By Lauren Baker

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_laurenabaker/

This week is World Mental Health Awareness Week and I wanted to share what I’ve been doing during lockdown to take care of both my mind and body. This is completely personal to me (I understand this may not be possible for everyone). 

Pre-lockdown, I had never meditated, didn’t have the patience for yoga (often favouring a boxing session to relieve stress) and needed to be constantly busy. Now, unable to do my normal coping methods from home, I have to try something new. 

Watching the news quickly went from being something I looked at briefly on my phone when I woke up, to an overwhelming experience with scary information. And my job meant I couldn’t hide from it very easily. 

But, with a slower pace to the day, I’ve discovered it’s almost impossible to be doing something 24/7. So, I’ve used this time to create a new daily routine and change to my lifestyle. The first thing was cut down the amount I watched the news to 10 minutes a day.

I also enjoy being busy and working, but now have a more relaxed morning routine which has helped me deal with this strange way of living. From a morning stretch to a quick workout to even reading a few pages of your favourite book – there’s more options than you think!

Before looking at my phone, I love starting my day with a coffee in bed. Buying a milk frothier before lockdown was one of the best decisions I’ve made as I don’t miss out on my morning latte! There’s something amazingly satisfying about making it yourself. I haven’t reached barista standard just yet, but been having fun attempting to make latte art, at least. 

After making it and hopping back into bed, I use this time to read a chapter from whichever book I have going. This week, like most of the nation right now, my obsession with Normal People continues to grow! So, I spend 10- 20 minutes reading Sally Rooney’s award-winning title before doing some mobility stretches. 

Keeping active is incredibly important for me and when I first heard gyms were closing, I panicked. But now, I’m learning how to use my bodyweight to build muscle and keep active from the comfort of my living room.

It’s also important to treat yourself if you can! My favourite form of self-care at the moment is making a yummy bowl of porridge topped with Mindful Bites Chocolate and Hazelnut Spread and a chopped banana. If I’m feeling really lazy, I’ll take it back up to bed with me for a relaxed start to the day. 

Finally, taking advantage of fresh air has been vital. If I’m feeling restless, struggling to concentrate or just need a little time away from my family – I get outside! The new UK laws currently say we can have unlimited outdoor exercise so take advantage of the lovely weather. Even a quick 10-minute walk during my lunch break gives me a much-needed change of scene…

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