During times of isolation, the upheaval to your everyday routines can play havoc on your mental health. Humans are social creatures and when we don't have frequent social interactions (and are stuck inside for most of the day), mental health can begin a steady spiral downwards.
But remember: you’re not alone.
Forbes published findings from a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation on how COVID-19 is affecting mental health - in a mid-March poll, 32% of people polled said that worry and stress about coronavirus had a negative impact on their mental health. Two weeks later in late March, this number had risen to 45%. And as lockdown continues, it’s safe to assume that more and more of us are struggling to find the light in these dark situations.
Whilst we feel powerless to overcome something so mammoth that is affecting thousands around the globe, the key takeaway is to be conscious of your feelings and be as proactive as you can. From staying in contact with loved ones via video and phone calls to ensuring you maintain a routine - there are many tips out there to help the many who are feeling their mental health is suffering.
One top tip is centred around fitness. If you’re feeling a serious dip in your mental health because of your COVID-19 circumstances, or for any other reason, exercising through home workouts or online fitness classes can help turn it around. Whilst under lockdown with no access to the usual group fitness classes or equipped venues, now is so important for you to find ways to keep your mental health in check.
The Mental Health Foundation reports that: ‘Physical activity has a huge potential to enhance our wellbeing. Even a short burst of 10 minutes’ brisk walking increases our mental alertness, energy and positive mood. It also plays a role in preventing the development of mental health problems and in improving the quality of life of people experiencing mental health problems.
Your usual workout classes and bootcamps may not be available right now, so we’ve put together a list of home workout classes that may help you in finding that release from pent up worries and anxieties which can become crippling if left unchecked.
Home workouts and online fitness classes that can support better mental health
Building core strength can actually mitigate anxiety
Feeling anxious sucks. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. It’s one of those things that can permeate throughout your entire life. But when it comes to physical activity options that can help in these circumstances, strength-building classes are often overlooked. That’s a shame because they can actually prove effective..
With a workout like body conditioning, or core building, over time you will be able to catalogue your progress, noticing how much stronger you have become. Tracking that progress is one constructive way to alleviate anxiety by constant and positive growth.
If you have social anxiety, then the explosion in home workout options can help too. On-demand workouts mean that you don’t have to interact with anyone in the social-physical sense, but you still get the benefit of a great strength workout. As your anxieties start to fade and you become more confident, you can move on to live-stream strength classes. Although still run remotely, they will have more social interaction, and then eventually on to in-person classes.
Just remember, it’s all about you and your progress. Take as much time as you need. The important thing is that you’re working on becoming healthier, both mentally and physically.
Combat cabin fever and stress with at-home bootcamps
Being stuck at home for such an extended period of time is tough, even if you’re actively taking steps to look after your mental health in isolation. Symptoms of cabin fever include:
All of which can lead to even more dire symptoms if not effectively dealt with. But there are effective, exercise-based ways to try minimise these feelings too.
If you don’t want to stray too far from home, online outdoor Bootcamp classes mean you can take to your garden and work out in the fresh air. This will make sure you’re outside, become invigorated, and give your exercise time structure and purpose.
If you don’t have a garden but you can get outside safely without interacting with people outside your home, you could try a virtual running club. This is a great way to get out of the house while a professional coaches you to become a better runner.
Running releases so many positive endorphins that will help fight the symptoms of cabin fever. You can then return home safely in the knowledge that you’re in a good place, both in your body and your mind. And that sense of achievement when you have finished a good run is certainly of higher worth than hours in front of the TV.
Dance yourself content
Whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, the reduced human interaction will probably be taking a toll on you. And if you love group classes (which we know so many Movers do) you’ve probably found a bit of a saving grace in live-stream classes.
If you’re looking for even more of a connection, then attending a dance class can really help shake off the blues.
Dance classes are extremely interactive and are more about having fun than getting the technique right. With the atmosphere centered around having a great party, you’ll almost feel like you’re out socializing again. The best part is you’re getting fit while doing it.
Fusion workouts will diffuse your lethargy
Though you may have had the best intentions when isolation started, as time passes and the days all blend into one, it may have become harder and harder to motivate yourself. One of the best ways to get out of this workout slump is to try online fitness classes that combine different mediums.
For example, you could try out Yoga HIIT Fusion or Yoga Strength Fusion as these types of classes are great if you’re finding it hard to gather the strength to exercise. While they mostly focus on calming, mindful movements, fusion classes throw in exercises that will get your heart racing and those endorphins flowing.
Fusion workouts are perfect to jumpstart you back into a workout-orientated mindset. They ease you back into an exercise routine while reminding you how good it feels to get moving.
So whilst fitness may not be the entire answer to those struggling during lockdown, it is an important factor in maintaining good mental health. Remain proactive and take note of your feelings, and always reach out to a loved one or professional experts when you’re struggling… do not forget, that we are in this together and you are not suffering alone.