If you’re finding yourself in bit of a mental health rut during COVID-19 isolation, there are ways that you can keep it in check during this challenging time. Exercise and mental health are perfect partners because when done together, they synergise a happy and successful body and mind. Here’s how you can get your body moving and ease your mind at the same time:
We all know some simple stretches that we’ve done before and now is not the time to underestimate their power! Stretching your body every day keeps it limber and relaxes the mind. If you’re working from home or simply hanging out with the kids, make sure you stand up and do your stretches – especially if you’re sitting down for long periods of time.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Sometimes we can think of exercise as solely doing high intensity workouts – wrong! You don’t always have to do weight training or sprints to get your body moving! Going for a simple 20-minute walk daily will improve your sleep patterns and mental health.
GET SOME FRESH AIR
While exercising anywhere is great, taking it outside will do you wonders! Exercising outside in fresh air or around your suburb is interesting to the mind. Plus, getting out and about rather than staying locked indoors might just give you that boost you need for the day!
Music has the power to make us feel so many different emotions and feelings. Incorporating it into your daily routine can really help you to relax. Listening to soothing music while you’re exercising is practicing mindfulness and it will allow you to connect with yourself.
INCREASE YOUR HEARTRATE
Increasing your heartrate has many short-term and long-term health benefits. Exercising to increase your heartrate and breathing forces you to be in the present, like a meditation. There’s so much good in getting the blood pumping! You can even take advantage of free online workouts. Goodlife Health Clubs are doing free live workouts on their Facebook page every morning at 8am.
You can absolutely find gratitude in your challenges. Finding positive parts in your day or having something you’re thankful for can really shift the mindset. Practicing gratitude in your thoughts while exercising keeps you present and positive.
While we’re apart, it’s important we still make contact with those close to us. Make time to reach out to loved ones via text or through a scheduled phone call to maintain emotional connections while we’re separated. Jumping on the phone to chat to friends and family can really keep you positive, especially during this time.
EMBRACE HEALTHY FOOD
The food you consume really can affect your mood. Ensuring you are taking part in regular exercise increases your appetite for healthy food, as your mind enjoys the feelings of accomplishment that exercise brings. You might even find some new, healthy recipes to try!
This article was written by Janine McEvoy, Psychologist – B.Sc. (psych), B.SOC.ScHonours (Pysch)