Firstly, this wasn’t going to be my blog for this week, I have list of blog topics in order and this week it was nutrition myths. I’ll do it next week but this week I have been thinking a lot about the changes we are going through, I’m not a big fan of change. It messes my routine up and throws everything else out of whack. This time I’m not going to let it and I have been thinking how this lifestyle change can be a positive.
Secondly, I am not going to say the C word once in the post, not once. I think we could all have a break from hearing about it. However, I will say the F word a few times, so brace yourself as I know it offends people.
I am not claiming I am an expert in life by any measures but what am becoming an expert in through study and practice is lifestyle, I am huge believer in small lifestyle changes making all the different to our physical and mental health so I wanted to share some of my tips.
I am one of the lucky ones, I have a job that has only become busier in the last few weeks and I can work full time from home. I’m not sure on percentages but lets say 50% of the population are also working from home, plus all of the people in self isolation and people who are unable to work, I hope this will help you too.
I will start with health.
Ok here comes the F word and the brutal truth. If you sit down all day and eat more than you usual do you will get Fat!! In 2 weeks you will put your jeans on and they will be snug and you’ll be like Oh how did that happen? Let me tell you. You sat on your arse all day and you ate way more than you usually would when you are at work. Some of you might be ok with putting on a few Kg’s, like at Christmas you kind of expect it. Its not Christmas and if we should be doing anything its making an effort to be healthy so we don’t become a strain on the health services that are already at capacity. Being classified overweight unfortunately comes with many unwanted health conditions such as high blood pressure, depression and anxiety and can lead to type 2 diabetes, this is to name only a few, I’m not scaremongering just saying!
Any way here are my tips to keep healthy
- Eat fresh – we have been given the gift of extra time, use this to make your food from scratch. There are tons of IG’s pages and websites offering healthy recipes, learn some new ones. Do food prep if it help’s keep you on track.
- Eat your veggies and fruit – do I really need to explain why?
- Vitamin D – did you know at least 1-5 of us are deficient in vitamin D? Its very difficult to get the amount we need from food. If you are in Australia, we are blessed to have the sun out so much, go outside. Even if you are self-isolating you go out in your garden, just 20 minutes of mid-morning or mid-afternoon sun with no sunscreen with your arms ideally exposed will be sufficient per day. If you can’t or you don’t have the sun get a vitamin D supplement and take it daily. The benefits vitamin D offers are supporting the immune system, increase in bone health due to assisting calcium absorption, decrease in depressive symptoms to name only a few.
- Fish oil or Algae oil (vegan) – if you don’t eat 2 oily fish a week then take this supplement. Reasons are many, support memory function, improves mood, supports muscle health and energy.
- If you know your diet is rubbish and are not willing to change it then take a multi vitamin.
- Get rid of those extra and empty calories – if you have moreish snacks in the house then get rid of them if they are too tempting (me)! If you drink high calorie fizzy drinks swap them for the diet versions. You’ll save yourself 100’s of calories without even trying.
- Keep an eye on your portions. They get bigger without your realizing, my personal one is peanut butter!
- Hydration – we tend to drink more at work as we have nice cold filter water. Try to keep hydrated at home and not just drinking coffee (my vice). Monitor your hydration but looking at your pee colour, it should be pale yellow. You don’t have to drink just water, you can have squash, milk, coconut water but be carful of the extra calories. If you are feeling tired chances are you are dehydrated.
- Sleep – keep your sleep routine, same time every day, up at the same time every day. Aim for 7-9 hours per night as this has been proven to aid to control your appetite, improve energy level and help with mood.
- Social media – this one is for mental health. Its very easy to be on it all day and it can be so negative. We actually get very little from it and its distracting our day. Ditch it or only go on at certain times.
- Staying connected – I have family and friends in the UK that I don’t speak to enough face to face, I ‘m going to do this more. Facetime, zoom, WhatsApp’s, facebook messenger we really have no excuses. It’s so important to not feel alone, we are not, we are all in the same boat. Reach out to those that are struggling.
- Be kind – this one is a big one. Have you noticed that everyone is looking at each other like we have the plague? Say hello, smile but just do it from afar 😊
If you don’t continue with the activity level you were doing before you were at home you will put on fat I assure you. Unless you eat less. Being active helps with mood, self-esteem, heart health and weight management.
Tips to keep activity up
- Do the amount of steps you were doing before you were home based. If they go lower then you need to adjust what you are eating. This is going to require effort and even planning as to when you can go for a walk or run. If you are self-isolated use your garden, house, stairs’. Have you ever done just dance, do it on YouTube it’s so much fun!
- Take a lunch break and get a workout in. I usually go to the gym and do resistance training which I am now unable to do. I am going to use this opportunity to get better at body weight exercises that I never do. There are 100’s of online workouts, Pilates and yoga. My manager is doing a virtual Pilates class, how great is that? There really is no excuse if you are able.
- Plan in your diary when you will do your exercise and stick to it
- Do some squats whilst you are making a brew, use the kitchen top for press up, a chair for dips, it all counts and makes a difference.
Its now been 6 months since I touched a drop and can honestly say if there is one thing that benefits your waistline and mental health it cutting back or quitting the booze. If you do drink more than usual on top of your usual food you will put on weight/fat. Booze is empty calories.
- Don’t drink anymore than you usually would, its so easy to fall into the trap of opening the wine earlier because you are at home. Its 12pm somewhere right? 😊 yep I’ve been there. Keep the restrictions in that you had whilst at work, so if that was no drinking on weekdays then keep with it.
- Put new rules in place such as no drinking before 7pm
Working from home
If you are new to it then I would recommend sticking to your usual routine unless you are very disciplined. Its very easy to become lazy and its very easy to over work too. I’m no expert on this but these little tips have helped me.
- Stick to your usual times and routine as you already have this habit formed.
- Take a lunch break and other breaks to stretch. Remember we don’t have the long walk to the toilets like at work so try to get up every hour at least.
- If you have a job like me where you are on the phone, walk and talk, you’ll be amazing how many steps you get in and you will have better conversations.
- Create a work stations that you like to go to. That could be by putting flowers on your desk or just making it organized.
Other positives – I can wear active wear all day, I don’t have to wash my hair as often, I don’t have to wear makeup.
I have an 8 year old girl who at the moment is still at school but I’m sure the schools will be closing soon. I am thinking how the hell am I going to work full time, educate my child from home and also make sure she is active. The conclusion I came to is that it is what it is and we just need to do what we can and get on with it. Others have 3 kids, I only have 1.
- I am going to ensure she does 2 hours per day of something, that could be reading, math’s or one of these other website thingy’s they give them at school.
- She will come on the walks that I can on, we can run together, she can jump on my back and I can squat her LOL! Joe Wicks (the body coach) is doing a daily keep fit class for kids on line, we will do that together. I will get my husband in too (just checking he’s reading; I like to test him now and again)
- I will teach her to cook. We can have actually have meals together as a family.
- I will do things with her that I don’t usually get time to do because I am always too busy. Puzzle’s (erm I better go buy one), Lego and board games.
As crazy as all of this is, we don’t have to be doom and gloom. Does anyone feel like some people are actually loving the doom and gloom? The are loving the drama and complaining about other people. Oh everyone is buying too much toilet roll, as they are putting 6 packets of toilet roll in their trolley. They frustrate me so much. Lets just get on with this and do what we can to stay safe and keep others safe. I mentioned it before but we have been given the gift of time, something I complain all the time about not having enough of. I am going to make the most of this time with my family, continue to work hard, stay healthy if I can and know that I am doing what I can and playing my part.
In the risk of being cheesy and some of you wont even know the song but always look on the bright side of life. (is anyone else singing it in their head) 😊 We choose how we feel and we choose how we deal with life.
Final note – wash your hands!