Looking after yourself is always essential, but, this year, health and wellbeing are at the forefront of many people’s minds. This year has been like no other with COVID-19 having a massive impact on people’s lives globally. One of the most significant changes created by the pandemic was the shelter in place orders that were in effect earlier in the year, resulting in normal life being put on hold.
There is no doubt that this has been a challenging time for everyone. One realization that has resulted from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is the need to take care of yourself. With so much focus on illness, it is only natural to start thinking about your own health and how it can be improved. The unprecedented events of 2020 have made it a tough year for many people, so taking the time to look after both your wellbeing and physical health is essential.
While spending loads of time at home during the shelter in place order may have been fun, to begin with, after a while, you may have been desperate to get back to reality. Many people found that being stuck at home made it so much harder to stick with healthy habits and to keep up with their regular diet and exercise regimes. You may have found it hard not to slip into an unhealthy routine such as staying up late, choosing the wrong foods, and being inactive. Under the circumstances, it is unsurprising that so many people lost their motivation during this uncertain time. Now that some aspects of everyday life are beginning to return, you may be starting to want to break free from the lockdown rut and to focus on getting your health and wellbeing back on track.
If you need some tips to get you re-started on your road to wellness, then these ideas should help:
Take Small Steps
When you feel ready to re-introduce healthy habits into your lifestyle, you may be tempted to take an all or nothing approach and launch yourself into it, trying to make lots of changes all at once. However, if it has been quite a few months since you last worked out, then you must start slowly and build up your training sessions over time. Starting slowly will help you to reduce the chances of becoming injured and will also ensure that you don’t burn out too soon.
It is vital to remember that you may not be able to get straight back to your previous levels of fitness. Give yourself the freedom to work towards your original performance and don’t be too hard on yourself if it takes time. The most important thing is to get started and go from there.
Eat Well and Nourish Your Body
Eating well is sure to get you feeling great in no time, but making changes to your diet can be challenging. Before you start a diet, it is wise to get approval and advice from your doctor first so that you can determine if it is the right choice for you. If you struggle with your weight, the doctor may be able to offer specific advice for your situation, which could help you to get started.
Many people start a diet with the best intentions, and to begin with feel motivated to make it work. However, the main difficulty comes from trying to maintain the diet over the longer term. To get around this issue, you may find it more helpful to focus on eating foods that nourish your body and choosing to eat food that provides you with the fuel that your body needs. Removing the pressure of being on a diet and instead choosing foods that nourish you should help to make your new way of eating easier to follow.
During the shelter in place restrictions, you may have found that your sleep patterns were completely disrupted. Everyone needs a decent amount of sleep each night to stay healthy and feel at their best. But with no set routine during the lockdown, you may have found it challenging to stick with your regular bedtimes and waking up times. At night you may have found it tough to get to sleep after being inactive during the day, and struggled to drift off into a peaceful sleep. Coupled with any anxieties that you may be feeling about the coronavirus and you have all the ingredients for a bad night’s sleep. After a restless night, it can then be difficult to wake up at a decent time each morning which can then leave you feeling sluggish. This can lead to a vicious cycle of staying up late because you aren’t tired and then waking up late. Trying to break free from these sleeping habits can be a challenge, so you may need to create a deliberate bedtime routine to get back into your body’s normal sleep rhythm.
Trying sleep hygiene techniques could help you to get your sleep habits back to normal and will help you to get the recommended amount of rest each night which your body needs to stay healthy. The sleep hygiene technique includes avoiding caffeinated drinks a few hours before bedtime, limiting your screentime before bed, and going to bed at the same each night to help your body clock settle into a new routine.
Don’t Forget Your Health Checks
Although health has been at the forefront of people’s minds this year, many appointments for regular check-ups and consultations have not happened. During the pandemic, many people missed out on attending health checks because they were unable to schedule an appointment, or were unsure if clinics were even open. To help get your overall health back on track, you may want to schedule health check-ups such as an eye exam and dental appointment so that any potential changes to your eyesight or dental health can be detected. It’s always reassuring to get any issues spotted early and dealt with, and getting health checks as soon as you can is an excellent way to do this.
Do What You Love
Taking care of your health is vital, but looking after your wellbeing is crucial too. After putting so many aspects of your life on hold this year, you may feel desperate to get back to doing the things that you love.
Spending time with people that you care about doing activities that you enjoy is an excellent way to relax and bring more fun into your life. Research shows that spending time socializing is beneficial to your mental health. After such a stressful year, everyone needs more fun in their lives, so finding ways to fit more enjoyment into your life each month is a fantastic way to give your wellbeing a boost.
If you want to workout to boost your health, be sure to choose activities that you enjoy. Workouts don’t need to be torture, and you are far more likely to keep up with exercising if you pick an activity that you love.
Be Kind to Yourself
Without a doubt, this year has been filled with emotion and stress. To help keep your stress levels under control, it is vital to find ways to relax and reduce the amount of stress that you experience. The first and most important change that you can make is to start being kinder to yourself. This means not putting yourself under unnecessary pressure and finding ways to actively reduce the stress in your life.
Learning to say no to commitments that you don’t want to take on is a great place to start. Using your time to do things that you enjoy and minimizing the amount of time you spend saying yes to things that you would rather not do should help. Taking on too much is a common cause of stress, so anything that you can do to reduce this to allow yourself some downtime to relax should help you to benefit.
To actively reduce your stress levels, you may want to try getting a new hobby or interest to help you wind down in your spare time. Having something to focus your mind is a great way to forget about the stresses of the day and immerse yourself in something entirely different.
If you find yourself continually overthinking situations, or you struggle to switch off and calm your mind, you may find that mindfulness is a helpful tool. Learning mindfulness techniques will help you to let your thoughts come and go without getting too caught up in them, which is incredibly useful if you are someone that often gets stuck in their thoughts.
Starting your journey towards improving your health and wellbeing is incredibly worthwhile, and you should start to see the benefits in a short space of time. Finding techniques that work well for you and fit your lifestyle should help you to make the most of this journey both now and in the future, but remember to take it one step at a time.