Being isolated during lockdown has brought challenges to almost every household, and many people saying that their normal daily routine has been completely disrupted.
Not having a daily routine in any circumstances, can lead to anxiety and mental health conditions and research has shown that many people have found that doing exercise within their daily lockdown routine has helped them plan their day better.
So what are the benefits of having a daily routine and what should we include?
Well eating healthily, sleeping well, staying active and keeping your own personal daily routine as best as you can are all recommended during the lockdown.
Make a list
If you’re struggling to find enough to fill your day, try making a list before you go to bed of what you need to achieve the following day, even if there are only a few items on the list. Do each one in order, if you can, and tick them off, so you can see and chart your achievements. Include everything such as:-
- Make the coffee
- Shower and dress normally
- Make breakfast
- Empty the dishwasher
- Go for a walk to shops
- Call friend for a chat
Routine with mealtimes
You need to maintain a consistent sleep and meal pattern, otherwise, your body just loses its habitual hormone fluctuation thereby adding to its stress and decreasing its ability to fight off infections.
Whether you normally eat early or later, the timing of your evening meal gives a trigger to the body to indicate whether you are about to start winding down and sleeping.
So if you are used to eating closer to bedtime, continue to do that, as it will help with your sleep routine.
Ideally, however, it is better to adopt a healthier habit of leaving a good one to two-hour gap between your last meal and sleeping.
Fitting exercise into your routine will really help structure your day, plus it will make you feel happier, more energised and there are of course all the physical and mental health benefits.
But there’s no right or wrong time to do it, this is just personal preference to what works better.
However, physiologically, research has shown the evening seems to be the best time of day for exercise, particularly when you’re trying to build up muscles because in the morning your body is still in a hormone balance that favours muscle breakdown more so than building.
And we may be more likely to be losing muscles because, for the most part, people won’t have access to, for instance, weight lifting equipment or being able to go for a long run to the same extent.
But if you’re a morning person, you’ll probably feel more motivated to exercise in the morning than if you’re an evening-type person.
But overall, just do something active to get moving whatever time of day suits you and for however long you can manage.
Working from home
This is new to so many people during the lockdown; some are enjoying it but others are finding it very challenging working from home, with homelife distractions and make-shift workspaces.
So try to keep a normal routine with working.
Get dressed for work in the normal way, start and finish at the same time as you normally would, take breaks often, walk around the house or garden if you have one, or take your outside exercise for a good 30 minutes with a local walk.
Importantly you must also remember to NOT work 7 days a week. This isn’t healthy for anyone at any time!
Keep in touch with work colleagues if you can so you feel connected, and remember to not only talk about work-related issues.
Find ways to still relax even though you can’t socialise at the moment. And schedule this into that checklist!
Read, watch TV, talk with your family, meditate, listen to the radio or a podcast.
This will help you sleep better, concentrate more and be thankful.
Read more of our blogs covering in more detail many of the subjects above.