This weekend, the UK will celebrate Easter and the weather is set to reach highs of 25 degrees celcius. Nevertheless, it is common knowledge that we are living within a pandemic which means we have to stay home in order to save lives.
The change in lifestyle has left us feeling overwhelmed and stressed at times. However, small proactive steps can help lift our mood and staying positive is a core ingredient in coping during a crisis.
Now, more than ever, it is the time for us to be hands-on about creating small moments of happiness in our days at home. Therefore, ID Medical wanted to share our top five ways on staying positive this Bank Holiday Weekend as we are unable to visit friends and family as we typically would.
1. Develop a routine
First and foremost, our typical daily routine as we know it has been completely disregarded as we’re no longer travelling to work as we normally would with many opting to travel privately over using public transport to reduce the spread of the disease. If you’re a doctor or nurse and your much needed days off have arrived, we urge you to try and keep your routine as normal as possible. Wake up, shower, dress, brush your hair and look as normally presentable as you usually do.
Try and timetable your day into specific times for exercise, cleaning, chores, speaking with loved ones and any other recreational activities that you enjoy doing. For example, reading, yoga, painting, singing or baking.
2. Prioritise Exercise
Regular physical activity benefits both our body and mind. Exercise aids us in many ways however, a few key ones are: the reduction of high blood pressure, weight management, reducing your risk of heart disease and preventing cancer. It also helps improve bone and muscle strength, helping to ease tightness which is often a result of feeling stressed. Lastly, but definitely not least due to the current pandemic, regular physical activity is essential for a fully functioning immune system.
If you were previously a gym goer then you may need to get creative with your workouts.
Why don’t you try an online workout? YouTube, Facebook and Instagram provide endless free online resources to try, regardless of your fitness level or the size of your living room. From yoga and strength workouts to High Intensity Interval Training to fun and crazy dance routines – there is something for everyone. You could even tune in to live classes to reap the benefits of social exercise too.
Remember to make use of the Government’s advice of exercising once a day outside the house, whether this be a walk, run or cycle ride. Being in nature is the perfect way to give your immune system a boost and also help manage feelings of anxiety and stress, too. Your body behaves differently when you are in nature and it acts as a natural stimulus for your body to protect itself from disease. Research reveals that an average of 30 minutes spent in nature leads to the lower blood pressure and reduces the risk of depression.
Exercising outside also exposes your skin to the sunshine which triggers your body to produce more Vitamin D which is essential to optimal health.
3. Stay Connected
Human beings are social creatures and some of us may feel isolated without face-to-face contact. However, the internet is a powerful resource and while we are in lockdown there are plenty of ways we can harness it to create strong, supportive digital communities.
Social media allows us to constantly stay in touch with our loved ones and get an insight into their daily life without having to physically be there. The advantages of apps such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype and House Party mean that we can visually see our friends and family whilst catching up over technology. Remember to try and make an effort to reduce your screen time as it can also have a negative impact on us.
Why not go that extra mile and show your friends and family you are truly thinking of them by sending them a letter or card in the post this bank holiday to make them smile?
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4. Do something that will uplift, entertain or educate you
Unfortunately, there is enough negative news in the world and so when we say entertain ourselves, it is important to focus on more positive forms of entertainment. This will also help you feel a sense of accomplishment which is an essential part of positive living, flourishing and happiness. Small achievements while stuck at home will provide you with a sense of control, reminding you of life how you used to know it.
Some ideas we recommend to help both staying positive and keep entertained are: take a virtual class, try a new recipe, do a puzzle, read an unusual book and practice mindfulness. There are hundreds of things you can try from home and now is the perfect time to do so.
A typical human experience is to feel happy and content one minute and then emotions suddenly change to feeling stressed and down. Our fifth and final tip is to remember to keep perspective. The world is very sad place at this moment in time but it is important to remember that positivity breeds positivity.
We suggest that at the start of each morning you write down five things you are grateful for, setting you up for a great day ahead. Practising self-care and gratitude can help us reset, realign and be grateful for what we do have in life, rather than what we don’t.
Examples can include the beautiful weather we are currently experiencing, family, shelter, nutritious food and the ability to exercise. Everyone will be grateful for something different but regularly completing this exercise will help us put things into perspective.
At ID Medical, we are eternally grateful for the amazing and hardworking NHS staff who are working tirelessly to save the lives of others every single day.
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