If you’ve been watching Bart’s lockdown vlogs you might’ve noticed that every morning, he makes himself a cup of coffee, takes the time to enjoy the process and uses it as a chance to mentally prepare for the day ahead. This has gotten me thinking about how we all have those little routines we do that keep us grounded. Whether that is spending the time making a cup of coffee and enjoying it, going for a walk, or just reading a book before bed. These are the things we do throughout the day that hold us steady, the routines we rely on during hard times and help us as the world changes around us.
But during Covid lockdowns our routines change, maybe instead of going into the office and swinging by your favourite coffee shop on the way to work you’re now working from home. Maybe you can’t go to the gym to exercise or attend your favourite exercise class with your friends. Or maybe you miss the simple act of being able to browse in shops, taking your time to pick out what’s for dinner.
It's still important to try and stick to these routines as much as possible especially when they can have so much weight on our mental health.
Exercise is super beneficial to our mental health, it gets the serotonin happening, allows us to sleep better, reduces depression and anxiety and can even give you sharper memory and sharper thinking. Just because you can’t go to the gym doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. Look up videos on YouTube for yoga or Pilates - many Gyms are even doing online classes for their members, go for a walk, run or cycle (socially distanced of course!) or dust off that exercise equipment you have in the shed. Another way is by joining Barty’s July Strava challenge sign up and make a commitment to walk, run or cycle and we will support you with fresh weekly coffee beans throughout the month of July.
Another thing that has a huge impact on our mental health is what we eat. While in lockdown it’s so easy to snack all day especially when you are working from home. You open a bag of lollies and within an hour or so they have vanished, and you swore you were only going to have a few (not that I speak from experience or anything!). Fuel your body with fruit and vegetables, whole grains, protein, and dairy. Try to limit snacking and aim to stick to three meals. During this time you may need a treat to get through the day and that is totally fine, just don’t go overboard. Did you know that Barty now has a food section with things like donuts that are actually good for you. Which is an awesome way to treat yourself with added healthy benefits.
When you’re working from home it can be so hard to switch off and take time out for yourself. It can be easy to justify working additional hours as you don’t have a commute so what’s an extra hour of work? But this time adds up, stick to your regular hours and don’t work through breaks. Try to take your breaks away from the screen. For example, use your lunch break to go for a walk or see it as a chance to cook lunch and try out a new recipe. Just get away from the screens and give yourself a proper break.
Despite lockdowns and COVID restrictions you can still enjoy your daily routines; they may just look different than normal. See it as a chance to try new things, form new habits and enjoy the little things; the simple act of making coffee every morning and the stillness of the house, not having to rush to work or enjoying a walk outside and experiencing your neighbourhood in a new light.
Feel free to drop by, just say, ‘Hey Erin’ in strict confidence and you can be anonymous if you wish. Or, do not hesitate to leave a question in the comments below any time.