2020 has been a tough year for everyone, and although there appears to be some progress with getting a vaccination for COVID-19, many people all over the world are still facing full lockdowns or restrictions. Many have had to adjust to being isolated at home alone, no longer going into the office, and worrying about their job security, as well as their health. There is no denying that this year has been a challenge, but it has also been an opportunity to learn how to adapt and move forward. If you are still struggling with restrictions or life in quarantine, or know someone who is, perhaps the tips below will be useful to you and will help boost your mood and health as the pandemic continues.
Stick to a Good Sleep Pattern
Getting enough rest each night is very important–a lack of sleep can lead to low moods and if it goes on for too long it can have an effect on your physical health as well. There might be many reasons why you have strayed from your usual sleep pattern during the last year; perhaps it’s because you no longer have to wake up at a certain time to commute to the office, or maybe you’ve been struggling with heightened anxiety. Either way, if you are currently in a bad sleep cycle or not getting enough rest, try to get back into a good routine and see how that changes your moods.
Your gym might have been temporarily closed, leaving you without your usual workout routine, but getting regular exercise is still a must. Avoid evolving into a couch potato and make yourself get up and do some physical activity once a day, or at least a few times a week. Going out for a run around the block is one way to do this, or make the most of online workout videos. You could even invest in some home gym equipment if you would prefer. Whichever way you choose to workout, it will help to keep your body healthy, boost your immune system, and help you feel more positive and energized.
Eat a Healthy Diet
You might have noticed yourself ordering takeout a little more often than usual in the last few months. It’s not surprising considering there are few comforts to indulge in at the moment. In some places restaurants and bars are closed, meeting with friends or relatives is limited or banned, so what you usually do to cheer yourself up is no longer available. However, while the occasional junk-food treat won’t kill you, too much of it is not healthy, and will leave you feeling bloated, lethargic, and could bring down your mood. Make sure your body is getting the right nutrition and experiment with some new, healthy recipes. Try to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, and perhaps introduce more fish into your diet if you’re not a vegetarian or vegan. Salmon, in particular, is a delicious fish that’s also packed full of goodness such as vitamin B and omega-3, and it’s an incredibly versatile ingredient. Pay attention to the salmon color, too, as wild salmon tends to be better quality, and is a darker, reddish-pink.
Communicate With Friends and Family
Not being able to spend quality time with friends and family this year has been one of the hardest parts of the pandemic. Luckily, video-chat apps have made communicating with each other a little bit easier. It’s not quite the same as being face to face, but it is the next best option, which is why you should make the most of it, even if you never felt comfortable video-calling before (you’d be surprised how quickly you get used to it!). Making time to video-chat, or even making a phone call, to your nearest and dearest is very important, as staying connected and communicating with one another will help everyone’s morale.
You may have struggled with stress, depression, anxiety, or all of the above during the last few months, and if you have had to adjust to working from home this probably hasn’t helped much, either. It can be hard to relax when you’re mind feels like it’s spinning and brimming with a million thoughts and feelings, but if you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed you need to take a breath and unwind. Talking through your concerns with a close friend, a relative, or a therapist will certainly help, but make sure you’re also taking care of yourself at home. Run a hot bath, listen to your favorite podcast, go out for a walk, read a book–whatever it is you do to help calm your mind and soul, do it.
It has been a rough year, and who knows what 2021 will bring, but although it’s been challenging, it’s still important to look after yourself and stay positive. Use the tips above when you’re feeling low or not quite 100% to help you turn your life around even if you’re stuck at home.