Our daily routine has been forced to change recently due to the coronavirus pandemic. Being stuck at home for a length of time can set you up for unhealthy habits if you are not careful. During these times, it is more important than ever to practise self-care and look after yourself. Here are a few self-care strategies that you can do to keep your wellbeing in check.
Create a schedule and routine
It is easy to lose track of time when you’re stuck at home. Set up your daily routine and plan activities that give you a sense of achievement and, at the same time are fun. Tim Peake, an astronaut who spent 186 days aboard the International Space Station, shared in an article that habits and routine are key to keeping everything under control in a confined and isolated situation. For example, while working from home make sure you follow your normal work hours. Shut down your laptop at the end of the day and leave your desk so you don’t work non-stop. Check here for tips on working from home.
During times in isolation, procrastination can be very tempting. Knowing the importance and benefits of physical activity is one thing, but staying active is another. Gyms may be closed but some have started to adapt by offering virtual classes. There are also free online classes and videos to guide you through your workout. We’ve listed a few below:
- Short flow classes and meditation by Melbourne’s Good Vibes Yoga
- Tasdance is offering their dance classes online for different ages.
- Chunky Move offer a free online beginners and open contemporary dance class.
- Keep it Cleaner offers free virtual gym workout classes.
- The Body Coach, Joe Wicks is holding live stream PE classes for kids via YouTube.
- Blogilates has a variety of free workout videos.
- Personal trainer Sam Wood is offering free live workouts every morning on Facebook. The Tuesday and Thursday workouts are kid-friendly.
- Free downloadable yoga audio classes by Annie Belcher.
- If you love running, you can try the Zombies, Run! app for a running game/audio adventure.
If you’re not an exercise buff, you can still stay active throughout the day. Take a 5 to 10-minute break every 90 minutes and do a simple physical activity. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has prepared some home-based exercises that you can do during these short breaks. Make a schedule and post it on your wall so you know what you’ll be doing at what time.
Eat healthy and stay hydrated
Before isolation, many of us didn’t have time to prepare home-cooked meals. Now that most of us are at home, it’s time to dust off your cooking skills. Being stuck at home could bring out our worst eating habits so it is more important than ever to be aware of what you’re eating. It is also important to drink water regularly to stay hydrated. Our top tip is to keep a jug of water or a large water bottle nearby during the day and drink before you feel thirsty.
Take a break from news and social media
It is good to stay up to date and informed, but try to limit your media intake as this can increase anxiety and depression. Make sure you are getting information from accurate sources. Here are some links:
- Australian Department of Health – http://www.health.gov.au
- World Health Organisation – http://www.who.int
- Smart Traveller (information for Australian travellers) – https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/news-and-updates/coronavirus-covid-19
Being disconnected from the outside world can be frightening and stressful, particularly for kids. Technology plays a big role in keeping everyone connected during this time. Jon Bailey, a former Navy submariner shared a coping strategy during isolation in a recent tweet. He said, “even during radio silence we still got a weekly telegram from loved ones back home. This was a weekly highlight. Keep in touch with your people. My current work have agreed a daily “coffee” catch up online even if there’s no work to discuss.” Make sure that you constantly catch up with your family, friends and colleagues. You can also be creative in many ways like having afternoon tea online with friends.
Keep yourself and your home environment clean
Now that you’re spending a lot of time at home, you might start noticing areas that need tidying up. Try decluttering for 5-15 mins a day instead of overhauling your entire house in a day as it may increase your stress levels. You can start by picking one shelf or one corner to tidy up. Organising your home could give you a sense of gaining back control which will lighten your mood and give you a positive mindset.
Sleep, sleep, sleep
Sleep helps us fight off infection by boosting our immune system. During deep sleep, our body works to repair our cells, restore energy and regulates our hormones. This is why it is important to get the right amount of quality sleep. Adults need about 8 hours of sleep per night and more hours for younger ones. Here are some tips for getting a good night’s sleep.
Taking care of ourselves is as important as taking care of our loved ones. It is normal to feel a range of emotions during challenging times. If it’s all getting a bit too much, there are experts who can support you. Here is a list of services that may help.
- Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Line – 1800 512 348
- Lifeline – 13 11 14 (phone), 0477 13 11 14 (text) and crisis support chat
- Kids Helpline Counselling – 1800 55 1800 and webchat
- Open Arms mental health and wellbeing support for current and former Australian Defence Force members and their families, including partners and children.
- MindSpot – 1800 61 44 34
- Mensline – 1300 78 99 78 and online counselling
While we are keeping physically distant, let us remain socially and emotionally connected. If you have any questions or concerns about your current home loan, feel free to reach out and we’ll be happy to assist.