5 tips to keep mind and body healthy during quarantine_International Student Blogger, Grace Lee_title image_Grace with pet dog in a park

Keeping your mind and body healthy during quarantine is so important for all of us right now. We’ve experienced global panic and anxiety in recent weeks, and we’ve all seen big changes to our daily routines and lives due to COVID-19. As students, we have switched to online lectures. Sadly, many of our friends have returned back to their home countries, and some of us have even lost jobs. With constant updates from the media about the new confirmed cases and deaths, it is so easy to feel powerless and depressed as we wait for time to pass in our homes. I certainly did the first week of being home!

But with uncertainties regarding how long this pandemic will last, we can’t just sit here in self loath. We need to pick ourselves up and make the most of our time at home! I want to share how I’ve kept my mind and body healthy during the lockdown. So here are my 5 Tips to Keep Mind and Body Healthy During Quarantine:

1. Connect with your loved ones

5 tips to keep mind and body healthy during quarantine_International Student Blogger, Grace Lee_dog FaceTime screen capture

At a time when we are not allowed to go outside unless it is essential, we can only imagine what it’s like for those living alone. not having anyone to talk to. By this, I mean our grandparents or elderly relatives living alone. This could even be our parents, siblings, or even friends who may be in similar situations. My heart goes out the most to the elderly living alone. As is the case for my dear grandmother who is turning 86 years young this August. It is hard enough not being able to go out to work or to socialize with friends. But imagine being an elderly woman or man with no access to online services such as grocery or food delivery. Although many retailers are providing dedicated hours just for the elderly, this is not merely enough for them.

For all of you with loved ones living alone, I urge you to give them a call every day. To make sure they are okay and to make them feel loved and cared for during this difficult time. Use your online resources to order some food or essential items to their house (if you can). You could also connect with a local community group in their area and ask their local neighbors to help out your loved ones.

2. Switch Off!

5 tips to keep mind and body healthy during quarantine_International Student Blogger, Grace Lee_Tory the dog on his bed

There are honestly too many news articles and stories relating to COVID-19. Yes, of course, it’s important to be up to date but it definitely does not need to consume our lives. After you’ve spoken to your family members, try putting away or turning off all of your electronic devices such as your phones, laptops, iPads, computers, TVs, radios, and even things like your Nintendo switch for the day. I promise you will NOT be missing out on much. When I did this over the weekend I ended up having such a lovely relaxing day. It can feel weird. To not quickly pick up your phone to check for emails or your iPad to go on Pinterest. But I highly recommend spending at least one day a week disconnected from the online world. Instead, focus on your thoughts and try to be more present. Pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read for six months. Or go for a nice walk outside following the NHS guidelines. Use your actual camera to take photos instead of using your phone. Even take a nap if you’re too bored but try to do anything but going online. You will be surprised at how content and creative you will be.

3. Exercise your body and mind to feel healthy

5 tips to keep mind and body healthy during quarantine_International Student Blogger, Grace Lee_sprouts, Joe Wicks and flower glass

In the first week of self-isolation, I was really miserable from losing a lot of my workload. I had to cancel all of our Environmental Society events. My boss also told me that I was given mandatory unpaid leave. Yes, it was nice to be able to wake up late and spend more time with my dog but it was not how I envisaged my final term at university. I tried to convince myself otherwise, but I definitely wasn’t happy. However, I came across a post on Reddit about a free online course on the “Science of Happiness” that was produced by a professor of Psychology at Yale. This intrigued me so I enrolled on the 8-week course and started watching the first week’s very short and easy to understand lectures. I’ve since been much more productive and happy staying at home.

My new routine is, in the mornings to go for runs with my dog or do HIIT workouts with my sister-in-law and niece over FaceTime. Then I get ready “as normal” dressing properly and sitting at my desk by 9am. I make sure to spend some outdoor time, typically gardening or playtime with my dog in the sun. When waiting for the laundry, I’ll read a book instead of going on my phone. I also give myself little DIY projects like finally growing my own sprouts to have with my salads. Making pressed flower coasters (above) was so much fun! I also signed up for a two week trial to Glo; yoga and pilates classes online.

Now is a great time to trial any online learning platforms such as yoga, drawing, cooking, or even educational courses! I recommend these free workouts – Joe Wicks the Body Coach, Westminster’s fitness team or Jamilla’s home work-out video on UWSU’s Instagram.

4. Be grateful for everything you have

5 tips to keep mind and body healthy during quarantine_International Student Blogger, Grace Lee_Gratitude

It is times like this that truly make us appreciate everything we take for granted on a daily basis. From socializing with friends (even if you are like me and secretly hate socializing), freely buying toilet roll, to not having to walk 2 meters apart on the streets. Step back to truly appreciate and be grateful for everything you have. Be grateful that you have the device that allows you to connect with those far away from you, learn new things, and even play music for you.

If you are home with no symptoms, be grateful that you are healthy and thank your body for being awesome. If there is one thing I’ve learned being a Biochemistry student it’s that there are SO many things that can go wrong in our bodies all the time. So just take a moment to appreciate everything your cells are doing right now to keep you alive.

Try writing down a list of things that you are grateful for. This is one of my weekly homeworks for the Science of Happiness course that I am taking. It really does put things into perspective. It makes me step back from the emotions that I am feeling and allows me to see my life from an outside view. Doing this reminds me just how amazing my life is and so is yours! Share your gratitude with others so we can continue to share positivity during a time with so much negativity. It will make you a happier person.

5, Spread your kindness

5 tips to keep mind and body healthy during quarantine_International Student Blogger, Grace Lee_Meals for the NHS

Hearing about so many cases, deaths and struggles faced by healthcare workers around the world can be really depressing. It can leave us all feeling helpless. But there is always something that you can do to help others. Probably the easiest thing you can do is to donate money to a charity. For example, there are many charities that provide food for people living in poverty, providing shelter for the homeless, or meals for healthcare workers. You can take your pick in a cause that you care about the most and donate however much you feel comfortable, even if it’s £1. If you want to step it up, you can join your community support group like I mentioned previously or volunteer to help your charity of choice with raising awareness and money. You can also set up your own fundraiser or campaign if you have a cause you are deeply passionate about.

These are only just a few things that I have been doing to keep my body and mind healthy and happy during the lockdown. It’s a first for all of us it’s definitely not easy at times but remember that we’re all on the same boat here and therefore you’re not alone!

How have you been keeping your mind and body healthy during quarantine? I’d love you to share your techniques.

Wishing you health and happiness during these difficult times.

Grace

#WeAreTogether #WeAreWestminster

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