Annoyed, anxious, fed-up, let down, terrified, lonely, depressed, not the words you want to hear or feel. You yourself may even feel some or all of these, and you would not be alone in thinking such things…
But recent comments from Prof. Jeremy Farrar, part of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) when speaking with ‘The Times’ deemed it essential that we have to “Act now!”:
“We have to act now. The virus will not wait for us.”
“Nobody ‘wants’ a lockdown, myself very much included. Full & generous support for people & businesses is a crucial part of making it work.”
“But we have quickly breached the reasonable worst-case scenario, we are further ahead in this phase of the epidemic than many have assumed”
‘The best time to act was a month ago but these are very tough decisions which we would all like to avoid. The second-best time is now.”
Having elderly parents myself, and Leila having suffered from pleurisy a number of times, has caused me anxiety at times, especially more recently when my mother had a close-call with a cousin who’s partner unfortunately contracted the virus just last week through her work at a care home.
Thankfully she’s recovering well and my mother is ok!
With this second wave beckoning and the government stepping in and putting us into another lockdown, many people such as ourselves are finding their routines broken and yet another need for adaptation to occur.
The question this time round is:
What can I do now?
Here’s Our ‘Top-5 Things You Can Try In Lockdown 2.0’
Bubble-up! IF YOU CAN!
Whilst we appreciate physically this may not be possible for everyone, we do hope you are able to take the opportunity to include someone within your bubble, and this doesn’t have to be in-person.
We’ve all discovered Zoom and other video calling software that we may have become well acquainted with – and your bubble can be as big as you like this way!
After choosing your bubble, try to arrange some daily/weekly activities. Some examples:
- Park or home workouts
- Take the dog out
- Zoom classes (yoga, cooking, chats)
- Running or walking
- Interactive chess
One of our favourite platforms we recommend are our friends over at MobGroup with their unique ‘Live’ platform, providing a wide array of interactive classes including yoga, cooking, workouts, mindfulness and more:
No.2 DON’T CHANGE YOUR ROUTINE!
Getting up at 5am for work, exercise or because of the kids?
Don’t change it!
Stress comes via a number of avenues, and a study conducted by Lutgendorff, et al. looked at the impact stress can even have on our gut, and why the relationship between our ‘gut-brain axis’ is so important to take care of.
In its many forms, “stress can have a profound negative effect on colonic motor activity via the gut-brain axis, and can potentially change our gut microbiota profiles.”
We know how developing a poor routine and a general lack of structure can lead to a build up of unhealthy levels of stress.
Whilst it may be uber-tempting to incrementally add on those extra minutes to that alarm clock of yours, unless you are incredibly sleep-deprived, don’t alter it! You may find that 30-mins becomes 1-hour; becomes 1.5-hours and so on…
Your body LOVES routine, which is shown through your sleeping patterns and your eating patterns.
We’ve all had times where we’ve woken up right before our alarm goes off, and it’s so satisfying when it’s one or two minutes before.
Remember: ROUTINE, ROUTINE, ROUTINE!
No.3 PLAN YOUR SHOP!
And no, this doesn’t mean heading to the nearest supermarket and pilling up your trolley into a mountain!
When you decide to go shopping for your essentials, think about what you’re going to make for the week.
Have you ever meal prepped for the week before?
Give it a try and mix it up each week, this means you are giving yourself extra time to finish a task, spend time learning something, enjoying some quality family time or simply relaxing.
Check out some of our other recipes on our site too:
‘Turkish Breakfast’ Recipe
No.4 GO FOR A WALK!
For me, my daily routine looks something as follows:
- 5am wake-up, coffee, gym for 6am.
- Breakfast, blog, write programmes or an online 121 until 9-10am.
- 10-1pm university lecturers or study time.
- 1-1.45pm quick meal and then a 30min brisk walk.
- 2pm-5pm back to the grind!
- 5.30pm go for a long walk.
BED BY 9PM!
Walking is not only great for digestion, circulation, sun and light exposure, but it’s also great for mental wellbeing and you of course use up some energy whilst doing it!
Depending on how I feel, I either listen to music, listen to my thoughts (sometimes trying to revise on the move in my head), empty my mind OR one of my big favourites, an Audiobook! – I must admit I got a tad bored with some podcasts of late as I somehow feel the greater-known the presenter, the more ads they reel off and the more at risk it becomes to being all about them….
What I’m Listening To Right Now:
Not just a great book for me because I’m a student of the human sciences, but also because I’ve always been fascinated with the subject and it’s an excellently read and easy to follow audiobook where you will learn a great deal in a short time!
No.5 LEARN SOMETHING NEW!
If you’ve followed some of these tips then hopefully you’ve freed up some time!
With that in mind, why not put that time into learning something new – YOU’RE NEVER TOO OLD!
Feinstein et al. (2006) from the Education Institute at the University Of London, found that there is wide evidence to suggest a strong link between education and health, including healthy behaviours and risk reduction.
Having spoken with a number of people since the first lockdown, I have been really impressed with some of the new hobbies/skills people have put themselves to. I’ve seen people:
- Learn instruments
- Take courses
- Start new roles
- Learn languages
- Mastering cookery
- Do some insane workouts
- Family learning
The sky really is your limit!
But don’t just limit it to yourself if you can: If you’re able to include others then please please do so. This not only accelerates learning, but also makes it far more enjoyable and who knows where you can take it after….
It is frustrating for many, but no matter our circumstances, if we try to keep busy and remain optimistic we can use this time to our advantage. Just remember these 5-simple tips:
- Don’t Change Your Routine
- Plan Your Shop
- Go For A Walk
- Learn Something New
Femke Lutgendorff, Louis M.A. Akkermans and Johan D. Soderholm, “ The Role of Microbiota and Probiotics in Stress-Induced Gastrointestinal Damage”, Current Molecular Medicine (2008) 8: 282. https://doi.org/10.2174/156652408784533779