Finding a new normal
With more time on our hands during lockdown it's easy to have heightened expectations of how we should spend our days. Just because we’ve gained an extra few hours thanks to skipping the commute, it’s ok not to want to fill this time running extreme distances or doing excessively long workouts to compensate. We all know that overtraining can be detrimental to our physical and mental health, so it's always important to be conscious of this. However, getting outside and being active are both extremely important for maintaining a positive mindset, so I've been making a conscious effort to factor exercise into my day.
Spending endless days at home has forced me to find my own little routine, largely for the sake of maintaining my sanity. With 'normal' life on pause, it sometimes feels as though the days all blur into one and time has lost all meaning, but a scheduled day helps me to feel a sense of accomplishment and reduce anxiousness. It's well known that anxiety is caused by a lack of control (which we are all feeling to various extents during this time), so reworking a new daily schedule can greatly help to benefit mental health. I try to be realistic and set achievable targets, so rather than feel forced to run a 10k on a day where I’m not feeling 100%, I'll instead choose to make it to the park and take it from there. Just being around nature and practising mindfulness exercises has a huge positive impact on my mood each day.
Whilst it's easy to be distracted by the constant social media "hustle" and “use this time wisely” mentality during lockdown, don't forget to make time for the things that you DO enjoy. Be it finding a new local business to support, sourcing a new recipe to cook up for dinner or going for a leisurely stroll, give yourself permission to rest and switch off. Although it’s important to remain physically fit, we must also remember that our mental wellness is just as much of a priority too.