5 Ways to Look After Your Mental and Physical Health During Coronavirus Quarantine

The main thing that many of us are
struggling with during the coronavirus quarantine is the feeling of
uncertainty. The majority of us have never experienced a pandemic like this in
our lifetime, and not knowing how it’s all going to pan out can leave us
feeling anxious.

However, one of the most effective
ways to get through the coming weeks, is to focus less on the things we
can’t control and more on the things that we can – such as how well we
take care of ourselves during this difficult time.

With that said, here are 5 ways to
keep your physical and mental health boosted during the coronavirus quarantine.

Stay Active at Home

Just because government guidelines are
encouraging us to stay at home as much as possible, this doesn’t mean that we
have to adopt a sedentary lifestyle.

Being at home may mean that you aren’t
able to exercise in the ways that you usually do – for example, with friends at
the gym or going for a swim at your local leisure centre – but there are still
plenty of ways you can stay fit and active at

Consider working out with items that
you find around the house! You can use packaged food and beverage items like
bottles and cans to do bicep curls or a kitchen chair to do seated squats. The
British Heart Foundation has a helpful video that shows how to work out using everyday items.  

You could also try joining in with a
live online workout from the comfort of your living room. Fitness legends Mr
Motivator and the Green Goddess have recently returned to our TV screens to
keep the nation fit with some home workout routines.

The Green Goddess will appear on BBC
every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at around 6.55am and 8.55am,
while Mr Motivator will appear on the BBC show HealthCheck UK Live, at
10am on weekdays.

Mr Motivator told the Radio Times:
“Now, more than ever, it is important to keep our bodies and minds healthy.
Everybody says, ‘Yeah, let’s get happy and be wicked at home!’”

If following a workout routine isn’t
for you, then try to stay as active as you can in other ways – such as getting
outside to do some gardening, painting your bedroom ceiling or doing some
vigorous cleaning. Generally speaking, the more we move, the better we’ll feel!

Get Enough Sunlight and Fresh Air

Now we’re getting outside less, it’s
important to pay closer attention to how much sunlight and fresh air we’re
getting. Both of these help to keep our circadian rhythm (also known as our body
clock) working well.

Our circadian rhythm is responsible
for regulating many of our bodily cycles, such as our sleep and eating
patterns, temperature control, and hormone production.

Breathing in oxygen-rich air also
helps us to feel more alert and energised and has been linked to lower stress levels, improved
blood pressure, and a greater sense of wellbeing. And this all takes place while
sunlight stimulates our bodies to produce vitamin D, which is great for
boosting your mood!

Currently, we’re allowed to leave the
house once daily to exercise, so it’s important to make the most of this time
if you’re able to go for a walk, a run, or a bike ride.

If you’re uncomfortable with the idea
of going outside, or you’re unable to, then make sure you still open a window
or get outside in your garden instead.

Take Steps to Improve Your Sleep

Sleep helps our bodies and minds to
rest and heal and is an important component of a healthy lifestyle. When we
have slept well, we generally feel better able to tackle the day ahead both
mentally and physically.

Many people have reported disruption
to their sleep during the coronavirus pandemic, either because they are feeling
anxious, or are struggling with symptoms of cabin fever from being cooped up at home.

This is quite normal, so if you’re
going through something similar, then it’s important to remember that you
aren’t alone.

Whilst there is no instant fix to
getting a better night’s sleep, there are a few things you can try to increase
the likelihood of it happening.

Switching off all electronic devices
30 minutes before bed, trying not to work out or exercise in the room that you
sleep in, and minimising anxious thoughts using allocated “worry time” are just
a few.

For more tips like these, check out
the full Rest Less guide on how to get a better night’s
sleep during the coronavirus lockdown.

Video Call Friends and Family

For many of us, being unable to meet
up with friends and family members can be challenging. If you’re feeling
lonely, or you’re missing seeing the faces of the people you love, then
consider making use of video calling.

Never has it been so easy to see and
speak with loved ones who live miles away – over a glass of wine, a coffee, or
even dinner.

You can make free video calls on your smartphone (both Android and iPhone) using WhatsApp – which will allow you to speak with up to four people at the same time. If you’d prefer to use your laptop or PC, then try using Zoom (for video calling with up to 100 people), Skype (for video calls with up to 50 people) or Google Hangouts (for video calls with up to 10 people when using for personal calls).

All of these are free to use, but Zoom
will place a 40 minute time limit on calls connecting more than three people – with the
option to upgrade to a premium subscription to remove this limit. For tutorials
on WhatsApp and Zoom video calling, you can visit the Rest Less guide, here.

Practice Mindfulness

If you’re feeling particularly
overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious during these uncertain times, then one of the
best ways to cope is by practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness brings your mind
back to the present moment, so you can stop focusing on and worrying about the
past or future.

If you’re new to mindfulness, then
it’s best to set aside time in your day to practice – possibly 10 minutes in
the morning and 10 in the evening to start with.

Techniques typically focus on creating
a heightened awareness of the senses, for example, switching your TV off and
focusing on the texture and taste of your dinner, and really enjoying each

Or listening to the sound of the birds
singing first thing in the morning and considering how that makes you feel.
These moments are designed to offer you a peaceful escape from the stresses and
strains of everyday life and can be a helpful tool to use anywhere, anytime –
at any stage of life.

The Rest Less guide to mindfulness can offer more tips and info on how to get started.

How are you taking care of your mental
and physical health during these uncertain times? Please share a technique that
works for you.