Staying at home doesn’t mean you can’t stay active and fit, there are multiple ways you can exercise at home. Try to include physical activity into your daily routine. Especially whilst in self-isolation, physical exercise will help you to relieve stress, increase your self-esteem and leverage your overall mood. Most people don’t have fitness equipment like treadmills at home but there are still exercises that you can do easily.
Exercising at home can be simple and there are options for all ages and abilities, such as: cleaning your home; dancing to music; going up and down stairs; seated exercises; or just sitting less – if you notice you’ve been sitting down for an hour, try getting up, stretching and changing position. There are several other exercises you can access below:
You now have the opportunity and time to try something new. How about Yoga, Pilates or meditation? There are several different resources, especially on the internet that can help you find a new hobby. Why not try these Yoga instruction videos?
Are you more into football? Check these links:
- Getafe CF – Short workout at home
- KAA Gent – Sports channel
- RSC Anderlecht – Football drills
- SV Werder Bremen – Football and fitness programme
- FC Shakhtar – PE classes
Whilst society is social distancing and staying at home, cooking can be an excellent distraction and activity to make good use of time. You can try something new or even perfect your traditional dishes. But nutrition during a lockdown may incur minor changes. Your appetite might change if your routine changes, or if you’re less active than you usually are. Eating regularly and keeping your blood sugar stable can help to improve your mood, energy levels and also help you to think more clearly. If your blood sugar drops you might feel tired, irritable or have low moods. Eating regularly and choosing foods that release energy slowly will help you to keep your sugar levels steady. Slow-release energy foods include pasta, rice, oats, wholegrain bread and cereals, nuts and seeds.
To stay healthy, it is important to eat foods that are nutritional. We have created a healthy approach for a shopping list. This list can be used as an addition to your existing nutrition plan. It’s your decision what you eat during this period but let’s do everything we can to stay healthy. Our recommendations include:
- Beans: Black, Garbanzo, Cannellini
- Grains: Quinoa, Rice, Lentils
- Nuts and butter: Almond butter, Cashew butter, Almonds, Cashews, Pecans, Walnuts, Pistachios, Sunflower seeds, Chia seeds
- Items to freeze and frozen items: Bread, Berries, Bananas, Mangos, Avocados, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Peas
- Other necessities: Canned fruits, Pasta, Chips, Crackers, Yogurt, Dried fruits, Oatmeal, Popcorn, Tea, Coffee, Veggie bouillon cubes, Nutrition bars, different kinds of oil, sauces and spices
A convenient alternative to cooking is ordering Food. There are several different food delivery services and they provide food of all kinds, enabling the customer to use contactless payment methods or to pay online beforehand. When the food is delivered, ensure that it is left at your front door, to follow preventive measures.
When spending a longer period of time at home, it is crucial to have a structure in your daily behaviour. Routines can be annoying or tedious, but they provide an easy structure to your day. Create specific routines in your daily life like a fixed breakfast time in the morning, exercise, reading or phone schedules and even a comprehensive working schedule with goals and deadlines. There are several daily/weekly planner apps and websites which simplify a structured daily and weekly routine. For example:
Try and dress as you would usually to help be more productive. Avoid the temptation of staying in your pyjamas. Plus, it looks a lot better and more positive when it comes to using Skype or a similar video-chatting platform, with friends, family or even work colleagues.
Keep your place clean and tidy. Make yourself feel comfortable because you will be more productive and in a better mood if you stay in a pleasant environment. If you live with other people, keeping things tidy might feel more important if you’re all at home together. But you might have different ideas about what counts as ‘tidy’ or how much it matters. It could help to decide together how you’ll use different spaces. And you could discuss what each person needs to feel comfortable. You could make use of the time, reconstructing your home, moving furniture or ordering new gadgets, furniture or accessories to modify your own room, apartment or house.
Additionally, cleaning your house, doing laundry and regularly washing your hands are important and effective ways to help stop germs from spreading.
Keep your mind active
Staying active also means to keep your brain occupied and challenged. Try reading new interesting books, listening to a new podcast or watching a new movie/series. Start a new hobby, e.g. drawing, painting, colouring, playing musical instruments, singing or listing to music or writing. There are several different apps and programmes that can help you learn new skills or a foreign language via online courses. Try taking a look at the following links:
- Language: Babbel or Duolingo
- Online courses: Futurelearn or OpenLearn
- Apps that teach you something new
Make yourself comfortable
It is still possible to get the positive effects of nature, whilst staying indoors at home. When self-isolating, try to:
- Spend time with the windows open to let in the fresh air
- Have flowers or potted plants in your home
- Use natural materials to decorate your living space or use them in art projects. This could include leaves, flowers, feathers, tree bark or seeds
- Arrange a comfortable space to sit, for example by a window where you can look out to a view of trees or the sky to watch birds and other animals
- Grow plants or flowers on windowsills. For example, you could buy seeds online
- Start small gardening projects in your garden, balcony or window
- Spend time in your garden if you have one or open your front or back door and sit on the doorstep
- Keep your home as clean and tidy as possible
As some people should not or cannot leave their house, people who are able to move more flexibly (mostly younger people) can offer help to those people who can’t, regarding grocery shopping or other errands which requires going outside. If you have an elderly person as a neighbour, try writing them a letter/note, explaining your offer to help. Leave your contact details on the note and then place it at the front- of their house. As a person who seeks support, do the same. Let your neighbours or friends know, that if they need support they can contact you. You can also make use of all social media channels to offer or seek support.
When the SARS epidemic broke out in 2002, Facebook, Twitter, and even Myspace did not yet exist. Now, people are far more digitally connected and have the ability to keep in touch over social media and video chat. This can have major benefits on mental health during isolation. But the internet also creates issues that didn’t exist during SARS — e.g. the greater spread of misinformation. When staying connected with current events, be careful where you get your information from.
If you want to do research on COVID-19, check the current situation or look up recommended guidelines regarding behaviour and protection, make sure you use reliable and professional sources such as the World Health Organisation, UK’s National Health Service or credible newspaper and online sources like The Guardian (UK), El Pais (ES), La Repubblica (IT), Die Zeit (GER), Le Monde (FR) etc.
If the news makes you feel anxious or confused, think about switching it off or limiting the time you spend watching/reading it. Try our alternatives below:
As COVID-19 spreads, lots of companies are beginning to ask employees to work from home and risk groups (elderly people) should stay at home too. You may be asked to limit your time outdoors, especially if you have to self-quarantine. That doesn’t mean you have to be bored. Use the time to catch up with books, podcasts, movies and other things you’ve been putting off.
- Audiobooks: You can easily listen to audiobooks using the Amazon Audible app on your phone
- Podcasts: Spotify offers, next to a huge amount of music of all kinds, some great podcasts for pretty much any topic imaginable, from health and science to politics
- Movies: You may want to watch some movies you’ve always wanted to see or watch one of your favourites a second or third time. The following apps can help you find a wealth of movies, TV shows, documentations, series and sports games: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Sky Cinema or Sports
- Amazon’s Alexa: Use Alexa on your phone or the Alexa speaker to simulate conversation, use it to learn new things or just let it help you stay entertained
- Museum Virtual Tour: Many museums offer the option for a virtual tour, which provides an insight into the museum’s main portraits and artistic paintings. This is a great opportunity to increase your cultural knowledge
- Play Online Games: Consoles and videogames are one of the current main forms of entertainment. Online games keep people connected with people from all over the world to play and chat with each other
- Create a Blog: Writing your feelings down or starting a blog can be another option. This can be a great way to express yourself and share your feelings in this situation with others
Board Games and Card Games are simple, centuries-old tools to connect and amuse people all over the world. There are many board and card game classics, but many new and modern editions as well, suitable for all ages and tastes. Some board games, you may consider playing include: Scrabble, Monopoly, Catan, Qwirkle, Risk, Axis & Allies, Clue (Cluedo), Battleship, Jenga, Trivial Pursuit, Connect 4, Stratego, Sid Meier’s Civilization Board game. However make sure to follow the health and safety measures, distancing, washing your hands etc.
Card games: Poker, UNO, Patience, Rummy, Blackjack, snap and many more.
If you normally attend religious services but need to avoid them for the time being, ask your house of worship if they can make services or ceremonies available on their website or even via live-streaming services, as Pope Francis just did from Rome. If you’re part of other local groups that meet regularly, such as a parent-teacher organisation, ask if meetings can be live-streamed or have a phone dial-in so you continue to operate and attend.