City thinking, local knowledge

The challenge of maintaining healthy habits in lockdown

By Questa Chartered

It can be difficult for anyone to maintain good habits and easy to fall into less helpful ones at the best of times. Those challenges are only made more difficult by the added pressures we all feel while navigating our way through a pandemic, and particularly in lockdown.

In fact, a study published in Frontiers in Psychology recorded that after 3-4 weeks of nationwide lockdown, more than 8 in 10 respondents reported an increase in unhealthy changes in lifestyle, particularly concerning physical activity. In the same report, less than 4 in 10 respondents reported an increase in healthy lifestyle activities.

But those 4 in 10 are out there, and the best place to start to push that number up is by getting an understanding of the positive things you can be doing.

Keeping structure

For many of us, working from home has become the norm, and even if it hasn’t, our regular routines have been impacted in some way. Not having the structure to your day that you’ve become accustomed to can make it very difficult to keep up a productive daily routine.

While you may no longer have commutes or fixed break times to keep your day in order there are things you can do to make your life easier. Simply producing a to-do list or daily plan will keep your objectives front of mind so you can focus on what needs doing. Keeping your work environment tidy will help you to focus too, as will preparing for your next day the night before, to reduce any unnecessary stresses in the morning.

Get some fresh air

It’s easy to miss out on the benefits of being outside when you wake up in the same building that your ‘office’ is in. Especially in the winter months, you wake up, start working and before you know it, the sun has set. Make time for yourself to be outside, even a half hour walk can be fantastic for clearing your head and getting some exercise.

Try something new

If you’re finding yourself stuck at home with too much time on your hands, or you’re struggling to separate your work life from your home life and need a way to switch off after work, try picking up a new hobby. Is there something you’ve been meaning to try out for years and just never had the chance? Now could be the time! Perhaps you want to pick up a new language so you can show off your skills when you finally get to go on holiday again. Maybe it’s time to get in touch with your creative side and pick up some paintbrushes. Could you see yourself on next year’s Great British Bake Off? The possibilities are really endless, but the important thing is getting started.

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