How to reset your health and wellbeing while physical distancing

You’ve got extra time on your hands, so how can you best use it to up-end your lifestyle in the healthiest of ways?

You can’t socialise as much as you’d like to right now, and your holiday is probably on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Life will probably be different for some months, but there is a silver lining. Most of us are a little less busy and that can be a positive, says Lindsay Tighe, life coach and founder of Better Questions.

“We are usually on the hamster wheel day after day. Rarely do we get the chance to step off and to think about how things are going, where we are in life and where we want to be,” she says.

“Now is a time to stop, reflect and reset.”

Change the iso label

“Don’t call this period lockdown or self-isolation. Label it something positive like ‘me time’ or ‘focus time’,” says Lindsay.

“’Lockdown’ makes you feel like you are in prison – label it as something positive and you can start to feel differently about the situation.”

writing a list

Review your goals and priorities

Ask yourself questions to highlight areas in life that you’d like to improve.

“What are you learning about yourself during this time and what would you like to change – set a goal for change,” says Lindsay.

Plan steps towards that goal and create visual reminders to stay motivated and on track.

Examine your relationship

Ask your partner how they are feeling about your relationship – is there anything they’d like to change?

“Ask them what they need and how you can best support them. Hopefully they will ask you the same questions and listen to what you need, too,” says Lindsay.

Fine-tune your friendships

“Ask friends how they are feeling and let them talk things through. Be a good listener,” says Lindsay.

Also use this time to identify people who drain your battery – this can be an opportunity to distance yourself from them.

coronavirus health reset

Learn to love your kitchen

“Most of us have more time for meal planning and food preparation,” says dietitian Amy Castelli, of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute.

“Make life easier by cooking once and eating twice and freezing meals.” Soups, stews and casseroles can be made in bulk and stored.

Eat for the season

Boost nutrition with seasonal foods like apples, bananas, figs, grapes, kiwifruit, mandarins, oranges, pears, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms, potatoes, pumpkin, silverbeet, spinach, sweetcorn, and zucchini.

But there’s nothing wrong with frozen ingredients, which contain the same vitamins, minerals and fibre as fresh foods, says Amy.

Make a habit of ordering healthier takeaways

Have a break from the kitchen with healthy takeaway foods like grilled, steamed or braised meals with extra vegetables or salad, and dressings on the side.

“Serve takeaway food on a plate so you can check the portion size. If it’s big, split it and have the extra portion tomorrow,” says Amy.

physical activity

Get (more) physical

Try an online training session at home – experts can take you through a session if you are new to exercise and need some ideas.

Get into the habit of regular exercise, whether it’s a morning workout or a walk at the end of the working day.

Invest in a fitness tracker that will buzz and let you know that you’ve been sitting for too long.

Use your home like a gym

Spend your newfound time at home getting creative with exercise.

Make the most of household items to create a workout. Jog up and down stairs in your home or use the stairs on your backyard deck.

Grab your child’s skipping rope and skip. Load strong reusable shopping bags with books and do some bicep curls and do push-ups against a wall, suggests Brooke.

Become mindful

If you struggle with what being mindful actually means, think of it more as “noticing”, says Lindsay.

“Often we don’t make a deliberate choice about what has our attention,” she says.

“So stop and create the intention of noticing what’s around you for five minutes, like the colour of the sky and the wind on your face. Noticing can bring a sense of calm.”

Written by Sarah Marinos.