Wow - what a week! I don't recall ever going through such a dynamic time where things were evolving daily. We've seen the abrupt cessation of our fitness classes (*insert sad emoji), social distancing enforced and group gatherings limited. The holistic impact on our community is far reaching and unprecedented - so what can we do to maintain some routine and functionality in our lives during this time?
When people are stuck indoors for long periods of time, they can report getting “cabin fever” or feel like they are going “stir crazy”. Observations from actual or simulated space missions or people living in confined spaces, such as those spending a winter on polar stations, also suggest that some people may find self-isolating more difficult than others. Here are some things you can do to help:
Boost your immune system: during self-isolation it may be a good idea to try to improve your immune response. Exercise and getting enough vitamins can help (although contrary to some internet sources, they're not a cure). Whilst we are not nutritionists or dietitions, there is increasing evidence to show high doses of vitamin C may help fight off coronavirus. In fact, there is currently a study underway in China that is giving 120 patients with Covid-19 daily infusions of vitamin C, to see its effects. Results are yet to be published but anecdotally, it may be worth increasing your vitamin C prophylactically - I am! I think now more than ever, is a great time to focus on having a nutrient dense diet that is full of fresh fruit and vegies. Naturally sourced vitamins are so easy to include in your diet! On another note. psychologists also believe that listening to upbeat music or watching a movie can also boost your immune function. Now that's something we can all do! :)
Structure your day: For some people, self-isolation might lead to some mild mental health issues. Some people may have difficulties with sleep (insomnia), feelings of restlessness or sadness, or start to feel demotivated when self-isolating. To combat these issues, maintaining a structure or routine around meals, bedtime and even planning activities such as working out regularly can help keep you motivated and stop feeling down.
Maintain social contact: Studies have shown that when isolated, people can't draw on support of friends and family. They may then turn to less positive coping strategies such as drinking alcohol. During this time, keep connected by phoning, emailing or skyping friends and family. Reaching out to a friend has been shown to be more beneficial than having a glass of wine!
Avoid conflict: When having to be in close proximity to loved ones for some time, they may get on our nerves..... Especially those trying to entertain small children! Exercise has been shown to counteract the negative impact of confinement. More generally, 20 minutes of exercise a day can help lift your mood via the release of endorphins, as well as reducing feelings of tension. Another strategy is that if you feel tension is escalating in your household, take a 'time out.' It is thought going in to another room for at least 15 minutes can help you forget the source of tension.
I found this diagram below and thought it was a bit of a comical way of looking at social isolation - I believe in seeing the humour in life sometimes....
What sort of exercise can you do at home?
Through this uncertain time, Change It Up will continue to offer some virtual classes as well as YouTube videos for you. We understand that routine is important and if you can continue to commit to exercising, you will feel better both mentally and physically. We would highly recommend getting your hands on some dumbbells and other basic equipment you can easily use at home. That way, we can really diversify our workouts for you and ensure you are doing some strength training as well as body weight training. Below are a few great self-guided workouts we have found online that you can easily do at home:
Finally, as I'm writing this blog things continue to change. We implore you all to stay safe and follow directives so that we get through this time collectively and as expediently as possible. Can I finish by saying that we have been overwhelmed with your messages of support and encouragement during what has been a crazy week of change! Not only have you stood by us as we evolve our business during this time, you have done so with positivity and optimism which has validated the decisions we have made. Thank you all for being amazing, we are really going to hit it hard when everything returns to normal! Please remember to look out for one another and reach out to someone (including professionals) should you need further support. :)