Another day in lock-down and for a lot us the stress levels are high; we need to stay positive and make the best of our time during lock-down. Once you sit down and think about everything you can do, you will be surprised at what you can do. Music, spending time with your pets and journaling is a great way to boost your mental health during stressful times.
First Touch is all about sport, but during this time we have decided to put together some ideas of how to cope with being in lock-down. We need to stress the importance of keeping fit and doing your daily exercise no matter what your program is, take time to try something different like the following:
- Dancing and singing a happy tune with your loved ones can boost your mental health as well as getting exercise. Turn on your radio or create a playlist of your family’s favourite songs, you can even create a karaoke night, this can be uplifting for everyone’s mood during the self-isolation period.
- Expressing your artistic self has profound positive impact of your mental health and well-being. There are tons of crafts you can try like painting, sculpting and scrapbooking just to mention a few.
- Sewing, weaving, knitting or crocheting have a lot in common with meditation and mindfulness.
- Try spending quality time with your pets, a few minutes of petting your dog prompts a release of serotonin, oxytocin and prolactin all know as the “feel-good” and “pleasure-inducing” hormones.
- Expressive or journaling writing can help improve your mood and boost happiness. Writing about your lock-down experience can help decrease your anxiety and increase your mental well-being. By writing and editing your own version of events you can achieve a cathartic experience and see the situation more clearly.
As we mentioned earlier, exercise is important and cardio workouts can be done at home. Whether you have five minutes or two hours try the following:
- Burpees may be tough, but they work. To start stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and bend both your knees, swinging your arms back as you leap as high into the air as possible. Land with your knees bent and place both hands on the floor. Jump your legs back so that you end up in a plank position and drop down into a push-up. Return to plank and jump with both feet back between your hands and return to standing.
- Jumping Jacks, Push-ups & Climbers. Start this exercise with a simple jumping jack, do one jumping jack the quickly do one push-up before using the plank position to perform one mountain climber on each leg. Jump back to standing and repeat.
- Jumps & Tap Back. Start with your feet hip width apart and knees bent, place your hands on your thighs and prepare for two sets of rocket jumps. Jump as high as you can, keeping your hands straight above your head and extending your entire body. Land softly and repeat. Next start in the same position but when you jump, shoot your legs and arms into a star shape in the air before landing softly in the starting position. Next standing and step your right leg back and swing both arms forward and repeat with the opposite let. Do this as a continuous rhythmic movement while keeping your hips and shoulders facing forwards.
- Squats. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and engage your abdominal muscles. Pull your shoulder blades towards each other to open and expand your chest. Bend your knees and push your butt and hips out and down as if you were sitting in a chair. Make sure that your head and shoulders are aligned over your knees and your knees are aligned over your ankles. When in squat you will want to have your thighs parallel to the ground as your knees rotate out. Straighten your legs to release and return to standing.