These are stressful times, as many of us struggle to master the art of working from home while balancing home schooling and the needs of a house-bound family.
With all this togetherness, it’s often hard to find some alone time, which can deplete us. When you struggle with energy, it impacts how much you can give to others and, most importantly, yourself.
It’s at times like these, when we feel the most spent, that we need to remember how to take care of ourselves. So here are five tips to help you face everything from relearning algebra to handling yet another video conference call.
I recently took part in a panel discussion with Irish MEP Maria Walsh and the head of the European Commission’s sport unit, Yves Le Lostecque, where we talked about the important link between physical activity and mental health.
Movement releases endorphins, which positively impact our mood and help us reclaim energy. However, with all the juggling people are doing, finding time to exercise can be a challenge, and with many gyms and facilities closed, many find themselves without a support group to motivate them.
"Movement releases endorphins, which positively impact our mood and help us reclaim energy. However, with all the juggling people are doing, finding time to exercise can be a challenge"
Try online classes: from yoga to Pilates, strength training to aerobics, there are many available and some are even free. A daily walk, bike ride, or run can also help you embrace the day.
Food is fuel and provides much-needed energy to support our bodies. Research shows that during the pandemic, unhealthy snack sales are up as people seek ways to cope by eating comfort foods they previously avoided.
While challenging, it’s important to seek a balanced diet that provides the nutrients you need to fuel your daily activities and promote and maintain good health. Healthy foods ensure your body gets the nutrients, vitamins and minerals it needs to work.
Mix up your diet with nutritional shakes that add protein - a healthy and delicious way to power up.
Sleep is crucial to replenishing our energy levels. During times of stress, people often find sleeping elusive. Creating a sleep space is key to getting good night’s sleep and it starts with a dark room free of distractions.
Dedicate your bedroom exclusively to sleep if you are able, so you aren’t tempted to work or do hobbies. Take a break from the digital world and when you head to bed, leave the electronic devices in another place.
Create a sleep ritual: a hot bath, a great book, a cup of herbal tea, and then lights out.
Even though you may be surrounded by family and colleagues via video, there’s nothing like speaking with a good friend to laugh and chat. Connections support our health, helping to sustain us during difficult times.
"Whether you pick up the phone, text or talk, connecting with others who can lift your spirits is healthy for your well-being, and will help rejuvenate you"
Whether you pick up the phone, text or talk, connecting with others who can lift your spirits is healthy for your well-being, and will help rejuvenate you.
Schedule alone time
On the flip side, with all this togetherness, many people yearn for solitude. Scheduling time alone will positively impact your mood and energy.
Take a walk in the woods or explore a new neighbourhood. Find time to go in your room, turn off the lights and breathe, or grab a book and find a quiet place to enjoy your solitude.
Now more than ever, you need time to relax, refuel, or simply day-dream.
When times are tough, we need to be gentle with ourselves. The best way we can re-energise when we’re feeling down is to prioritise and take care of our mental and physical health needs.
Samantha Clayton will be running a 30-minute online fitness session during the 28 September #BeActive! webinar on how to keep a healthy and active lifestyle. Find out more and register for the webinar here.