We truly are living in a unique and rare time. Most of us feel like we’re in a daze, still convincing ourselves to wake up from this nightmare. All of sudden, we are being restricted to do the normal things we used to do such as trips to the library, take your kids to the park, hold a gathering at home or elsewhere, even how we greet people now has changed. With kids being at home, the routine we’ve known before all this happened has been thrown out the window.
We believe that one of the best things we can do right now to keep us feeling 'normal' is by staying active. Michael Otto, PhD, a professor of psychology at Boston University says “The link between exercise and mood is pretty strong. Usually within five minutes after moderate exercise you get a mood-enhancement effect.” But the effects of physical activity extend beyond the short-term. Research shows that exercise can also help alleviate long-term depression. Some of the evidence for that comes from broad, population-based correlation studies.
So, how can you stay active during this pandemic? Below are some tips you can do to help you stay fit physically, mentally and emotionally.
1) Home workout – If there are particular workouts you have been wanting to try but just never got around to doing it, this is the time to try it out. If you have kids at home, encourage them to do the workout with you. If some of the moves aren’t easy for them to do, encourage them and let them know they can modify it. The main thing is doing the workout together as a family. Kids are used to doing a lot of activities when in school, so this #stayinghome and #socialdistancing thing is an adjustment to them just as it is for us, parents. Get them moving through kid-friendly workout videos.
Here, is an example of a workout you can do with your kids at home. PS. There are tons of workout videos out there, keep searching until you find one that works with the whole family.
2) Meditate – Now this one can be hard if you have little ones. If you can find time in the morning to do this (right before the kids wake up) then great! You can also meditate midday and really any time of the day, as long as you find that quiet space, then you’re set. Meditation can help bring calmness in the body and mind. With all of us glued to the news for the past weeks, it’s important to take some time to relax your mind and body. According to healthline.com, some forms of meditation can improve depression and create a more positive outlook on life. Research shows that maintaining an ongoing habit of meditation may help you maintain these benefits long term.
3) Run – Depending on where you are in the world, but given that your location is not on lockdown, consider going for a run in and around your neighborhood. If you’ve never ran before, start with a walk, jog, run method for a total of 1km. It goes something like this: walk for 2 minutes, jog for 3 minutes, run for 1 minute, and repeat until you reach a distance of 1km. Increase the distance and modify the number of minutes when your body is ready. For example, start running 1-3 a week - Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Start with 1km and the following week, increase it to 1.5-2km and so on. Don’t forget to stretch after each run and remember to listen to your body. Stop when you need to. Do it slow and steady. Doing this too fast may cause you to feel discouraged, it could feel like 'you can’t' do it, when in reality – you’re just doing too much too fast. Here’s a great ‘running for beginners’ video you can follow if you’re looking for more running tips.
4) Intuitive eating – During a stressful time, it’s easy to fall into an unhealthy way of eating. All these social distancing, stress, kids being at home 24/7, staying and working from home could feel very overwhelming. It is not a crime to have a treat, but know when you are overdoing it and do something about it. For example: have your favorite chocolate bar on a weekend instead of just any day of the week. If you’re one to cannot help yourself when you see sweets at home – do not bring it at home on days when you feel you shouldn’t be eating treats. Now, more than ever, we need to take care of ourselves to avoid trips to the clinic or hospitals to avoid getting the coronavirus and to protect the vulnerable in our community. But if you really want to have that piece of cake - hey, don’t be too hard on yourself and waste the whole day feeling guilty about it. Breath and let it go. Tomorrow is a new day. The key is to have your ‘intuitive eating’ on at all times or at least most days of the week. Check out this video for intuitive eating tips.
5) Read – Have you ever wished you had more time to read? Perhaps this could be the time you reach out for that business book you bought months ago, but haven’t yet gotten the chance to even open it. Read some self-development books or any book that you feel will help you grow for the better. Don’t get into the ‘what is the point?’ mode just because we are going through this COVID19 crisis. Look ahead and lookup. This will be over, too. If anything, we should all take this time to prepare for what we have been working on before all this happened. Prepare for that day for when this is all over. Below are some of our favorite reads in random order:
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