05 Jan 5 Steps To A Healthy Lockdown
Last night Boris announced that the entire country will go back into a full national lockdown until at least mid-February. Of course, none of us wanted to hear this news, but here we are. So what can you do to ensure you have a healthy Lockdown 3.0?
Faced with the fact we are going to spend the vast majority of the couple of months in our homes, now is the time to consider how you want to approach this next lockdown.
My team and I have been consulting clients virtually, every week, throughout this year. We have seen some amazing transformations from clients who, back at the start of the first lockdown, decided they wanted to use the time to focus on their health and losing weight. As one client said to me “If we are in lockdown for three months I could either gain three stone or lose three stone, I know which I want”. This client has now lost over 50lbs.
We have also received a lot of enquiries from new clients who gained weight during the first lockdown. The statistics are there to back up our experience with a King’s College London survey of 2,254 people finding that 48 percent of respondents had gained weight during lockdown.
So what can you do to ensure a healthy lockdown this time around?
REFLECT ON PREVIOUS LOCKDOWNS
Taking time to reflect on how your first two lockdowns went is the first step to a healthier Lockdown 3.0. What healthy habits did you develop or maintain? What less healthy habits crept in? Be honest with yourself, did your quest to develop the perfect sourdough / banana bread recipe result in a bit of a carb fest? Have a think about what went well and what you’d do differently this time.
Read more: How To Break Bad Habits
CREATE A ROUTINE
Many of us have experienced those days when your sense of time feels blurred and you’re not sure what day of the week it is. Creating a routine can help to overcome that ‘what’s going on?’ feeling and instil a sense of normality. Establishing a regular sleep and wake schedule, regular meal times and a plan for daily exercise (even just getting out for a short walk) can also be invaluable in supporting your health and weight management.
MIND YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
There is no denying that lockdowns impact our mental health. Even those of us fortunate enough to have roofs over our heads and enough money to live on are not having an easy time. Check in with yourself the same way you would check in with someone you really care about. Journalling can really help here. So often I will recommend journaling to clients who are sceptical at first but soon become avid journallers, amazed at the extent to which they have benefitted from the practice. Being mindful of the things that can trigger anxiety is also important – do you need to set a time limit on news apps? If you’re aware that your mental health is suffering, don’t hold back from seeking help. Call a friend, speak to your doctor, email us… just don’t be alone.
GET OUTSIDE DAILY (IDEALLY IN NATURE)
The benefits of fresh air and exposure to natural light cannot be underestimated. Not to mention the positive impacts of walking and other outdoor activities on our health. If it’s safe for you to do so, I would strongly encourage you to get outdoors daily for a walk or other form of exercise. Having a dog means I am committed to daily walks but reflecting on our first lockdown, those walks are certainly one thing that kept me sane.
MAKE A PLAN
It’s easy to focus on what we can’t do, but it’s worth stopping to think about what you can do. I was messaging my family during last night’s announcement. My sister announced that this lockdown, she’s going to lose the stone she gained during her pregnancy with my beautiful niece Erin, born in July. My mum has decided she’s going to work on improving her Italian. We are also collectively looking into ways that we can support those less fortunate than us. Focussing on what we can control helps us to feel empowered rather than completely out of control of what’s going on. Thinking ahead to the end of this lockdown, what would you like to have achieved this time around? How can you ensure a healthy lockdown?
Lockdowns aren’t anyone’s idea of fun, but they do present an opportunity to work on ourselves without many of the distractions of daily life. If you plan to use this next lockdown to improve your health or lose weight and feel like you could benefit from expert help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.