Why eating and sleeping can improve your overall health during lockdown
Updated: May 3, 2020
Are Naps, Nachos and Netflix just what we need right now?
It feels like a lifetime ago that we were squeezing into trains at the crack of dawn; sardines in a can, face in the armpit of our fellow commuter. Fast forward six weeks and most of us can’t remember the last time we wore jeans.
Who’d have thunk it?
For most of us lethargy has set in, and it’s important we protect our happiness and well-being as we acclimatise to this new normal. Doing nothing turns out to be pretty cumbersome, (trust me, I’ve tried it) so I’ve closed the shutters and turned my focus inward - taking on one simple task: be kind to myself. We’ve all heard of it, but what does it actually mean?
To me, it means removing all pressure and unrealistic expectations. Doing more of what makes me feel good and congratulating myself on even the smallest triumphs.
So how can doing ‘less’ improve your overall health?
Sleep The right amount of sleep feels good. And it’s hugely beneficial for the regeneration of cells, reduces stress and keeps your heart healthier. True, sometimes it’s hard to fall asleep after a day of doing practically nothing, so try meditating before bed (or a nap) with Headspace, or listening to rain or the ocean with Relax Melodies. Both apps are free and work a charm.
Eat Ah, a crowd favourite. Whether you’re reading this whilst waiting for your 12th Banana Bread to bake, or you’ve resorted to eating cereal right out of the box (we’ve all been there) nothing is off limits at this point. But do remember that what you eat affects your levels of serotonin - a brain chemical that regulates mood, appetite and behaviour. Want more ‘good mood food’? Salmon, eggs, spinach, seeds and berries are among those that help the body produce more serotonin naturally. And yes, you can have ice-cream on the side. Food is the only friend we can hang out with rn, so hang out, we shall.
Watch TV When you don’t have real life events going on, it’s hard to attach your fluctuating emotions to anything. TV can help! When I need a cry, a laugh, some drama - my fave shows always come through. If you’re into comedies, laughing is clinically proven to boost the immune system and increase your infection-fighting antibodies, so get those funny-juices flowing! I binged on The Hangover 1, 2 and 3 and then got some prosecco out for Bridesmaids. Laughing also burns calories btw - so next time you wake up and head straight for the TV, call it your morning workout.
Speaking of which: Home workouts
If you’re in need of a mood-lifter, physical activity genuinely helps. 30 mins in the morning will give you mental clarity, reduce stress and release endorphins for the rest of the day. I recommend Fitness Blender videos on Youtube (as you don’t need equipment) with music on - loud af. Warning: You will feel awesome, afterwards.
Put pen to paper
Whether you journal your thoughts/feelings, write a letter to your future self - “Surviving lockdown 2020” - or draw, releasing some internal build-up is liberating as heck. I can only draw stick men so I’ve been journaling my feelings at the end of each day, and writing down what I want to achieve in the next. There’s nothing quite like crossing off your small wins (doing dishes) and praising yourself for it. You deserve it!
So, amidst all the pressure to ‘be productive’ during lockdown, I challenge you to enjoy doing less. Guilt free. Nap, Nachos and Netflix, anyone?
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