5 healthy habits for lockdown and life

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During the past few months in lockdown, you’ve probably picked up a few new habits. Perhaps you’ve started following some popular YouTube channels, are chatting to your grandkids on Skype or Zoom, or have taken up a new hobby. While some of the habits you’ve adopted may fall away as the lockdown restrictions ease, here’s a look at five activities worth maintaining when life returns to normal.

1. Doing relaxation exercises
This year has been tough and it’s not surprising that many of us are feeling a little drained and anxious. If your stress levels are on the rise, why not get into the habit of doing a few relaxation exercises each day? According to Mayo Clinic, they can help to lower blood pressure, improve digestion, reduce muscle tension, improve mood and reduce fatigue. Good techniques to try include breathing exercises, meditation, yoga and gentle stretching – and if you do them before bed, they may even help you to sleep better.

2. Connecting with friends
Has the lockdown encouraged you to reconnect with old friends or make a concerted effort to stay in touch with your family members? Having a strong support system is important, particularly in times of stress, so continue to invest in the relationships that are important to you and that enrich your life.

3. Washing your hands regularly
The role of hand washing in curbing the spread of disease has certainly been in the spotlight over the past few months – and it’s a habit worth maintaining for life, particularly if you want to reduce your risk of catching colds and flu. So continue to wash your hands regularly, and remember to lather with soap for at least 20 seconds before rinsing.

4. Getting creative in the kitchen
If you’ve used the lockdown to expand your culinary repertoire and try out exciting new recipes, keep going! While your favourites will always have a place on your menu, experimenting with new ingredients, flavours and techniques helps to make cooking feel like less of a chore and more of a gastronomic adventure.

5. Exercising regularly
It feels like the whole country has embraced exercise during lockdown, with many people doing online yoga, aerobics, Pilates and bodyweight workouts. If you’ve started a regular at-home fitness routine, try to maintain it as the lockdown restrictions ease. If you need a bit of added motivation, just remember that regular physical activity can help to boost levels of ‘happy hormones’ like endorphins, dopamine and serotonin, aid in weight control, improve muscle tone and much more.