We are in the midst of an unprecedented lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. For most of us life has changed beyond all recognition as day to day routines now centre around our homes in a way it never has before. Whether furloughed or still #WFH we are having to adapt our way of living and socialising. Now, more than ever, looking after our minds and bodies is vital to nourish our mental and physical wellbeing. Luckily, we live in the age of virtual connection with loads to access online providing us with fun and imaginative ways in which we can.
Nail your new daily routine
Perhaps most important is to develop a routine and stick to it. It may seem obvious to say but stick to the basic essentials like normal sleep patterns, getting dressed, cooking and eating at regular mealtimes, exercise and virtual social activity as well as chilling on the sofa in front of Netflix. Whatever lists you have to work through or goals you want to achieve apps like Todoist or Google Tasks will help you set and manage your new daily routines and if you are furloughed, why not include some online courses to help create your new routine and structure your day. Try Isolation Art School or even learn a new language with DuoLingo or Babbel.
Make time to relax and destress
Self-isolation is the new norm for the time being and can for some present challenges for our mental wellbeing. Reducing stress and anxiety is key and there are many free apps to help us to manage both, whether with breathing exercises, meditation, or to improve sleep. Headspace or Calm are just a couple to explore and maybe get you started on a more mindful self-isolation. If you are struggling then The Help Hub website offers an online therapy service.
Get fit and have some fun
There is also plenty online to keep us all energised and finding something that works for you will keep your body active and help look after your mind too. Fitness Blender has lots to keep both body and mind fighting fit whilst Instagram is packed full of live workouts offering a range of classes from HIIT and barre to boxercise and step – to get started, check out: @psyclelondon, @barrys_UK, @xtendbarrelondon and @aliceliveing. If yoga is more your thing there are any number of classes to follow, like this Yoga with Adriene on YouTube and apps like Down Dog. Or if you’ve always had the urge to waltz around your sitting room now’s your chance to get fit and learn a new skill, like dancing, and master the salsa, rumba or tango.
Going to see a live show or exhibition, or heading to the weekly pub quiz, can fill us with a feeling of joy. While we cannot go out to do all these things, they are coming to us. Have a joyful couple of hours in your own home, break the routine and have a welcome distraction to look forward to. Enjoy a musical with The Show Must Go On or virtually visit the theatre or opera for free with both the National Theatre and Royal Opera streaming some of their shows.
If you’ve a thirst for the arts and culture and take in your favourite exhibition at 2500 museums around the world, offering virtual tours and online visits. #MuseumFromHome is almost like taking a virtual city break! Or go for some more down to earth entertainment and join in with a live streamed quarantine quiz at Spectacular Quarantine Quizzes. You may never need to go out again!
Eat as well as you can
Use your time to feed your mind well, literally. There is a fantastic array of live streamed cookery classes online to help ensure you are eating healthy meals and getting the right nutrition whilst in lockdown. Lunchbox Doctor runs online workshops with recipe tips on her Facebook page or learn to bake your own bread with Borough Market’s Bread Ahead online bread making. If you’re missing your favourite curry, restaurants like Wagamama have launched online cooking tutorials called Wok from Home and you still can’t beat Delia Smith when it comes to showing you how to cook and eat well.