Keeping Your Mind and Body Healthy During Self-Isolation
A checklist to keep you mentally and physically fit during the COVID-19 lockdown
Every state and territory in Australia are under lockdown to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus. This is an incredibly challenging time for everyone; the conditions we’re facing are practically unheard of, and life looks a lot different.
Being in lockdown means that only essential services are open and available, and that we must also practice social distancing and self-isolation.
A lot of us are now either out of work or working remotely and living by ourselves only adds to feelings of loneliness and isolation. When we can no longer go down to our favourite cafe to meet our friends and sit with a coffee or have visitors (depending on whether you’re also in self-quarantine, and on the rules of your state), life gets pretty lonely.
Since we are going to be confined to our homes (apart from going out for essentials) for the foreseeable future, it’s important to keep yourself healthy in mind and body. This will help you cope better with these strange circumstances and keep you active mentally and physically.
Here’s my easy checklist for things you should do to keep your body and mind healthy while in isolation –
● Create a routine
Whether you’re working from home, have unfortunately lost your job due to COVID-19, are a stay at home parent or under any other circumstance, it’s vital to your mental health to create a balanced routine. It keeps you motivated and focused, giving you purpose each day.
● Meditate, do yoga or practice mindfulness
If you’re now working from home when you weren’t before, or you’re feeling anxious and scared about the uncertainty that Coronavirus brings, your home may not feel like the safe place it once was.
Getting yourself out of your head, recharging and relaxing are crucial for your mental wellbeing during these strange times. Resting mentally is just as important as resting physically. There are plenty of free and paid resources available to help you begin your journey if you’ve never practiced any of these before. It may seem strange at first, but like with anything new, the more you do it the better you’ll get.
● Don’t check the news constantly
It’s only natural to want to find out as much as possible about this unique situation we’re all in but taking in too much news can be hazardous to your mental health. While our devices are bombarded with constant updates about COVID-19, it can be hard to avoid all the information that is constantly changing.
You need to find the balance between staying informed while not being consumed by the feelings of helplessness about the things you cannot change – namely, Coronavirus and its impact on our lives. Check the news at one or two times per day and stick to those set times. It could be while you eat your breakfast or tuning into the evening news.
● Challenge yourself and find creative ways to occupy your time
Doing new and challenging things keeps your brain active, providing you with a much-needed boost to your wellbeing.
You don’t need to do anything radical; projects such as starting a garden or revitalising your current one, doing a big declutter of your home, undertaking some online courses to build new skills, or even working your way through some old cookbooks are all great ways to challenge yourself while in isolation.
The most important thing, of course, is to make sure that you take time to relax as well! You don’t have to tick off every single one of your goals; you’re not superhuman and don’t have to do it all.
● Learn a new skill
As mentioned above now is the best tome to keep your mind healthy and growing but learning a new skill or skills during this time. I have been reading and writing more around the leadership space. Use this time to be a better version of yourself and come out on top. Leaders are readers!
During this time, we are offering a lot of free courses and webinars to help as many people as we can.
The best leaders and entrepreneurs around the globe journal. It is a great way to learn and self-reflect. Also practicing daily gratitude is a wonderful way to keep your mind positive and healthy. Tell me what are you grateful for?
● Look after your immune system
If your immune system is in good condition, you’re less likely to be susceptible to viruses such as COVID-19. Boosting your immune system can be done in some easy ways, such as eating an adequate amount of food and making sure that it’s full of vitamins and nutrients, getting enough sleep, and exercising to your fitness level. Over-exertion will just strain your immune system, having the opposite intended effect. I have been taking olive leaf and drinking bone broth to keep my immune system healthy.
● Keep physically active
Exercise benefits your mind as well as your body, keeping you fit and releasing feel-good hormones. Make sure that you’re exercising for at least 30 minutes each day, whether inside your home following instructional resources online, or outdoors in a space that allows you to practise social distancing as well. Invite a friend to exercise outside with you (keeping at least 1.5m apart of course!) for some much-needed socialisation and a motivational boost.
● Eat a balanced diet
There’s no need to panic buy, as most food isn’t in short supply thanks to supermarket limits and frequent deliveries. Having staples in the cupboard, like rice, pasta, flour, beans and tinned tomatoes is always recommended, and then you can purchase fresh fruit, vegetables and meat to supplement your diet. Eating healthy will keep your mind and body feeling good as well.
Don’t forget to treat yourself though – balance means allowing yourself to enjoy the not-so-good-for-you things on occasion.
Reach out to friends and family for support if you’re struggling. I am here to help anytime. Even if you cannot visit them in person, phone and video calls are a great way to stay in touch with loved ones and feel less isolated. We’re all feeling uncertain while Coronavirus challenges our communities, but we’re all in this together.
I’d love to hear from you about what you’ve been doing to keep your mind and body stimulated while in isolation – what new hobbies have you taken up, or what new skills have you learned?
And if you’re considering doing some learning, why not look at our range of online modules (some free!) at McDonald Inc.? It’s a good time to work on growing your leadership skills and capabilities, ready for when things return to ‘normal’.
By the way, also enjoy a glass or two of wine…