Three things to do now to reset, recharge and rebuild your wellbeing
Updated: Feb 1
Take these small steps to improve your health after two years of uncertainty.
If you cast your mind back to the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, one of the jokes doing the rounds was that you would emerge from your confinement a hunk, a chunk, or a drunk.
And while the truth is more complex than that, the ongoing uncertainty, the pressures of caring for others and ongoing isolation from our communities and family has meant that our physical and mental health is likely to have suffered as a result of the pandemic.
"But we're all exhausted", I hear you cry. Yes, we certainly are. However, there are some small steps that even the most time poor of us can introduce as we emerge, blinking in to the post-pandemic future (at least we hope).
Even if you ignore everything else, try and improve your sleep routine. No devices 1 hour before bed, keep the lights low in the evening, and exercise in the morning if you can for optimum sleep-inducing benefits.
If you have a snack in the evening, try and make it rich in tryptophan, the amino acid that induces sleep, and combine it with carbohydrates. This will supercharge tryptophan and give it the best chance of helping your body to rest. You could try an oatcake plus a banana for example. Read more on foods that help you sleep.
If you've been too overwhelmed with life during the pandemic, the thought of getting back in the gym or out for a run can feel slightly terrifying. You may be unmotivated and uninspired.
Start small. Tell yourself you'll exercise for five minutes. See how you feel after five, and if it feels good, continue. The motivation will come.
If you're very stressed, stay clear of HIIT workouts. These could raise your stress hormones further. Instead, try walking, swimming or yoga. Joining a class could also help you if you've been feeling isolated after multiple lockdowns and extended remote working.
3. The food you eat
Probably the last thing you need after an extremely stressful time is to put yourself under more pressure by dieting. The key with this, as with your exercise routine is to be kind to yourself first and foremost.
There may be a few simple things you want to adjust; the amount of alcohol you're drinking, the volume of sugary foods you consume and the amount of fruit and vegetables in your everyday. The first two may want to come down, the fruit and veg, try and dial up.
Keep your blood sugar stable by eating small, regular and nourishing meals with plenty of protein in them to keep you from reaching for the sugary snacks. Try a new recipe book or experiment with plant-based eating. Katy Beskow's Easy Vegan Bible is full of simple, healthy and tasty recipes to take you a tiny bit out of your comfort zone.
Drink plenty of water. If this bores you, fill a jug with fresh still or sparkling water and add fruit or ribbons of cucumber and pop in the fridge. The flavours will infuse and make your water taste more interesting. And no, you don't have to drink 2 litres of water a day. Just do what you can.
You'll find these small steps can start to help you feel better, and before too long will have added up to significant change.
Need a reset?
To celebrate adding health coaching to my executive coaching services, I'm offering new clients a health and wellbeing post-pandemic reset service for £299. You'll get a consultation with me and a full plan to follow based on our conversation.
You can contact me here to book. I'll be offering this to clients at this price for bookings in March 2022 only.
Here's to a happier and healthier 2022.