Going off track from time to time is perfectly normal, however, emerging from a global pandemic is, however, a significant event that can easily throw our worlds into chaos. If you've had your kids at home for the past eight weeks, while you work and perhaps care for an elderly relative, it's no wonder that you've deviated from your daily routine. Lie-ins, lots of screen time, too much junk food, alcohol and late nights are all to be expected, but when this lockdown lifts, it will no doubt be challenging to get back into a 'usual' routine as everyone adjusts to their new norm
With so much up in the air, we are still remaining hopeful; a recent survey conducted online by PrecisionBiotics® found that while people were eating, drinking alcohol and cooking more during Covid-19, two-thirds remain positive about the future.
And while stress during all this is understandable, Virgin Media's 'Doctor in the house', GP, Sinead Beirne says it is essential we keep our anxiety to a manageable level. "In small doses, stress can actually be a good thing, it has many advantages, but, as we know, chronic or high levels of stress has been linked to health issues like heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type two diabetes and depression."
"Everyone of all ages is facing challenges daily, and managing stress levels is key to maintaining good health through this COVID crisis," she added. Below she offers her tips to help keep to our routines as a new normal becomes clear over the coming weeks.
"The free drug without any side effects! Stick to the 5km rule and make use of your garden if you are fortunate enough to have that space. It’s important that we get out in the open fresh air while practising social distancing and good hand hygiene. Exercise is great and the treatment of choice for mild to moderate anxiety. My personal favourite is walking. You can do it into your 90s."
"Be mindful of sleep hygiene for you and your family members. Put away your phone and turn off the computer. It’s important to have a wind-down period before you go to sleep. Spend time offline with children before bedroom answering any questions or concerns they may have in an age-appropriate way. Also, avoid caffeine and alcohol after 6pm."
"Remember to make good food choices even while allowing yourself a few treats. Fueling your body with good nutritious food helps you to cope. Take time to eat, chew and enjoy your food."
"Whether you’re using an app on your phone or just taking 10 minutes by yourself, taking downtime has great benefits. Pay attention to the present moment, without judgement. You’ve got to practice it to perfect the art."
"Whether about your concerns to a best friend, a spouse or a parent. This can sometimes be as effective as attending a counsellor or psychologist. When we bottle things up, our worries can seem out of proportion. Use social media for this purpose, reach out on Facetime or Skype but stay connected."
THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS
"When you think and talk about what you want and how to get it, you feel happier and in greater control of your life. When you think about something that makes you happy, your brain actually releases endorphins, which give you a generalized feeling of well-being. As a result, you develop a positive attitude."
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