How to Stay Healthy During the Covid-19 Pandemic
We are all trying to keep up our results and it has been a lot harder than normal during 2020 to stay motivated and see progress while the whole world and our entires lives are changing around us! This year, despite everything going on I decided to stay focused, adapt and give myself no excuses and I want to share some of the things I started doing to help me stay motivated, kickstart results and gain a healthy 10lbs throughout quarantine with limited equipment.
COVID-19 took away a lot of peoples jobs, hobbies, our gyms, our friends/family/social life, cancelled weddings and trips, cancelled big business moves and even took some lives. But I found a way to stay positive and these are some of the practices I made habit of throughout the pandemic.
- Every morning when I wake up I say out loud to myself "thank you for ___" and just thank the universe for all of the things I am grateful for.
- Either in the morning, at night or half way through my day I spend 5-10 minutes and sit on a comfortable surface meditating- focusing on my breathing, relaxing my muscles with my mind and sinking into the sensations of my body.
- I chose gratitude check points throughout the day- stuck in traffic? I start thinking about the things Im grateful for in that moment. In a line up (which became very common due to covid)? I also think about everything I am grateful for.
Why? During this pandemic we were flooded with bad news- COVID related and many other social issues and a very high strung and aggressive online environment- a lot of stress was put on to us this year. This practice really helped me CREATE and then maintain a peaceful mind throughout it all and kept the biochemical results of stress at bay.
Why is this practice important? This is a way to deal with stress and stress really works counteractively with gains and body progress. Dealing with stress BEFORE it takes over your body is a more important practice than learning to deal with it after the fact. These practices change your general mentality to a more positive one so when bad things happen you are 10 steps ahead and don't experience as much negative response because your outlook is already adjusted to the possibility of negativity.
#2 Self Care
Once again, the stress and change COVID-19 has put on us has really interfered with some of our general practices of self care. Some of us are mentally distracted, aren't out and about as much and start to "let ourselves go". Stop thinking of this as a bad thing. I changed my mentality around this concept and started thinking- rather than saying "I have nothing to do so I don't need to look good" to "I have nothing to do so let me work on taking care of my skin/hair/body as best I can".
Over quarantine to practice self care I:
- Created a new bathing ritual
- Found products that really work well in and on my body
- Used the extra time I had to tend to my hair and skin with love, properly, without rushing.
These habits followed me into life now, which is a little bit more eventful, by becoming more of a priority, focus and habit.
Taking care of your skin and hair is important because it helps you boost your confidence, which in turn invigorates more energy into the things you do in your day to day life!
Stretching is important not only for your body but for your mind as well! Stretching helps you practice deep breathing and relaxation- almost meditation! How I implemented stretching into my life during COVID-19 to build a habit:
- I stretch as soon as I get up and if I have things to do that day I make sure I give myself extra time in the morning to stretch! Sometimes if I'm short on time ill mix my stretching with my morning gratitude/mediations!
- I get up from my desk every hour I am working and do a little 5 minute stretching circuit to make sure my blood is flowing and my body isn't getting stuck in uncomfortable positions
- I test myself weekly to see if I'm making progress with some of my flexibility goals (like splits) to keep myself motivated to keep this habit up.
Your body will preform better in your daily life and in your training when it has more flexibility/range of motion and will see more results! Results motivate, feeling physically well motivates! Use the extra time covid has given you to really make stretching a healthy habit!
#4 Whole food
I know, I know... grocery shopping became something many of us didn't or still don't want to do due to COVID-19 due to the close contact you come into with other people, and other people with your food. I felt the same early on in the pandemic so I was an uber eats girl for a lot of COVID! Ordering in isn't a bad thing to do from time to time but when you are only ordering in you do not get full whole meals! I started realizing everything I order has one to two food groups represented in it, lacks nutrients, high salt content and just makes me feel "FULL" not nourished! In turn this caused me to lose motivation and energy to workout and keep my gains coming!
How I made whole foods and cooking for myself a habit during quarantine:
- I took it one step at a time: first things first? Get the grocery list made, recipes collected and then you just gotta go! I was lucky because I was going through my BBK challenges so all the recipes and grocery lists were made for me! Take precautions, wash your food (especially produce) when you get home and wear your protective coverings!
- Set alarms for each meal! I know this sounds so strict but being strict is how you build habits! After a couple of weeks of being consistent with following your alarms your body will start getting hungry when you've been training it to do so!
- Choose foods you like! This is so important! You shouldn't hate every bite you take while eating! Eat what you like but make sure you are favouring the things you like that have more nutrients and are healthier for you and are in tune with your goals!
What you put into your body is so so important! Don't let the pandemic throw you off your game! Spend some of the extra time you have researching your meals, ingredients and see where you can find alternatives, what fits in well and even some new things to try- you got time guys, do the research!
#5 Lots of Water
Over quarantine I also used my extra time to drink water. Yes... to drink water. I changed my water intake from 2-3 litres of water per day to 3-4! A whole extra litre. Spending more time at home is a perfect opportunity to get your water intake under control! It may be hard to do at first but I promise once your body gets used to drinking more water you NEED to keep it up... your body will crave it and it will get less and less hard to drink that much! The odd days I don't drink more water I feel different, more thirsty and more cloudy. Here are some ways I made drinking more water a habit over quarantine:
- Since I am home all the time I started using a 4L water bottle to hold my water for the day! This keeps it easy to track but hard to transport so it's really only a good idea if you are home all day or use it to measure but transport it into another bottle for practical drinking!
- I made "drink water check points"! When I wake up, when I answer emails, after I use the washroom, before and after I shower, 1.5 hours before I workout, throughout my workout, after my workout, with every meal and before bed I will drink water!
- I never ever ever leave my house without water and I keep one full in my bed so I have access if I wake up in the night, while I lay in bed and watch movies and first thing in the morning to hydrate myself.
Water helps your muscles grow, recover and absorb nutrients. It also helps keep your skin fresh, helps your body expel waste and creates a better environment for good digestion to occur... drink that water guys 💦
Most of us don't have to wake up as early for work or school... most work/school days have been shortened or don't exist at all due to covid 19 and I know... most people think "yay I can stay up and binge my favourite show" or "I don't have to be up so I'm going to stay up later"... instead of telling yourself these things start instructing yourself to get better, longer and deeper sleep!
Ways I practiced better sleep habits during covid -19:
- I set my bedtime for 930/10- I'm a morning person so I like to be up early to start my day!
- I try to stay off my phone an hour before I actually fall asleep- I am guilty of watching movies from bed but I do recommend turning all screens off and reading a book before you fall asleep rather than have screens and sounds running throughout your sleep.
- Sleep in darkness- to add on to the point above, sleeping with artificial light on prevents you from getting into a deep sleep cycle. Try to sleep in complete darkness.
Sleep is the most important thing to ignite energy into your life! The whole purpose of sleep is to reset your mind and body so when you don't get enough quality sleep you are preventing your brain and body from recovering the best they can! Don't feel like you need to be up just because you can be! Use the time you have to get that sleep cycle reset!
I hope these tips really helped you guys find some new habits and practices to try as this pandemic keeps dragging on! Although a lot of us are back to work/school now our lives are still different and we have more time than we may think to really practice habit forming before the world really re-opens and life resumes as per usual. Prepare yourself and be your best self for that day- prepare for the pressure with teaching your mind calm, prepare for the time constraints by making good habits now... you will be healthier and happier in the long run if you do so!
Let me know which of these tips helped you the most! Tag me @kalinatesa or @bootybykali on socials ♥️