2020 has been quite the year, hasn’t it! As the UK slowly eases out of the Covid19 lockdown, many mums are looking for ways to reverse some of the less healthy habits that may have wreaked havoc on both body and mind over the last four months.
It’s understandable that this unprecedented situation has led to things like extra weight gain, excessive drinking, anxiety, stress-related medical issues and a more sedentary lifestyle for many mums – but the good news is that all of those things are reversible, and – with a little help – you can find that pre-lockdown you and get yourself back on track.
Here are five ways to tackle some of those lockdown issues and rediscover your best self!
1. Extra weight gain
Daytime snacking, Netflix binges, takeaway evenings and sweet treats have more than likely played a part in your lockdown life, and many mums are lamenting that lockdown stone that we have been left with!
The good news is, healthy eating plus exercise will slowly get the extra weight off, so make a list for your next shopping trip and plan out some healthy meals for the family.
If you don’t buy snacks and treats, then you’re less likely to eat them, so avoid the crisps, biscuits, chocolates and cake aisles (sorry!) and grab a load of fresh fruit, nuts and veggies to munch on if you must. Please don’t be tempted by silly or faddy eating plans, crash diets or fasts. Opt for healthy, wholesome foods and let the weight come off slowly.
If you are really struggling, consider joining a local club such as Slimming World, which is restarting its group sessions soon and making full use of Zoom in the meantime! The GP-approved Food Optimising eating plan is full of whole foods, lean proteins, “speed” fruits and vegetables (and even limited treats!) so you can get the weight off in a controlled, slow and healthy way without feeling deprived or hungry.
2. Too much wine
The anxiety of lockdown life has meant that many mums have reached for the wine bottle on a much more regular basis than before, so if this is you, please have a good think about how your drinking habits have changed over the last few months, and make a plan to reduce – or even stop – the boozing!
The NHS advises that women should not drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week, and with the average bottle of Savvy B containing 10 units, it’s easy to see how your drinking could creep up unawares if you have a large glass every evening.
If you fancy ditching the booze for good, or cutting down substantially, get your brain engaged first with a book or two…
Less Wine More Time: One mother’s journey to overcoming a secret alcohol addiction by Aussie / Brit influencer Mim Jenkinson is a great place to start – like many mums, Mim relied on a glass of wine most evenings to chill out after the children went to bed, but she soon realised that her habits were turning into an addiction.
The Easy Way for Women to Stop Drinking by Allen Carr is a bit of a global phenomenon, and looks at the psychological boundaries that need to be smashed down in order for women to ditch the booze for good.
3. Stress and anxiety
It’s no joke that the Coronavirus crisis and UK lockdown has had some serious mental health implications for many, especially for those who have ongoing battles with issues such as depression and anxiety.
Job losses, health concerns, family worries, money issues, having to homeschool the kids on top of work, untidy houses, cancelled plans, general uncertainty – there are so many very understandable and legitimate reasons for feeling anxious during these strange times.
It’s important to say that, if you feel like it’s too much and you are not coping, seek help from your GP, or talk to a trained counsellor. Charities such as MIND can help to get you the right type of support, so check out how you can navigate this journey by having a good look at their website.
If you feel a more general sense of anxiety due to the Covid19 situation itself, consider learning some meditation, mindfulness or relaxation techniques that may help. Look after yourself by eating well, drinking less alcohol, drinking more water and getting enough sleep, all of which will help you to regain your sense of normality after the challenges that lockdown has presented.
4. Medical symptoms
Stress, overeating and excessive drinking – all of which have been exacerbated by lockdown – can lead to medical symptoms such as IBS or stomach/digestion issues, headaches, insomnia, dizziness and more – and you can read more about how stress can affect your body on the NHS website.
Although there are things you can do to help yourself, do go and see your GP for help if you need to, and get yourself back on track with some professional help.
5. Lack of exercise
Lockdown has certainly affected the way we exercise and keep fit. Gyms, fitness classes, swimming pools and sporting activities all shuddered to a grinding halt at the end of March, and some of them are only just starting to reopen.
Mums that run or walk to keep fit many have been grounded due to childcare issues and the stress of the whole situation may have led many of us to retreat into our shells of comfort at home, turning to snacks and Netflix for entertainment and Zoom for socialising.
If your usual fitness or workout routines have taken a back seat, then ease yourself in slowly and try to slot one or two short sessions into your week. Changes are, the endorphins will kick in and you’ll remember why you loved being active. Give yourself time to adapt back into a routine again, but make a promise to yourself that your wellbeing is worth it!
What are your top tips for getting back on track after lockdown?