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  • Writer's pictureDR ME

Motivate March... self-help tips to survive Covid-19

Last Friday I was due to be attending a ‘blog writing course’, which didn’t happen for two reasons. Firstly I was in self-isolation due to my husband and I showing symptoms of Covid-19. Secondly, due to government intervention, the course was postponed regardless that I couldn’t make it. Due to the pandemic there are many plans that have had to be adjusted as we live in uncertain times. We are getting daily updates of what we are allowed and not allowed to do, panic buying has been prolific, and we live in an interconnected world where social media has been a platform to heighten this panic pandemic. We find ourselves unable to control our actions, our day-to-day routines and for some, our future.

Rapidly we’ve gone from having little free time and a rigid daily structure to a lot of time with little structure. Change is hard. I have recently written a speech about how I have learnt to build my resilience. Having lived as a military wife for 15 years, resulting in 10 house moves throughout Europe, I have encountered a lot of change which has helped me adapt to situations when confronted with adversity. My health business DR ME has been set up as a result of the lifestyle I live, and as such I wanted to share a few coping strategies with ideas of how to put your efforts into controlling elements that you can influence, and trying hard to ignore the areas that you currently are unable to have power over.

Now, more than any other time, we need to prioritise self-care. I am going to talk you through a few things you can do to help you survive and hopefully thrive this changeable time.

It is essential to boost your immune system with the foods you eat. I recommend people to eat the rainbow daily (something plant based, not from a skittles packet) to help keep our immunity strong. So every day we should be eating fruits, vegetables or seeds/nuts that are red, yellow, green, blue/purple, orange, and white. I know fresh food is hard to come by at times, which may force us to diversify from our usual buys, and don’t forget there is still a lot of frozen fruit and vegetables available.

Having more time means we could get more creative in the kitchen. I suggest you take time to look through recipe books you have and try making a dish you’ve not cooked for long time. I have challenged my children to cook a meal a week from start to finish, including checking for the ingredients they need, adding these to the shopping list, doing all the preparation and then the cooking. This is forcing us to move away from the monotony of the meals that I sometimes find myself in a rut of cooking. Remember, variety is the spice of life.

Drinking water is the quickest and easiest way of improving our health. Every day we should be consuming about 1.2l of water (which some people recommend as 8 glasses). How you do this is completely up to you. Could you keep a tally on a notice board in the kitchen, buy a water bottle with the time on the side, or alternate hot drink, glass of water and repeat this throughout the day? There are lots of ways to increase your water intake. However you do it your body will be hugely thankful and help flush out toxins and other unwanted elements from your body, whilst heightening your concentration and ability to keep moving.

Sticking to a routine is going to be very important at this time. Most of our daily regimes have gone out the window, but our bodies like to work on daily circadian rhythms to help us survive. We get hungry, go to the toilet, and sleep at roughly the same time each day. Therefore it is essential to sustain our 7-9 hours sleep at night, and remain in the habit of going to bed at the same time and waking and rising at the same time each day. By doing this we won’t throw our bodies into a state of confusion, which they’ll be thankful for. This does mean that binge watching Netflix each night is not recommended, as it would reduce the amount of sleep we get, in turn reducing our immunity, energy, positive outlook, and ability to function to our optimal capacity the following day.

To keep our minds at rest I suggest you keep busy. Find a new hobby or something to fill the void of our working/commuting time. Set yourself a challenge or a goal of what you’d like to achieve in a month, three months and six months from now.

To avoid feeling nervous and anxious I recommend that you limit how many times you access the news and social media a day to a maximum of three times. It is good to know advancements have been made, but by constantly looking and checking our phones is only going to heighten our levels of worry.

Try to take time out every day and do something just for your. This may be shutting yourself in a bedroom and writing gratitude journal- start with 3 thinks you are grateful for each day. You may want to go outside and feeling the sunshine on your face and taking a few deep breaths to help de-stress your body and mind (make sure your breaths are deep and you exhale for longer than you inhale). A daily mediation or mindfulness session would be ideal to keep you grounded and calm too. There are numerous apps and websites that can help you with these.

Have daily connections with people. Be thankful that modern technology allows us to be hugely interconnected, and as modes of communication are so simple we are able to keep in contact with people old and young. Keeping in touch with people is going to be key to getting through this, and even if we need to hold work meetings and book clubs on line, it is going to be essential to find a way to keep our daily connections up.

Exercise can be tough at the best of times, but may especially be the case now due to space restrictions. There are lots of online options for both you and children to follow, many of which can be found on YouTube. With my PE teacher hat on I have started a daily live exercise routine at 0830 from my Facebook page, which focuses on getting people moving in small spaces to start their day off on the right track. Yoga with Adrienne is another of my favourites, and again can be done in a small area. Exercise is key to keeping both the body and mind healthy and on track, so have a go, search the web, find something you’d like to try and build it into your daily schedule.

There is so much out of our control at present, but there are lots of things we can do to help ourselves through this tough time. If you would like to have a chat about anything I’ve mentioned above, please do get in touch via my website and I will be happy to talk ideas through with you. Good luck in building your resilience, try to keep positive, and believe we will get through this.

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