The coronavirus crisis has seen almost the entire world go into lockdown. Some are furloughed, some are working from home, but many are self-isolating to contain the spread of COVID-19.
But being inside all day can have a dramatic impact on our mental and physical health. Consequently, it’s important to practice self-care wherever possible to maintain a positive mood and a healthy body.
Read on to learn a few essential self-care exercises to try during the coronavirus lockdown.
Enjoy the moment through mindfulness
Mindfulness used to be associated with spiritual types and hippies, but today it is a popular and widely-practiced self-care exercise with advocates around the world.
In essence, mindfulness is the act of focusing your attention on the present moment, on what is happening immediately around you. The wind rustling through the trees, the feel of the earth beneath your feet, leaves brushing against your neck — whatever you can sense in the world around you.
Mindfulness is an essential exercise for building a foundation of self-love and learning to treat yourself well. As outlined by Orion’s Method, silencing your inner critic is a crucial element of self-love, and practicing mindfulness distracts your mind from negative thoughts or anxious thoughts. It keeps you grounded and in the present moment, so you can bring calm into your life.
To get started with mindfulness, start by concentrating on your breathing. Focus on the rise and fall of your chest and then start focusing on your environment from there.
Focus on your breathing with meditation
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years by people from all over the world. It is traditionally associated with Buddhist monks, but today it is enjoyed by everyone from students to CEOs.
The simple act of sitting or lying still and listening to your body’s rhythms offers an array of self-care benefits. It is a powerful stress reliever, promoting feelings of calm and balance and dispelling the daily stresses and anxieties we face.
With meditation, the trick is to practice. At first, you might feel odd sitting there listening to your breathing. But with time, you will develop better techniques so you can better enjoy the benefits of meditation for self-care.
If you struggle to meditate at first, there are plenty of apps on offer to help you get to grips with the basics. Headspace is the most popular, but there are plenty of others for you to try.
Feel the mental and physical benefits of yoga
Yoga is a popular form of exercise that can be found, in some form, all over the world. There is a huge variety of different yoga varieties, from Ashtanga or Bikram yoga to hot or vinyasa yoga.
This ancient practice has a variety of benefits, both for the mind and body. It increases your flexibility, improves muscle tone and strength, boosts cardiovascular health, as well as relieving stress and reducing tension in the body.
Yoga is also an ideal self-care exercise when you’re at home during the lockdown. All you need is a mat and a small amount of space, and there are plenty of free instructional yoga videos online to help you get started.
As with mindfulness, there are plenty of apps available to help you get started with meditation.
Build a home workout into your day
While the exercises above are all great for self-care, there’s nothing quite as effective for the mind or body as a good workout. A solid workout boosts endorphins, reduces stress, increases self-esteem, and gives you more energy overall.
Of course, achieving a good workout whilst staying inside can be tricky. But as with so many of these exercises, it is possible to do this at home with free online videos.
Since the lockdown, a number of gyms, personal trainers, and fitness influencers have uploaded their own workout videos for people to try at home. Many of these are tailored to specific ages or fitness levels, such as for children or older people. This makes it easy to enjoy a good body and mind-boosting workout from the comfort of your own home. Find a selection of the best ones here.
Self-care starts at home. Try the exercises above and start creating a positive mindset and healthy body today to stay at your mental and physical