Stage 4 restrictions have made a huge impact on all our lives, eliciting feelings of social detachment, stress and overwhelm. And if you live alone, these feelings can become INTENSE.
When you’re lonely and detached from social contact, you might find yourself falling into a procrastination hole – ie, Netflix binging – and this can be detrimental to both your mental and physical health. It’s important to keep active and find things to do to support your health during this time. So we have put together this survival guide with some tips to get you out of your rut and keep you going for the next month of restrictions. If you need more support, our caring practitioners are available for telehealth consultations with personal health advice specific to your needs.
1. Get yourself into a routine
It’s important to keep a basic routine during lockdowns to support your circadian rhythm and your energy levels. So make sure you get up and then go to bed at a decent hour every day. I know it sounds simple, but be honest – how many days do you spend in your pyjamas right now? Rolling from the bed to the couch and back again is indulgent once in a blue moon, but not something you should be sustaining for extended periods of time. A shower is a great way to wash away stress, invigorate your body and start the day with a fresh outlook. You don’t have to use makeup or style your hair – just put on some clean trackies and brush your teeth. And you should totally embrace this time to remain bra-free (unless you’re planning on leaving the house).
2. Daily list of Three Tasks
You may have thoughts about all the things you can get done during lockdown – but are you actually doing them? Are you staring at dishes piling up the sink or garbage that needs to be taken out and struggling with the motivation to do anything? Simple tasks can become overwhelming when you’re feeling down, so it’s best to break them up into tiny pieces. Start writing a ‘list of three tasks’ every evening that you want to achieve the next day. Your list could be as simple as have a shower, do the dishes, take out the garbage. You can do that! And then you can do anything else with your day and not feel guilty – as long as you complete those three tasks. Set reminder alarms for each task if that helps give you a prod. By breaking down activities into small achievable goals, you start feeling more confident & productive, and your list of three tasks may become more adventurous!
3. Talk to One Person Every Day
It’s really important to keep as connected as possible, so this is a rule… you must talk to at least one person EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It could be a phone call with your grandma, a FaceTime with your bestie, a Zoom with a work colleague or even a chat over the fence with your next-door neighbour. Whatever it is, just make sure you are keeping connected and supporting your mental health.
4. There’s more to your diet than cheese
Cooking for yourself is a struggle on a normal day – but in lockdown, it’s even harder. Snacking on toast, cheese & chocolate and befriending your Uber Eats driver is not doing great things for your health or your waistline. Why not try a delivery service of ready-made meals? There are HEAPS to choose from with options for dietary preferences, and you may even find it’s cheaper than your grocery shop. You could even go one step further and take this time at home to try a detox diet! If you’re not sure about where to start, book an online consult with our naturopath. They can help identify the right foods for you (yes, everyone is different) to get your health back on track and give you the fuel and energy to make your body hum.
5. Walk around your neighbourhood
Getting out of the house every day and moving your body is a must. Fresh air, winter sun, and a casual hello to people walking by – it’s uplifting and gets your endorphins firing. You don’t have to run or jog – you can simply stroll. And if one hour is overwhelming, try doing a short walk around the block. You may meet a few neighbours as you go which is a nice way to keep connected in your local area. If motivation is hard, try walking for purpose – head to your local coffee shop for a takeaway latte or meet up with a friend for an appropriately distanced ‘walk and talk’. You’ll feel better emotionally, and your sleep may even improve.
6. Meditate, breathe, reflect
When our minds are full of thoughts that aren’t coming out, and stress is building up, it’s important to take some time out every day to calm. Meditative breathing is a great way to clear your head and relax your whole body. There are plenty of great apps available with guided meditations for whatever you need to combat – stress, worry, anger, anxiety, overwhelm – there is something for everyone. And if you have trouble getting to sleep, sleep meditations are a great way to help calm a busy mind, focus on your breathing and help you drift off. Want to take it to the next level? Book a telehealth consultation with one of our Chinese medicine practitioners and combine ‘at-home’ acupuncture with a guided meditation or sound healing.
7. Do something creative
Getting out of your comfort zone to try something creative can also put you IN a comfort zone. The simple act of ‘colouring-in’ can be meditative and soothing – especially when teamed with your favourite tunes. Or try something more adventurous – knit, crotchet, sew, draw, paint, build, write, design, create – there are ‘how to’ videos online for whatever tickles your fancy. You may be crap at it, but it’s fun to try and you may actually surprise yourself!
8. Dance it out!
If you’ve ever watched Grey’s Anatomy you’ll know this is Meredith’s go-to solution when she’s had a crappy day. Put on some loud tunes and dance it out! The music makes you feel good (singing along is great for your Heart Qi) and grooving around the loungeroom can work a lot of different muscle groups and get your heart rate up without you even noticing. If you want to take it a step further, try a dance class or learn a routine online – and dance like nobody’s watching (cos they’re not!)
9. Have a Spa Day
Nothing perks a girl up more than a spa day, and your bathroom cupboard is probably full of scrubs, moisturisers, masks, polishes, treatments that you hardly ever use. So pull out your bathrobe, light some candles, find a chill-out playlist and get pampering. You will feel amazing and love yourself all day! If you need some new products, our naturopath Sallie is a corneotherapist who mixes up skincare specifically for your skin type… totally worth an online consult. And while you’re playing with products, why not try something new for your ‘look’? Nobody’s going to see if it turns out to be a disaster – so experiment with hair colour, fake tan, eyebrow shaping, nail colours – it’s all stuff you can fix before lockdowns ends, or you can keep it if it looks great!
10. Adopt a Fur Baby
Unconditional love and affection – we all crave it. And there’s no better way to survive lockdown than with a furry bundle of love! You have plenty of time right now to spend on training and getting to know each other. Of course you need to make sure that a pet is the right thing for you and your circumstances, and it’s not a cheap investment. But the endless love, cuddles, laughter and affection you get in return for your care is priceless!