Health and Solutions – In the Great Lockdown of 2020

The 2020 Covid-19 Great British Lockdown…we’re living it, whether you’re a key worker directly helping look after and cure those infected (thank you btw!), or indirectly working to keep the country going through deliveries, power suppliers, shop assistants etc, or doing your bit by staying at home to make everything easier and alleviate quicker, we’re all in this together and we all need to play our part and try to remain as mentally and physically healthy as possible.

Whilst we wish we could post a list of foods to turn into broths to ward off covid-19 and smoothies to cure the symptoms if we developed them, unfortunately that is not an option (please, PLEASE unfollow those people on Facebook claiming the virus is killed by drinking alcohol and gargling salt water…). There are however, things we can all do and incorporate into our days to make the isolation period and our health just that little bit more manageable.

There isn’t a huge need to change your diet and meals too much from normal during lockdown. If exercise is decreased by not being on your feet for a full work shift all day now, slightly reduce snacking/portion sizes to compensate, but remember staying at home doesn’t mean staying on the sofa – try to keep your activity levels up with use of home work outs (Burn It Be Active) and using your daily outside exercise time to its full. Housework and gardening also count remember, and if you’re home-schooling kids you can also benefit from joining in their Burn It Youth Academy Homework activities.

If boredom eating is an issue for you reaching for sugary/calorific snacks then try combat this by batch cooking on days when you feel motivated. Portioning up lots of healthy meals to stock your fridge/freezer means you can still eat healthily on days when all you feel like doing is heating up a ready meal. Do the same with snacks, this may be especially helpful if you have kids. Making up snack bags or boxes to keep to hand of things such as trail mixes (nuts, chopped veg, dried fruit, chocolate buttons, etc) should help stop you reaching for bag number three of crisps if there is an alternative ‘instant’ option to go to.

As well as prepping meals, it could be helpful to prep your vegetables by peeling, chopping and freezing so they are ready to use easily for meals when needed. This also avoids any need to throw out any bulk bought and now going to waste items (no one is admitting it but someone has been doing the bulk buying…this one’s for you!).

Use all this new free time to clear out cupboards and freezers as well, dig everything out and see what can finally be used and free up space – those weird tinned foods and jars of spices everyone has in the back of the cupboard can be entered into apps/sites such as to turn into a meal.

Additionally, if you are home schooling, this could become a whole afternoon of lessons in itself. Sorting ‘fridged’ foods into things which need used up first (Science – explains food going mouldy/rancid), sorting foods by use by dates (Maths), creating/cooking meals (Home ec.), cleaning up afterwards (chemistry…? Your kids may catch on here…). This is for all ages of kids though a great time to get them involved in food and cooking as everyone is present at home for every meal just now. Little ones can help with simple things like stirring and setting out cutlery, and older kids could be allowed to find recipes online and help with making the meals they chose.  Remember you have 3 Burn It Recipe books and our brand new Youth Academy Recipe book to choose over 300 recipes from! 

If keeping a routine with meals and exercise is easier said than done when your daily structure has been removed, then you could try setting alarms and alerts on your phone to keep you on track. Alarms don’t need to only be for getting you out of bed – use them to remind you to do various things, whether it’s taking medication/meals/exercising. It important to try keep a routine so feel free to allow yourself a lie in for what would be commuting time, but get out of bed at a reasonable time and go to bed at your usual time also, slipping into late nights/mornings watching tv etc will have a knock-on effect with your eating and energy levels which in turn affect mental health and happiness. Although only allowed out for one exercise session a day try to increase daylight exposure by keeping curtains and blinds open as soon as your day begins – we’re lucky the weather is currently being kind so throw windows open while you can!

If you’ve nailed sleep, exercise, meals and snacks, don’t forget water consumption also. Lots of people have water bottles in cars and on desks that they no longer are surrounded by so this may unintentionally slip. Fill a water jug or water bottles in the morning and have them drunk throughout the day before you go to bed at night – you could mark your bottle with times to help you drink past little goals during the day to help you. It should also be mentioned here that sadly just because everyday feels like the weekend, do not drink alcohol like it is! Keep alcohol limited and it will help keep everything else in check by default, no one needs days to feel even more weird by having a hungover Tuesday and craving junk to get you through it.

This is a weird time for everyone, but keeping your routine as close to normal as possible, eating well, getting fresh air, a sensible sleeping pattern and exercise daily will help to keep you healthy and happy.

Stay at home, stay safe, stay happy.

…and wash your hands!

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