Updated: Jun 3, 2020
In Burnley we are suppose to be only venturing out of the house for essential travel. Being cooped up in our homes for a prolonged period of time is mentally taxing. Here are 7 tips that I believe can help people stay sane during this difficult period.
1. Limit Time Spent Social Media
Social Media is amazing, it keeps us connected even when we're thousands of miles away on the other side of the world. However, I think (obviously just my opinion) it distorts our view of the world. Instead I've tried focusing on doing something positive and the same for my clients. One is trying to learn a new language and one is doing jobs around his farm. We are so addicted, it has become like a habit. Missing people? Download Zoom or House Party and try organising a party.
2. Exercise Once A Day
Sometimes you need that push to actually get something started or getting out of bed early to go for that run before work. However, how many times did you actually do something like that and regret it? In and around Burnley we have loads of beautiful scenery it would be a shame to not go and use this opportunity we now have. Get up early go for that run before everyone else gets up and has the same idea. If you're anxious about going outside or maybe you got up a little later and it's really busy outside then try this Press Up Challenge.
3. Go Outside, Early
Following on from that previous point being out in the hills is tranquil, it's a bit of extra exercise and if for nothing else the scenery is awesome.
For as long I can remember I've struggled with my mental health. In the past I had counselling sessions with Mind which helped a lot so every year I lead a group of my clients over The Yorkshire Three Peaks.
Last year brought the total amount of money raised to almost £1,500.
4. Keep Working Towards A Goal
Even though the gyms are shut it doesn't mean to say that you need to stop working towards your goals. I have been ringing clients on video calls and taking group fitness sessions over a conferencing app. You can still do home workouts using body weight, weighted rucksacks or simply a towel. I even made one where the only thing you use is a dining chair and my Mind Fit class will be finding out just how tough it is.
Having a goal gives you a bit more motivation to do a bit more than you normally would do. From going that bit further you get that little bit more of a result in just a bit of a shorter time scale keep this going and well all those little bits of extra little bits of results add up. Not having the goal means you're just winging it and you'll be likely to just 'fall off the wagon.' I am just going off opinion here but I would say that doing something everyday that you know will get you closer to your goal would only help with mental health.
5. Keep Your Routine
Keep your routine as it was. Wake up at the same time, go bed at a relatively similar time. If you can't work from home I understand that might be difficult to do but for those that can I think it is absolutely paramount.
I believe anxiety tends to come about when we don't know what is going to happen and we expect that the worst thing possible will happen so we try to control the situation. We rarely can control the situation but we can control what we do about it.
6. Meditate or Do Deep Breathing
After doing some meditation unfortunately you wont be able to float or do loads of cool stuff such as kick through concrete walls like a bullet proof monk. Instead you will be able to have a bit more focus, be able to sleep at night and if you have stomach problems with practice it could help with that.
There are many different forms of mediation 54321 (senses), 54321 colours, focusing on your heart beat or deep breathing to name a few.
5 things you can see
4 things you can touch
3 things you can hear
2 things you can smell
1 thing you can taste
5 things that are black
4 things that are blue
3 things that are red
2 things that are white
1 thing is yellow
Focusing on your heartbeat
Focus on your heart beat for 30 seconds
Focus on your breathing make sure to really focus but don't breathe any harder than you normally would just relax for 30 seconds
Listen to the noises outside of the room or nearby traffic for 30 seconds
Repeat this 3 times.
I really like doing this and recommend this. I think it works so well because you have to focus as much as possible on this, otherwise you will struggle to finish the breath holds. The better you get at keeping it slow and staying calm the better you'll do.
If you like that then you'll like this next one.
7. Keep Eating Right
You get used to eating at certain times and doing things in a way and then when your routine is messed up it can throw us a bit off track, it did for me. Now you're at home with all the temptation in the world to just dip into that biscuit jar and have one more cookie for the 15th time that day. Eating right has an impact on our mental health as well as preventing us from gaining weight. If you do eat a bit too much and gain some unwanted weight it isn't the end of the world keep exercising and at least you'll still have your fitness.
I would appreciate it if you would share this article and give it a share.
I am launching Mind Fit a new online program aiming to help people stay fit and healthy over the coming months.
Many thanks and happy lifting, Marcus