Among all of the changes that we are going through, fitness and health might not be the highest priority. Working, studying, or doing an internship from home can get stressful, and even if your school/work life has not changed much, lack of social interaction impacts our lifestyle. The fact of physically being in different places, changing locations – be it for social gatherings or professional responsibilities – contributes to our daily movement. Making up for it can be challenging, and
„quarantine weight“ quickly became a thing. While there is no shame in this, adding in more movement and taking care of yourself can boost your mood and productivity!
Sticking to a workout routine can be a game-changer for both our minds and bodies. Depending on your local situation, gyms might be closed, group exercise activities highly limited, or even a curfew might prevent you from a late evening walk. All of this can be frustrating, especially because fitness is already difficult to get right even under normal circumstances. However, having time at home has become a catalyst for some people to try home workouts. YouTube is an underappreciated lifesaver, with many fitness influencers pumping out new workout routines daily, so there is always something new to try – many of them even have free workout programs that you can follow along at your convenience! Some of the most popular trainers are Chloe Ting and Pamela Reif – you likely have at least one friend who was obsessed with their workouts during the quarantine. Make it a challenge and get them involved! If you are looking to calm your mind while also becoming stronger, Yoga with Adriene is the place to be with free yoga practices and monthly challenges. Youtube is not the only source of motivation either – following the right people on Instagram can get you moving, and loads of workouts are shared over there – but without all of the talking or background music.
General daily activity
Incorporating more movement in your daily life is another way to feel more energetic. This requires a level of mindfulness throughout the day, which can also make you more self-aware, appreciative and generally add more intention to your routine. If your daily life is rather busy, this gains even more importance, but can easily be done. Small things such as watching your posture and having stretch breaks during your screen time are a great start! However, you can level it up by, for instance, combining your catch-up phone calls with a stroll outside or marching around the house. Cleaning the house can also become a vigorous physical activity that not only leaves you feeling accomplished, but can be great fun if paired up with your favorite Spotify playlist. Standing at your desk instead of sitting every once in a while – or even setting multiple alarms during the day for a random dance break! – will also keep you energized and more optimistic.
People can be hard on themselves when it comes to nutrition, as being at home or stressed can lead to more snacking or less nutritious food choices. It is important to eat as much nutrient-rich food in your diet as possible, but beating yourself up for that chocolate bar will only hurt your self-esteem and keep you in the cycle of eating and guilt. Instead, recognize your needs, hunger and appreciate them – after all, food is fuel, but also an emotionally soothing part of life. If you are struggling and feeling stressed, you already have too much going on mentally and physically. Therefore, stressing yourself over even more is not worth it. However, if you are looking to boost your daily nutrient intake, cooking at home makes a great activity. Also, it ensures the quality and components of your meals. Homemade snacks make a great substitute for your supermarket crisps and chocolate, and might even save you some money! But, again, recognize your eating patterns and try to change your attitude towards eating – especially if you see yourself “punishing” your body with workouts, or binging to fill a void in your soul that has been left by something entirely else than food.
Small things and awareness
In the end, it all comes down to the way you treat yourself and how mindful you are of small daily habits that come to action daily. Taking a walk during a phone call or baking a pie instead of buying one might not seem like much – but, eventually, it all adds up to great results! At times where you might feel anxious about many aspects of your life, having some level of control of your physical and, as a result, mental wellbeing, can be extremely helpful. So, focus less on that “quarantine weight” and try to find the small ways to show love to your body and mind daily by doing the right thing – and remember, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to wellness! Find what feels good to you.
By: Viktorija Tuzaite, NHL University of Applied Sciences ’21