Updated: Nov 4, 2020
Audio Recording Available At Bottom of Post
So here we go again national lockdown number two. The worry about what is to come can become quite overwhelming but here I am going to tell you some lifestyle medicine strategies to put in place to support yourself through it. This is part 1 of a 4 part series so be sure to follow along on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest to find out when the next part is available!
1) Create a Plan
We know now that in the UK we are going to go back into a National Lockdown for just under one month from the 29th November to the 2nd of December. This is the time frame for now that we can make plans for. Making plans will give you a clearer view of what is to come that is positive, stable and something to look forward to. Take a look at the next few weeks and arrange some events that you can do. These can work for those who are working and need some ideas for getting through evening and weekends at home or those who are in all week. Here are some examples of what you might consider planning into your weeks:
- Ringing a Friend
- Go For a Local Walk
- Learning a New Craft
- Watch a Movie
- Learn a New Instrument
- Find an Online Course in Something You Enjoy
- Book onto an Online Exercise Class
- Bake or Cook Something New
- Write Up Something To Look Pretty i.e. Your Favorite Recipies or Address Book
- Write Someone a Letter
- Organise You Home i.e. Photos, Clothes, Garden, Food, Toys, etc.
- Create an at Home Spa With Candles, Essential Oils, Bubble Bath, Fancy Shower Gel, Homemade Scones, Fluffy Towels, Epsom Salts, Body Oils, etc.
- Learn Some New Card Games
- Plan For The Future i.e. Business, Wedding, Finances, Education, Holidays, Health, etc.
- Star Gaze
- Book Onto a Service You Have Been Putting Off Due To Time Restraints i.e. Nutritionist, Counsellor, GP, Personal Trainer, Cooking Instructor, Herbalist, Dog Trainer, Will Writer, etc.
- Build a Den and Sleep In It (even if you are over 5!) this Will Give You a Feeling of Escapism.
- Make Some Christmas Cards
- Write a Letter To Your Future Grandchildren, Children, Yourself.
- DIY Some Christmas Gifts
If you need some inspiration then why not create a few themed days a week based on national days of the year (click here for the calendar). For example, Tuesday 17th November is Take a Hike Day and November the 28th is French Toast Day.
When people are stressed their nutrition tends to be affected, for example eating more junk food to comfort themselves or under-eating as they just don't feel like eating anything. However, nutrition is a really important tool for helping to manage stress and therefore it is important to get the right balance.
Source: The Health Puzzle
One of the most important reasons for balanced nutrition is to reduce blood sugar imbalances which will make your stress levels worse as well as a host of other issues, such as mood and hormone imbalances. To balance your blood sugar levels there are three key tips:
A) Have protein, carbohydrates and fat with every meal and snack i.e. poached eggs and baked beans on wholemeal toast for breakfast or protein balls for a snack.
B) Choose foods that are higher in fibre, such as beans, lentils, berries, fruit and veg (including the skins), wholemeal, whole grains, nuts and seeds. These will not only release their sugars more slowly keeping sugar levels more balanced but it also helps you feel fuller for longer reducing cravings for quick release sugars, such as chocolate and crisps.
C) Always eat something for breakfast, lunch and dinner as this gives your body the fuel it needs to power itself through the day. If you struggle to eat something at breakfast consider a protein smoothie, just make sure not to use anything with lots of sugar or additives and always aim for 2/3 vegetables to 1/3 fruit.
Part 2 coming soon!