Remember back in March? When the idea of a lockdown felt unusual and different. Far fetched and hard to imagine? Now here we are, in November and in the middle of another one. This lockdown thing is becoming so familiar. We know our homes, partners and kids a little too well now, right?
And lockdown this time might be feeling a little harder than the first, what with the cold weather and the dark days. We just need to remember we’re doing what we need to do to protect ourselves and the people around us. To keep ourselves going, it would be great to spend November finding a new love. Whether it’s walking, or doing something indoors. Let’s explore.
Going for Walks
We couldn’t help ourselves. It’s a little harder to make walking sound like the best thing ever in late autumn. There’s a lot of rain, ridiculous wind and not too much sunshine. We still think it’s pretty up there though.
Lots and lots of people have fallen in love with walking in the cold and rain and you could be next. This year, being outside sounds more exciting than it ever has. Back in April, we could head outside just for one hour of exercise. So many of us really began to appreciate the feeling of wind on our faces and the squelch of small puddles under our shoes. If you haven’t yet, we recommend making the effort to fall in love with walking. Go at your own pace, find a distance you’re comfortable with and go for a solo walk.
Have you heard Davina’s walking story? An avid member of Black Girls Hike, she had to find new ways to explore and enjoy nature during the first national lockdown in spring. Though she was used to walking and hiking in a group, she found her own way in her local area… simply for the love of walking and the calming benefits of it.
And we think now, as we’re living through another national lockdown, it’s important to find the time and space to do things you love. That’s exactly what Davina did in the first lockdown and what we should all definitely be doing through this second one.
Trying a New Type of Heart Pumping Exercise
In the absence of gyms, we’re having to find new ways to get moving to stay healthy and happy. And you don’t need lycra or fancy gym equipment. Simply go on YouTube and find an exercise video you like. Whether it’s salsa to help with coordination and rhythm, or a 20 minute HIIT class to really get sweating, there’s a world of fun out there.
Finding, and sticking with, an aerobic exercise you love is great for heart health, mental health and studies show that regular heart pumping exercise is great for memory and learning too. If you’re a parent, see if you can get the kids involved! We’re sure you’ve heard about PE with Joe. Something that brought the country together through the first lockdown, with parents and children wildly sweating in the mornings. Well, Wake Up with Joe started last week, and it’s another opportunity to get sweating, release those endorphins and to prepare yourself for the day ahead. You can do them on your own, with a partner or with the kids!
Engaging Your Senses
For the ears, try music, a new podcast series or an audiobook. For your hands, get drawing, painting or building some Lego. Try cooking and eating new foods for those taste buds of yours. Or you can even try meditating with gentle music or in silence. We often miss the pleasure of these simple things in the business of our lives. Take this new lockdown as an opportunity to find a new way to engage your senses with the pleasures we might typically have missed.
Many of us will be too busy with work, housekeeping or kids to have taken the time to enjoy this in the past. So we suggest not setting huge targets with high expectations of reading a whole book in a fortnight or cooking something exciting everyday. Stay comfortable, but challenge yourself to find and regularly do something you love.