COVID-19 Series: 5 everyday actions for physical wellbeing
Our physical health has a big impact on how we feel, and how we feel has a big impact on how we behave. At times like these, it can be easy to fall into unhelpful habits that end up making us feel worse.
Here are 5 ways to look after your physical wellbeing every day for a more resilient body and mind.
1) Sleep – The biggest challenge we usually face is how to find enough hours to rest when our reality is shift patterns, travelling long distances to see customers, or entertaining clients. These extended periods of time at home do present a wonderful opportunity to catch up on those hours of missed sleep.
Give yourself 8-hours of ‘quality sleep opportunity’ each night. You don’t need to actually be asleep all of this time but be in the mindset and environment to allow your body to rest as it needs to.
Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day and practice a calming activity to wind down in the hour before hitting the hay.
Then dive into your temple of sleep – ensure your room is dark, cool and quiet (like a cave!).
2) Napping – If a full night of sleep is daunting right now, napping could be your saving grace. Follow the latest science-based nap advice to boost your physical, cognitive and emotional energy.
Around 7-hours after waking (lunchtime is good), try drinking a cup of green tea and taking a 20-minute nap… the gentle caffeine hit will bring you round to feeling the benefits including a lighter mood!
3) Exercise – There are SO many benefits to moving our bodies…release of the happy hormone serotonin, endorphins to lift mood, and structural brain changes that enhance our thinking to name a few. It’s no surprise then that exercise is a proven way to treat mild-moderate depression.
The best news is, it doesn’t have to cost a penny. Some of my favourite ways to move at the moment are:
Use daily outing to walk, run or cycle
Joe Wick’s daily PE lessons (Search: The Body Coach on YouTube)
Yoga with Adriene (YouTube)
Dancing around the kitchen
Any home-based strength exercise apps (Search on whatever device you have to hand!)
Not sure how much exercise to do? See these NHS Guidelines for your age category.
4) Daylight – Natural light helps us sleep better, reduces seasonal depression and ensures we get Vitamin D for our physical health needs too. Find a way every day to get daylight into your life, even if that means leaning out of your bedroom window (safely please!).
The bright, cool light of SAD lamps are one therapeutic technique that can help with reduced daylight intake. You can buy one of your own with quality options starting from around £60 on Amazon.
5) Diet – A healthy diet keeps our minds healthy as well as our bodies. Exactly what that includes will be different for everyone, however eating plenty of fruit, veg and wholegrains are a great place to start. And drinking plenty of water.
This article from the World Health Organisation (WHO) provides a helpful overview for nutrition advice during the COVID-19 outbreak.
A couple of simple snack ideas to get started:
Cucumber dipped into bloody mary mix ingredients (excluding the booze!)
Peanut butter on apple slices
Boiled eggs with your favourite topping
Our wellbeing is holistic. Check out our 5 tips for:
This article was originally written for The Drinks Trust as part of their COVID-19 updates. If you haven't heard of this wonderful charity then do pay their website a visit and see how you can support, or be supported, as a member of the drinks and hospitality industry.