Due to the Coronavirus pandemic some of us now have more time on our hands. Working from home, being furloughed, home schooling, not seeing friends/family, cancelled holidays, postponed weddings, it has been difficult for us all. Here we have some top tips to keep you on track:
Luckily, the sunshine was in good supply at the start of the lockdown period and has motivated most of us to enjoy the outdoors, when instructed to do so by Government guidelines. It is recommended by the NHS that adults should do 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity (NHS Live Well). With this in mind, a great starting point is to increase your moderate activity, which could be going for a brisk walk.
Walking is a great low-impact activity for joint mobility, maintaining/losing weight, improving mood and strengthening (Arthritis Org).
When walking, it is important that we have good posture to prevent those niggly aches and pains. Some top tips are (Health Harvard):
- Stand tall
- Place your shoulders back and down
- Adopt a natural arm swing
- Keep your hip bones level and facing forwards
- Draw your core gently in (think about gently drawing your belly button in towards your spine to engage those deep abdominal muscles)
- Put an equal amount of weight through each foot
- Ensure your feet are facing forwards
- Roll smoothly from your heel through to your toes
- Good supportive footwear is also key to protect your ankles and to maintain the arch in your feet
Although we haven’t been able to physically see our friends and family throughout this pandemic, keeping in contact via phone and zoom calls has been essential for me. It is important that we continue to socialise and support each other. We are lucky to have technology that allows us to easily stay in contact with others. I have found it useful to remind myself that lockdown is protecting our communities, keeping us safe and saving lives. Life will not be like this forever!
What positives can you take from lockdown? Here are some of mine:
- I have learnt to appreciate nature and the outdoors, by regularly gardening and going on long walks
- Supporting independent businesses by buying produce locally to help them stay afloat through these financially difficult times
- Being more environmentally conscious, this has been spurred on by seeing images of cleaner waters, in places such as Blackpool sea and Venice canals. In support of this, I have made small lifestyle changes for example eating less meat, walking more instead of using my car and buying re-useable beeswax wraps instead of clingfilm
Gratitude journaling is a simple method that has helped to lift my mood. It involves writing down three positives of my day. A positive can be as little as doing a load of washing or cooking a nice tea – absolutely anything that has benefitted you or made you feel good in some way.
Meditation can also be beneficial during this time to calm worries possibly related to finances, work, relationships and family, due to the uncertainty the pandemic has produced. Meditation is a good technique to relax, reflect and connect the body and mind. I find not using my mobile phone an hour before bed and instead using this time to practice meditation allows me to relax and improves my sleeping pattern.
Positive affirmations are another tool that I have used whereby I write down on sticky notes or say aloud positive thoughts to help over-come negative thoughts. I struggled with this method at first as it is felt completely unnatural, so don’t worry if you feel this too. However, the more you practice saying phrases to yourself, the easier it will become and you will start to believe it!
Some examples of these are:
I hope you find these tips useful and they help to keep you on track during lockdown, as they have for me.
See you next month and in the meantime, stay safe and stay alert!
(The Physiotherapy Clinic)