Exercises for Mental Health
The last few weeks have turned our worlds upside down. Many of us are suddenly unemployed or working from home as we try to juggle homeschooling at the same time. We can’t do the things we used to do for pleasure, like go to a salon or meet friends for lunch. We’re worried about ourselves or our loved ones getting sick. And on top of all of it, we can’t go to the gym for a stress relieving full body workout. It’s a sanity test, to say the least. To keep your mental health as strong as you possibly can under the circumstances, here are some tips:
No matter what our stages of life, most of us have a daily routine. Some of that routine may have changed recently due to factors beyond our control. But it’s still critical to maintain a schedule, even if some parts of that schedule have changed. If you used to get up and go to Curves for your full body workout first thing in the morning, continue to get up at the same time and do a Curves workout online. With MyCurves On Demand at home workout, you can stream your Curves whole body workouts, and add elements like yoga, tai chi, and strengthening your core. Keep the same mealtimes and maintain your normal sleep and wake times. Call or message your local Curves Coach for more information about MyCurves On Demand.
At a distance, of course. Whether it’s through FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, social media or a phone call, try to socialize with another person or people for at least 30 minutes each day. If you’re a Curves member, this may include reaching out to your Curves Coaches and Curves sisters. In these uncertain times, we need to see the familiar faces that give us much needed comfort and joy.
Walk in the sun.
Sunshine and fresh air aren’t just good for your physical health but your mental health as well. Direct sunlight will help keep your vitamin D at a healthy level, and vitamin D helps support a strong immune system.1 Fresh air and sunshine also increase the feel-good chemical serotonin, which in turn boosts your mood.2 Plus, walking will keep you on track with your fitness goals. To respect social distancing, take an outdoor walk early in the morning or later in the evening, when the streets are less crowded, and your risk of contact is low. If you’re high risk or living with someone who is high risk and can’t go out, open the windows and let the breeze in. Or put a chair outside and sit in the sun’s rays. Sunshine and fresh air can instantly spark a more positive state of mind!
Create a safe space.
For many of us, we are working, parenting, teaching, and exercising all in the same place. If possible, designate a special spot in your home for relaxation. Include pillows and blankets, soft music, or light a scented candle. Either in the same or a different space, set up a designated area where you can do your daily at-home workouts in peace and without distraction. For 30 minutes a day, you can focus just on yourself.
Don’t let bad news wash your positivity away.
In times such as this, it’s good to be informed, but it’s also important to know when enough news is enough. Lots of negative, overwhelming, and downright scary information surrounds this pandemic. But there’s also good news and goodwill hiding beneath the doom and gloom. All around us in our local communities and beyond, people are donating, sacrificing, and supporting each other. We must try to balance the heavy with the hopeful. Look for those shining lights in your own community and offer support where you can.
Keep yourself balanced.
Research has shown that repetitive motions like knitting, coloring, painting, and jumping rope can be self-soothing.3 MyCurves On Demand Balance and Boxing classes often feature right and left side repetitive movements throughout the workout. It’s a great way to stay focused and work muscles individually and equally on both sides of your body.
Reach out for help.
You may be physically sheltered in place, but emotional support is still available to you. If you have a therapist or a psychiatrist, check in with them virtually. Keep up with all your medications and therapy sessions as best as you can. If you’re having trouble coping and you don’t have a mental health professional, this is a good time to reach out to one. Also look to your neighbors, fellow moms and grandmothers, and Curves community for support. You may not be able to meet in person, but you can text, FaceTime, and chat on the phone. Thankfully, in this digital age, we are never truly alone.