With the recent announcement that the majority of the UK is going back into lockdown imminently and that plans to enjoy a more relaxed Christmas period have had to be cancelled, I know that a lot of people up and down the country will be experiencing mixed and emotional feelings.
Just recently, I spoke with a lady who had made huge improvements in her health, mindset and fitness but when lockdown struck, she let it all go and fell back into a cycle of self sabotage. She found herself snacking, drinking too much alcohol and not moving enough. When we spoke, she was embarrassed, felt low and wanted desperately to feel confident and in control and healthy again.
This was my advice to her....
1. Step away from the banana bread!
Back in March when we went into lockdown for the first time, half the country had decided they were going to use this newfound free time to take up baking. What a brilliant way to combat boredom! But wait, what happens after you’ve baked the cakes? Well, someone’s gotta eat them! Stay out of self-sabotage mode and keep your hands out of the biscuit tin by creating a meal plan. Take an hour out of your day to sit down and write out 3 meals a day for a whole week and stick it to your fridge in the kitchen so you see it every time you reach for something you’re not supposed to have. The visual should be enough to protect you!
2. Shut it out
We are more reliant on our digital devices today than we have ever been before. Between working from home, watching tv, scrolling through social media, messaging friends and reading the news, we are HOOKED! It is so important to create some space in your daily schedule to step away from the noise. No phone. No TV. No people if possible. Concentrate on staying present and focus on the NOW! I like to spend the first hour of my day without any devices. I catch up on some reading, enjoy a coffee and meditate.
3. Home Workouts…. Hear me out!
Staying active during lockdown is so important. With living and working from home and the gyms being closed, we are finding more and more excuses not to move our bodies. There are hundreds and thousands of workouts available on YouTube. I know it can feel a bit alien working out from home to start with, trust me, I own a gym so I found the switch difficult to get comfortable with however, I would be lost without my home workouts now.
4. Make it a family affair
When I speak to women about what meals they are eating I am always amazed when they tell me they are cooking 3 different meals for dinner because the kids won’t eat that and the partner doesn’t eat this. Getting the family involved in the meal prep is a great way to get them interested in eating healthier with you. And let’s face it, there is nothing quite so satisfying as sitting down to a home cooked family friendly meal together.
5. You are what you eat
I know this is a bit cliché but the truth is, if you eat crap, you feel crap. I am going to let you in on a little secret… Organic food will change your life. Kiss goodbye to chemicals, hormones and other nasties and you’ll soon notice you’ve lost the bloat. I challenge you to use your time to research organic and non-GMO food and fully understand what you eat – not everything is what it seems!
6. Hydrate the mind, energise the body
2-3 litres of water every single day will not only reduce the temptation to snack but it will flush your body and leave your skin looking radiant. Forget the expensive facials, water is the secret you’ve been looking for!
7. Just say no
No to snacking - this goes without saying. If you plan your meals and eat substantial amounts of good food, you will not need to snack between meals. Snacking – particularly on sugars and refined carbohydrates – can result in you undoing all your previous progress. Just say no.
8. Be grateful
Focus on the positive aspects of your life and express your gratitude for them daily. This might be new to some of you but practicing gratitude will allow you to create abundance. Here’s how to do it: Buy yourself a journal and at the end of every day, write 5 things you were grateful for that day. If you do this every day, your brain will automatically start looking for things to be grateful for keeping you in a positive mindset longer. And if you ask me, there’s no better way to go to sleep than with a head full of gratitude for what we have and positive thoughts.
9. Thoughts are things
Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right!”
Where we choose to focus our thoughts determines what we achieve in life and girls, I believe that with all my heart. There are two types of mindset a person can have, ‘growth mindset’ or ‘fixed mindset’. Those with a ‘fixed mindset’ believe you either are or are not good at something based on your inherent nature. Those with a ‘growth mindset’ believe that anything can be achieved with hard work and grit. I urge you to do some research on this and if you identify yourself as someone with a fixed mindset, decide to put time and energy into being proactively ‘growth mindset’. Nothing changes if nothing changes after all!
10. Let it go
No, we aren’t singing the Frozen soundtrack although, I think we can all agree it is phenomenal! What I am talking about is a little thing we all know only too well…. STRESS.
Stress is the body’s reaction to feeling under pressure but, it can be managed and I urge you to do the work to avoid becoming ill. Move lots. Movement leads to positive emotion so walk daily, use the time to listen to an audiobook or some positive and uplifting motivational speeches, let them energise you and elevate your mood. Aim for your 10,000 steps a day. The fresh air and time away from the home will do you the world of good. There are lots of ways to manage stress, go check out this video and make a note of each of these steps to protect yourself.
These are my top 10 tips to protect your wellbeing during lockdowns. I’d love to hear some of the things that have helped you over the last 9 months. Jump over to my Facebook page and drop me a comment!