Weekly column by fitness experts Adam Wright and Jacqui Watson for the Waterford News & Star, in association with Kingfisher Fitness Club
THIS week I want to help you focus on how to keep calm, collected and positive during these times. Lockdown 2.0 is almost at an end, please god, and Christmas is around the corner, so it’s important to stay not only physically fit but mentally fit too. It’s just as important to stay connected to yourself as it is to stay connected with others at the minute. Our lives have been put on hold indefinitely, and we need to not let this get to us, but rather, embrace it. Here’s my tips how:
Routine is key
Routine is crucial if you want to stay positive and motivated. Get into the habit of rising early, although this may seem odd, as it makes the day at home longer, but it has many benefits. Maybe get a glass of water or cup of tea in the still quiet of the morning and write down your to-do list for the day, goals, aspirations, whether it’s work schedules, meals, exercise, school runs, whatever it may be, map it out. Creating a detailed daily schedule is a useful habit. This way, even if you forget to do something from your to-do-list, you can always keep track of what needs to be done and move it to the next day.
Your body is a temple
We should always remember to treat our bodies with the utmost respect. Everyone has their own routine that keeps them healthy mentally and physically. Yoga, stretching, meditation, cold shower, you name it.
There are so many ways to stay fit. It is especially important to take care of ourselves in times like these. Staying physically active is a great coping mechanism. The mind is equally important because it is an essential part of the body.
There are lots of online courses about happiness and mindfulness you can sign up to. Keeping yourself busy with something that actually interests you is very important. It’s stimulating for the brain and you learn new techniques to manage yourself and in return others during these challenging and different times.
We need to remind ourselves that it’s okay to experience negative emotions from time to time, and to have a good cry. We all have experienced them because they are a natural part of life. After all, without sadness, we wouldn’t know joy. Instead of keeping ourselves busy we need to make ourselves happy, and only we have the power to do this. I know that it’s hard and unnecessary to stay positive all the time, but I do think it’s important to pay attention to your feelings and emotions.
Staying motivated and positive all the time is difficult due to all the uncertainty of this pandemic, the worry and stress not only of the infectious disease, but the complete upheaval of life as we knew it. We can control those emotions, and try putting our best foot forward everyday by staying in tune with our emotions, talk regularly about concerns, however small, eat well, drink lots of water, exercise and get plenty of sleep.
Go offline, get outside
I address this most weeks, because I cannot put enough emphasis on how important getting outside, away from screens is for adults and kiddies too, and the additional benefits of fresh air in the lungs and on the face. Spending less time online, working or even scrolling and reading lots of information about this pandemic or even just negative media is not good for us mentally, and getting fresh air and exercise can recharge the batteries for the rest of the day and give you the energy you need to do the school runs and dinner time, finish work, get your zoom class in or study done.
Read a book or listen to a podcast
Even if you are stuck at home alone, it is impossible to feel lonely in a room full of great books. It is great escapism, and even if books aren’t your thing, podcasts are brilliant to help take you away from what you’re doing and where you are, I always have a podcast in on my walk, I walk further without realising as I am so engrossed. From true crime to academia, history and comedy you can hear it all and it’s a great chance to learn too.
Time was always a precious commodity because we are always so busy. Now that we have more time than ever, we should use it sensibly. For example, re-discovering an old loved pastime, or bringing back an old habit is what the time is all about, not just taking up new ones. Once loved baking but never had the time? Get back to it! The main thing to remember is to be present and remember you can’t control what’s going on around you but you can control what you do and how you deal with it all, and that’s how we will survive this pandemic the best way we can.