Now is not the time to lose your sh*t. Take this moment (and it is a moment) as an opportunity to look after yourself, to create your own self-care plan. Because now more than ever, you need to stay healthy, both physically and mentally.
To help you over the coming weeks and months, we’ve put together a list of our top tips to help keep your health in check.
Maintaining a positive mind and a healthy immune system will put you in a good place to fight any virus or disease (as well as keeping your distance from others and washing those hands #stayhome). But to keep yourself happy and healthy, you need to invest in yourself and cover the basics.
This list is inspired by what we, as a team, are doing right now. Most are easily available and relatively low cost or even free. Quick note: This list is not organised in any kind of priority, but try and give them all a go.
In case of emergency, break out the journal. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that we’d recommend writing as a way of keeping your mind and body strong, we’re a journaling brand after all. But with science backing up the fact that writing can boost your immune system and help you feel less anxious and stressed, now is a better time than any to keep a journal.
2. Book in a 'coffee' with friends and family
You could email or text your buddies or family members but with the wonders of modern tech, you can tap that video icon and broadcast your face to your nearest and dearest. Book it in like you would a catch-up, pop the kettle on and have a good old chat. By booking it in, not only will it give everyone the chance to get prepared but it will give you something to look forward to, a little highlight to your week.
3. Create a routine and set short term goals
Now is not the time to go rogue. We are creatures of habit and whilst the days might start to feel like you’re Bill Murray in Groundhog day, creating a routine and putting some structure in place will give you the space you need to achieve anything you set your mind to.
And whilst no one is expecting you to be doing the 9 to 5, you can set short-term, achievable goals for yourself. It might be a work project you need to finish, a fitness challenge you want to start or something as simple as taking a shower every day, but by setting yourself up for success you'll feel the benefit of those wins, those small pockets of celebration.
4. Learn something new (but only if you want to)
You may find yourself with a little bit more free time than you would normally and that can lead to us feeling pressured to 'use it wisely' by learning a new language, an instrument or skill. And if that's what you feel like doing then great.
But it's important to remember that if you need that free time to just do the basics, or to just take some time out then that's fine too. Putting unnecessary or unrealistic expectations on ourselves is the last thing any of us need right now.
5. Practice gratitude
We cannot stress this enough. In the midst of hardship and adversity, there is always something to be grateful for. No matter how small or insignificant it might feel or how hard it may be to see. Whilst I’m writing this, it’s no longer raining (win) and the clocks have gone forward which means an extra hour of sunlight. Not much but I’ll take it over a rainy day and darkness. See what I did?
6. Move your body
Move it or lose it. You might be doing a bit more sitting than you’re used to. And since scientists believe that sitting might be the new smoking, you might want to get off your butt and get a bit of a sweat on. There is literally a tonne of YouTube workouts you can follow, using nothing but your own body and the floor of your living room or bedroom. If you are able, there are no excuses. It will boost both your mood and your immune system in less than 20-minutes.
Easier said than done for some people but take sleep as and when you can get it. Listen to your body, take naps if you can. You’ve got to top up the sleep-bank if you’re overdrawn. There are many sleep apps, masks and sprays out there that will help you rest more soundly but the simplest rule, no phone before bed.
8. Drink more, drink less
Drink more water. Drink less alcohol. Drinking 2-3 litres of water a day will keep your immune system healthy and help flush out any toxins or viruses. And drinking less alcohol will help you sleep better, boost your mood and save you a few pennies. Why not experiment with alcohol-free cocktail making or brewing your own 0% beer?
9. Eat well
A healthy gut is a healthy you. And according to new science, happier too. Top-up your good bacteria with some probiotics, eat plenty of vegetables in as many colours as you can and do your best to eat good sources of protein, good fats and grains. Stay away from refined carbs, sugary snacks and ready-meals. I know Deliveroo is still delivering, and it’s way too tempting to tap that app but what’s the rush!? Conquer the kitchen, and rustle up your own invention.
10. Switch off the news
It is important to know the right facts at the right time. Just before bed and first thing in the morning when you’ve barely woken up, is definitely the wrong time. Get your news from one reliable source. Allow yourself a news update of 10-20 minutes per day, take any advice that is being presented and then continue about your business. Don’t leave the news on 24/7. Turn-off any news notifications or alerts. Delete any news apps. Control your consumption.
Why is this list important? Because sometimes in the midst of panic it’s easy to forget the basics, to put others ahead of ourselves.
Even if you only follow a few of the recommendations we’ve offered, you’ll hopefully start to feel better physically, emotionally and mentally. This list is not going anywhere and you can come back to it anytime you feel like you may be losing your way. And give yourself a break, you're doing great.
We’ll get through this together if we follow the advice we’ve been given and look after ourselves and the people around us.
Don’t forget to share this with anyone you feel might benefit from a reminder of the basics.