We all look forward to our days off but days off after the Coronavirus outbreak are a little different to usual. With shops closed, most people working from home and everyday life coming to a pause, you may find yourself feeling lost without your everyday routine. However, you can still be productive and create your own routine during lockdown to help time pass as quickly as possible. We’ve put together an example routine which will help you keep busy.
For the latest Coronavirus information and advice please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office
Setting an alarm at your usual waking up time, even if you are working or not, improves sleep and decreases insomnia and sleep deprivation. Get into a habit of waking up at the same time, having a stretch and making your bed. If you live with someone say good morning, have a tea, make breakfast, shower and get ready for the day, even if you aren’t leaving the house. A fixed wake up time makes it easier to wake up, gives you a better immune system function and a brighter mood. So start your day right and feel refreshed in the mornings.
Top tip – If you’re allowed, wear shoes in the house because at the end of the day when you take them off it mentally makes you feel a sense of accomplishment.
Exercising in the morning
Whether you want to do home workouts or get outside at some point in your day, it’s important to continue exercising. Movement outside is limited and gyms are closed but you are still allowed to exercise once a day or walk your dog with someone from your household as long as you are still keeping at least 2 metres from other people. Exercising will strengthen your immune system, improve your mental health and keep you fit in general. Research suggests that morning exercise before breakfast helps weight loss and boosts energy levels by pushing the body to tap into its fat reserves for fuel instead of burning off the last thing you ate. Working out early also means you can get more sunlight.
Ensuring you eat 3 meals a day can help us resist tempting foods and snacking which helps promote weight loss. Your lunch should be your midday fuel and keep you ticking over until dinner. It’s good to avoid carb-heavy meals that are high in sugar such as pizza and fried foods. Instead, choose those dishes that are rich in protein, whole grains and fibre such as eggs, quinoa, salmon, avacado and chickpeas. If you are working it’s good to have your normal lunch break at this time to give your eyes a rest from the screen and to give your legs a stretch.
If you’re working from home finish the day as you normally would, turn your laptop off and use the evenings to switch off. Make dinner and use the time before bed as time to do what you love most. You might want to Facetime your friends or family or download the ‘houseparty’ app so you can group video chat multiple people. Maintaining a social life as best as you can will keep your mind clear and positive. Ensure you switch your screens off at least 30 minutes before bedtime since the blue light that illuminates our screens also tamps down a key hormone in our brains which we use to tell our bodies to start preparing for sleep. To unwind you might want to read a book, listen to music or meditate instead.
Need inspiration on activities to do to keep your day filled up? Read our latest blogs:
Don’t forget to have a daily routine just because things are a little different. Routines help us to cope with change, to form healthy habits, and to reduce stress. Look after your mental health and stay safe at the same time!