Many of us have changed our habits in a positive way since the start of lockdown, whether that’s doing more online workouts, spending more quality time with family or those in our household, or adapting our work spaces to help us feel more productive. On the other hand, some may have noticed some less than healthy habits creeping in – drinking alcohol more regularly throughout the week, spending more time on screens and less time in the moment, or sofa surfing rather than exercising to name a few.
With some lockdown rules due to lift in the coming weeks and more businesses reopening, the hero team has put together our top tips to help you put together (and stick to) a healthy post-lockdown routine.
Plan your week
hero’s founder Joe Gaunt recommends planning the week ahead when it comes to your health. This could be creating a meal plan, training plan, mental health activities or a bedtime routine to support a healthy sleep. Once you’ve got your plan in place, ask yourself what are the barriers? What simple things can you do to overcome them? Start by focusing on one area, like nutrition or sleep, and see how effective having a plan can be to support your health.
Set yourself up for success
Start to implement your new routine now. Go to bed and wake up at a set time – the National Sleep Foundation found that even if you’re moderately sleep-deprived, you’ll have a 50% slower response time and a lower accuracy rate on simple tasks, so getting your sleep routine in order can really help across other areas too.
If self care standards have started to slip, reintroduce fresh ones. This might include limiting alcohol intake to the weekend, reducing the amount of sugary snacks to treat days only, and implementing relaxation techniques to unwind at the end of the day. Try to organise your week ahead, prioritise certain tasks, and allow yourself to be one step head. Don’t waste energy worrying about what’s not happened, and if it doesn’t go exactly as planned, give yourself a break. Just remember we are all in it together!
Remember the benefits of the new habit and stick to your goal
There’s no escaping it – heading for a HIIT session or going for a walk in the park after an early alarm or an 8-hour day of gruelling meetings is the last thing most of us fancy. Swapping that beer for a lemonade might not feel like it has the same effect. But in the long run, your body and your mind – and all aspects of your life – will benefit from this habit, even if right now it feels like a chore. Keep that goal as your focus and the effort will all seem worth it.
Celebrate small milestones
Taking on a new, healthy habit is a great thing – and you should celebrate yourself and your efforts! Remember to do this rather than punishing yourself for small relapses – we all have days where we can’t face being good, and we eat, drink, nail-bite, slob or stress our way into a low place of regret. Don’t worry about it – be kind to yourself. Even if it feels like it’s taking forever, just be patient, be consistent and don’t let little setbacks like this stop your journey in its tracks. Baby steps, and constant praise.
Visualise the end goal
Isn’t it easier to stick to something when you have a clear goal to stick to? Visualise that end goal whether it’s feeling calmer, looking healthier, weighing less, weighing more, having more energy. Whatever you want to achieve, keep that focus in mind every day as you build your new habit.
Would you like more support with your healthy habits? Contact the hero team today to find out more about wellbeing technology and education.