Ten Healthy Habits to Start in COVID-19 Lockdown
In November, Toronto, Canada’s largest city, shut back down, moving into its second lockdown in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19. This pandemic is not something to take lightly. Even if your city of residence is not in lockdown, you should still be taking various steps to protect yourself and your family and prevent the pandemic’s spread in your community.
Now, as we move into our first Canadian winter with the virus, lockdown might feel harder the second time around. If you have picked up a few bad habits from being stuck in the house too long during the first round of closures, you are not alone.
In fact, from Canada to the USA to the UK, people are:
- increasing their alcohol consumption
- eating less healthy
- sleeping worse
- exercising less
All this translates to lower quality mental health and mood, but it doesn’t have to all be bad! What if we could use our second phase of lockdowns in Canada to build new, healthy habits? At the very least, let’s focus on the good things that could come out of another stay at home order.
Morning Healthy Habits for Canada Lockdown
Healthy habits in the morning are a great way to start your day on the right foot. Whether it’s wellness or nutrition, taking conscious steps to feel your best can spin a day of dreading the same old thing into looking for the positives and enjoying the little things. Try adding these healthy wellness and nutrition habits into your daily morning routine.
1. Get Your Vitamin D!
Vitamin D is finally earning some well-deserved attention as growing evidence suggests higher blood levels of vitamin D correlate with less severe COVID symptoms, should you encounter the virus. More and more people are adding it to their daily nutrition, which is a habit that we should work on maintaining even in a post-COVID-19 world.
2. Morning Yoga
Because of gyms and fitness centers being closed during the lockdown in Canada, you might be struggling to keep up with your regular exercise program. However, finding an at-home exercise program that is enjoyable and sustainable during another lockdown in Canada could make a massive difference in your overall mental and emotional health and wellness.
Daily yoga is a healthy habit associated with increased flexibility and mobility, which often means less pain, more energy, weight-loss, decreased stress, and better overall wellness. Even just 15 minutes of yoga a day is enough to reap these benefits, so anyone can squeeze in this healthy habit.
Afternoon Healthy Habits during the Lockdown in Canada
You can add these habits to your daily routine at any time of the day, but you might find it easier to stick to outdoor winter habits in the afternoon when it’s likely sunnier, and temperatures aren’t quite as low.
1. Daily Outdoor Time
Spending more time outdoors is another healthy habit associated with better overall wellness, especially if you have children. As the weather gets colder in Canada, it might feel daunting to bundle up and get outside, but it’s a healthy habit that you continue to practice, even through the winter.
While getting all your vitamin D from sun exposure isn’t realistic in winter months, you will likely exercise more, feel happier, and have an easier time concentrating if you spend time outdoors. All of these factors contribute to improved wellness.
2. Daily Walks
Combine two healthy habits with daily outdoor walks. Brisk walking every day is associated with better wellness, weight management, stronger bones and muscles, and heightened mood.
Daily Healthy Habits for Canada Lockdown
Keep these wellness and nutrition practices going, day in and day out.
1. Wash Your Hands!
Hand washing should have been a healthy habit long before the Coronavirus, but you might be surprised that a lot of people either failed to wash their hands altogether or simply didn’t wash their hands long enough to kill germs.
Using soap and washing your hands for at least twenty seconds throughout the day is associated with better wellness as it prevents the spread of infection-causing germs.
2. Stay Hydrated
Every cell in your body requires water to function optimally. Keep hydrated by drinking between eight glasses to one gallon of water a day. Maintaining your body’s hydration is linked to improved wellness as it affects your mood, nutrition, appetite, sleep, and more.
Aim to drink at least 20 ounces of water before your morning coffee and keep a bottle of water with you at all times. Having water on hand will encourage you to drink more.
3. Family Dinners Focused on Nutrition
A daily dinner that is focused on nutrition is beneficial to you and your family’s individual well-being. However, the wellness of your family unit as a whole can improve with the addition of this family ritual.
Research suggests that eating together as a family provides developmental boosts, better physical health, improved mental health, improved nutrition habits, and a bonded family.
4. Waste Less Food
Placing emphasis on family dinners and eating out less during lockdown has improved our global food-waste situation. It just makes sense to use all the food we buy. This often translates to better nutrition and less money wasted.
Each year 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted. Simple moves like eating all of your leftovers can make a measurable difference.
5. Meditation Breaks
Meditation and mindfulness can provide relief to the uncertainty of the current times and stress we might feel daily. When you find yourself feeling anxious or stressed, stop and take a five-minute meditation break.
It’s no secret that many people are experiencing new or exasperated mental health symptoms. Just a few minutes of meditation per day can help reduce stress, bring a new perspective, reduce negative emotions, and increase patience and resilience. Regular meditation can help to control anxiety and depression and lead to more restful sleep.
6. Read More Books
Television and social media are wonderfully entertaining, but there are benefits to daily reading that you don’t get from screens. Regular reading increases your comprehension and vocabulary, improves brain connectivity, reduces stress, lowers heart rate and blood pressure, and aids in sleep readiness.
Try swapping your TV show in bed for a couple of chapters of a book before bed and feel the difference in your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
We’re living through unprecedented and undeniably stressful times. You’ve likely picked up a few bad habits over the past year, but it doesn’t have to all be bad. Let’s focus on better nutrition, healthy habits, and improved wellness for ourselves and our families. We can manage lockdowns in Canada in healthy, positive ways.