Here's 5 Ways to Care for Your Body and Mind in Lockdown
Posted on October 12 2020
It can be tricky to find the motivation or the drive to move your body in this turbulent time. With lockdowns, curfews, border closures, cancelled holiday plans, isolation from friends and family and just all round needing a hug, it's easy to get overwhelmed. My body has certainly felt heavy under the weight of all that! And its amazing the effect our emotions have on our bodies.
Neck and shoulder tension from constant screen time, tension in my ribs and back from the emotional weight of it all, tight legs from my '1-2 hours of exercise a day' walks, even my thumbs have gotten sore from my endless instagram scrolling! I've also noticed a shift in my sleep due to over-stimulation from my 1000 hours of screen time a day, and I'm sure I'm not the only one! Here are some ways you can improve all of the above, and lighten your lockdown mood! We're on the home stretch Melbourne!!
Take 1 hour out of your day for yourself. This can be a challenge to find when juggling kids, work, school, study...the daily grind has not stopped just because we're at home all day every day! It can also be difficult not to feel stagnant or stuck when we're asking our houses not only to be our 'home'; our domestic space of warmth and family, but also an office, a classroom, a studio, a playground and a shopping centre (or is that just me?!). But if you can carve out one hour a day to re-centre your body and mind, this can really shift the energy of the space and leave you feeling fresher.
1. Simple, go outside!
Fresh air helps to send plenty of oxygen through the blood and allows your lungs to work at full capacity. Plus, oxygen to your brain = more brain power! Exposure to the sunshine (covered head-to-toe in SPF-50 of course) gives your body a much needed vitamin D boost. Vitamin D has been shown to improve your mood, boost your immune system, support your brain, nervous system, lungs and even help your heart. Safe to say, your body needs it! Stepping outside for even 30 seconds can have a major effect on productivity, mood and mental health. Do it! Take a step outside, place one hand on your side ribs and the other on your diaphragm (just under your ribs at the front, top of the 6-pack!) and take the biggest, deepest, fullest 5 breaths ever, feeling the air pour into your hands. Close your eyes and feel your brain and body recharge!
2. Drink plenty of water. Flush out those toxins and bad vibes!
If you're an adult, your body is 60 percent water and your blood is 90 percent water!! Water lubricates our joints, helps deliver oxygen throughout the body, boosts skin health (we love that glow), regulates body temperature, flushes toxins and body waste, helps your body process minerals and nutrients, prevents kidney damage, boosts brain function, improves performance during exercise and is the best headache cure ever. Needless to say, we need water. Adults should be drinking around 2 litres a day!
I've found it helpful to have a 1L water bottle on hand and drink only from that, super simple way to track my water intake... and its pretty! Or there are water tracking apps you can download, or keep a jug in the fridge. So many options. Drink y'all!
3. Yoga, man! Yoga yoga yoga.
Yoga is so incredibly good for your body and mind. We know the revolutionary effects of breathing deeply (see: above) couple that with moving your body and you've got yourself a miracle mood booster! Just 15 minutes of yoga a day can wildly improve your mental and physical health. Twists: fantastic for digestion, organ and spinal health. Backbends: great for opening up and combatting the 'sitting hunched over the screen' vibe we've all been feeling of late. Forward bends: an excellent way to get the blood flowing to your brain and open up the tight back line of the body that becomes tense from all those '1-2 hours of exercise a day' long walks. Downward dog: also excellent for opening and stretching, however, similar to child's pose, downward dog is a great one to recharge your bod as well. Cat and Cow: improves posture and balance, promotes spinal health and mobility and makes you feel groovy! Below are some links to some excellent yoga classes on youtube that you can do from the comfort of your own home! (Or would really recommend a backyard practice if its a nice day and you feel like your body needs a supercharge!) There's a beginner class, great for if you're just starting out, and all the way to advanced if you feel like a challenge!
Beginner: 20 Minute Beginner Flow
Advanced: 30 Minute Energising Vinyasa Flow (These guys also have amazing meditation classes FYI!)
Or if you've only got 10 minutes and are reeeealllly feeling the neck and shoulder tension mentioned earlier, here's a quick neck and shoulder tension release
And - cherry on top - we've got all the kit in store that you could ever need! Click here to see the collection.
Turn off your screen at least half an hour before bedtime. Read a book, listen to a podcast or audiobook, write in a journal, have a bath, meditate, anything but state at that seductive screen. Give your brain time to calm. It can seem impossible, but I've found if I put my phone in another room overnight it feels far enough away that its not an option, and I can't hear it calling me!! Peppermint tea is also a fantastic one for right before bed, excellent for digestion, peppermint's calming properties are a lovely way to send you off to sleep. If you have an essential oil burner/diffuser or a scented candle this can also be a lovely way to centre a space. To shift the room from one of work to a calming place of relaxation and sleep. Here are a few great podcasts to try!
- Shameless Podcast (a Melbourne local)
- Keep It Cleaner Podcast (one for the health and fitness fanatics!)
- The Gurls Talk Podcast
- Julie's Library (one for the kids! Recommended for ages 10 and under)
- Phoebe Reads a Mystery
5. Be kind to yourself. It's okay not to feel okay sometimes. It's important to honour those feelings and listen to your body.
There you have it. 5 ways to lighten your lockdown mood and care for your body and mind in this crazy time. It's been a year Melbourne! Not long now though, and we're on the home stretch. We've made it this far, we can do it!!!
Take care. Be well. Be safe. Be kind.
By Isabella Gilbert
Victorian College of the Arts & Dancewear Nation Team Member