishing late to complete tasks on your to-do list. However, working many hours of the day cannot only cause unwanted stress, but it could impact your mental health and cause you to physically burnout.
Plus, it could drain all passion you have for your job, which could make you dread the thought of another working day. It is, therefore, essential to set work boundaries to care for your mental and physical health. For instance, you should stick to strict working hours, take regular breaks, and not take any calls or reply to emails once you have logged off.
Go for a Walk Once Per Day
After spending many weeks under lockdown, you might be used to spending much of your life in the comfort of your home. While you might not want to venture outside to stop the spread of coronavirus, a walk outdoors could transform your physical and mental health.
Unless you have been instructed to stay at home, go for a walk outside at least once a day to enjoy some fresh air. Sunshine can also provide your body with vitamin D, which can lift your mood and improve your immune system.
Physical activity could also help you to shed any excess pounds you might have added onto your waistline during the lockdown. Plus, walking can support your health in many ways, as it can improve your sleep, strengthen your muscles, and increase circulation.
Don’t Set Too Many Expectations
You might want to get fit, lose weight, and transform your mental health following lockdown. It is, however, essential to be gentle with yourself and not to set too many impracticable expectations. While you might want to lose twenty pounds in a week and feel happier and healthier, it can take time to do so.
Setting small, realistic goals could help you to lift your spirits and improve your outlook, and the small steps could lead to you reaching your bigger goals.
Have patience with yourself and develop a routine that allows you to achieve your goals, such as eating three healthy meals per day, embarking on at least 20 minutes of exercise, and practicing self-care.
Lockdown will have affected many people in different ways. Some people might have turned to food or alcohol as a source of comfort; others might have embraced exercise to get through the pandemic. While there is no right or wrong way to cope during this unprecedented time, there are actions you can take now to improve your mind and body.
For example, you might need to adopt a healthier diet, increase your physical activity, take more exceptional care of your mental health, or admit you are struggling with an addiction and to seek immediate help.