The pandemic has caused the majority of people to stay inside their homes for the better part of a year. Lockdown protocols were in place to prioritize public health and safety. However, prolonged isolation has also had some adverse effects on our mental and physical health. Staying indoors meant missing out on those morning walks to the office, meals from our favorite restaurants, and socializing with our friends. During the pandemic, we were forced to find new and creative ways to get active indoors, turn to virtual trainers, body weight, low impact exercises, and possibly invest in some at-home gym equipment. Many people experienced unwanted fluctuations in their weight during the pandemic because of a lack of physical activity and the disruption to our eating and sleeping habits.
As we go into the new normal with a new sense of hope with us, we’re looking to start getting back out there. However, the closed public spaces and big crowds can be very daunting at first. While it’s perfectly normal given that we’ve spent so much time away from society, it’s also essential to understand the small steps you can take to start feeling better. Taking a look at the bigger picture, so many factors affect how your mind and body feel. Getting caught up in just one aspect of your overall health will only serve to demotivate you. Remember that there’s always something to be done to improve our mental and physical health. Here are just some of the great ways you can start feeling alive and healthy again in the new normal.
Get Enough Rest
Working from home became a common occurrence in many households worldwide during the new normal. Companies transition the majority of their workforce to remote work to lessen the chances of spreading the virus in the office. While working from home definitely benefited these businesses, it also had some unforeseen side effects on many employees. Blurring the lines between a productive and restful space resulted in many people experiencing symptoms of burnout. Overworking can go unnoticed, especially if you’re working from the comfort of your own home. It’s important to remember to get enough sleep and also to relax your mind. Getting enough rest not only energizes your body but also sharpens your mind.
Our mental health was also greatly affected by the fact that some of us didn’t have great support systems during isolation. If you were living with your family, perhaps the lockdowns even provided you with an excellent opportunity to reconnect. However, those living found themselves with significantly increased worries and a constant feeling of anxiety or unease. Setting aside the time to socialize with our loved ones can take a load off our shoulders in this new normal. Meaningful and positive conversations with our friends and family do wonders for our mental health.
Nutrition also became a popular topic of conversation during the pandemic. As restaurants began to close down and fresh produce became harder and harder to find, establishing sustainable healthy eating habits became quite a difficult feat. Many of us turned to convenient but unhealthy options like fast food or frozen meals. While these will do in moderation, a diet built on these options doesn’t bode well for our nutrition. Cooking videos online grew in popularity in no small part because individuals at home were looking to learn how to cook easy and healthy meals. If you find that cooking isn’t something you can sustain on a daily basis, many restaurants have also started offering pre-prepared meal plans. These meal plans get delivered straight to your door and will also often cater to different dietary needs such as Keto, Low carb, and even vegan preferences.
The intricacies of our mental and physical health can sometimes be hard to navigate. While getting enough rest, eating healthy, and socializing all benefit our overall health, the importance of physical activity can’t be emphasized enough. Though restrictions were starting to get lifted during the early stages of the new normal, feeling uneasy going out and getting active was undoubtedly normal. There are also some great activities you can do that don’t require you to be in crowded spaces. Hiking outdoors, running, jogging, yoga, and biking are just some excellent ways to exercise and get some fresh air. Nowadays, a yoga studio, cycling class, gymnastics club, or dance school should implement the necessary social distancing protocols to ensure their members are safe at their facility.
Don’t let the pandemic stop you from feeling your best. The new normal serves as a fresh start for all of us to start making our health a bigger priority moving forward.