We’re almost at halfway point. How are you coping with lockdown? What effect is it having on your life now and how do you envisage it affecting your life going forward?
Whatever is going on around you it’s your internal journal that counts.
I’ll always remember my work posts overseas: in the desert of Southern Algeria I lived on a camp in the middle of nowhere. There was nothing apart from the people I worked with and myself. It was astonishing how, when life limits you it brings out hidden strengths that you never dreamt you had. It was the same when I worked in Saudi Arabia. Confronted with a society that took my freedoms away, I experienced the meaning of humility in the face of an external power greater than myself. This in itself made me a stronger person.
Today, during lockdown, there are still a lot of possibilities that you can experience and benefit from.
Here are just a few things that are still available to you and will ensure you stay mentally and physically fit. In fact they’re non-negotiable. These are what form the basis of my online Lockdown Club where I encourage the members to adhere to these non-negotiables via a choice of 8 weekly sessions. Keep reading to find out more.
Getting out in nature: there are patterns in nature called fractals which have healing powers. They emerge naturally in clouds, raindrops, trees – almost everywhere. Studies have shown that fractals can reduce your stress by 60%.
Tip: spend time in your garden or local park daily
Aerobic Exercise: this type of exercise keeps your heart and lungs strong, so that if you were unfortunate enough to get coronavirus, you will be able to recover faster. It will also give you more energy and an amazing sense of wellbeing. Activities include fitness walking, cycling, aerobic, step and Hiit classes. Any type of exercise which keeps your heart rate elevated for at least 10 minutes.
Tip: it is recommended that we get 150 minutes of moderate activity each week
Strength Training: if we don’t use them, we lose them, or so the saying goes. If you’re sufficiently inactive your muscles shrink and become weak. Weak muscles lead to fragile bones, joint injuries and the inability to carry out many of our daily tasks.
Tip: get a virtual online trainer to give you a home programme to ensure good safe technique – or check out my new group (see below) which includes daily strength training tips
Nutritious Diet: We are still able to shop for healthy, nutrient dense food. Many people – even in the West – are overfed and undernourished. Pay attention to your micronutrients. These are vitamins and minerals found mostly in fruits and vegetables. They keep our gut healthy which is important to mental and physical wellbeing and help to keep your immune strong.
Tip: Eat at least 5 portions of vegetables every day – ideally of five different colors
Drink 8 glasses of water daily: your body is approximately 60% water. Every cell needs hydration to keep it functioning and healthy. Your body often confuses thirst with hunger which leads to overeating and dehydration. As we age, your cells are less able to retain fluids and so it’s even more important to drink water.
Tip: drink a glass of water upon waking and 30 minute before each meal.
A sense of Purpose: think long term. What are your goals, your dreams, your bucket list? If you give yourself a reason to stay physically and mentally healthy, you’ll be more motivated to do all of the above.
Tip: take this time, where the world has slowed down and is quieter, to meditate on what matters in your life and what you really want to achieve before you die.
I know it isn’t easy to change your daily routine. We’re creatures of habit. But sometimes we have to.