For most of us, lockdown has allowed us time to slow down and take stock of our lives, our priorities and even our homes. It is the ideal opportunity to focus on our well-being and overall quality of life and to make positive changes both mentally and physically.
Never before has the need to maintain personal hygiene standards and routines received so much publicity. All you need to do is scroll through social media to see the memes of people looking less than desirable as they “let things go” in the privacy of their own homes.
So, where to start. Routine is the key to wellness and overall quality of life. From hygiene routines to regular exercise, it is the healthy habits that we form that contribute to our overall well-being. We have 21 days to start creating new healthy habits so don’t waste anymore time and put lockdown to work for you.
Reduce time spent on devices
Blue light emitted from our screens can delay the release of sleep-inducing melatonin, increase alertness, and reset the body’s internal clock.
Try to be more aware of how much time you’re spending on devices and balance it with some time spent outdoors. Sunlight increases the levels of serotonin in the brain which is associated with improved mood. In just 15 minutes spent outdoors, your body can get all the Vitamin D it needs for optimal health.
Get more sleep
Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight and mind. It spurs the creative process, reduces fatigue and increases stamina. But before you hit the snooze button, make sure your bed is fit for a good night’s rest.
Wash bed linen regularly and air your mattress and pillows to keep them fresh and hygienic. Rub the seams of your mattress with an alcohol rub or disinfectant (you should have loads of that on hand during lockdown) and spray your pillows too. Don’t soak them; they generally come out all lumpy. Pillow cases should ideally be replaced more often than sheets.
Clean fresh breath is good for business and personal relationships.
If you have bad breath, review your oral hygiene habits. Try making lifestyle changes, such as brushing your teeth and tongue after eating, using dental floss, and drinking plenty of water.
Pay attention to what you’re eating and how it affects your oral hygiene. Common triggers include sugary foods and dairy which is mucous inducing and often coats the tongue. Adjust your diet accordingly.
Clean your face
Invest in a good cleanser and wash your face morning and night. This one is not just for the ladies but ladies, make sure you remove your make-up properly to maintain that youthful glow.
If you have a teenager, this is a great time to help them to get into the habit of developing a skincare routine. Show them an online video tutorial if they don’t want to take advice form you – it may yield more positive results and allows you to engage with them on platforms they relate to.
Bath or shower on a daily basis
Even if you’re spending lockdown waltzing around in your pyjamas all day, maintain your regular daily bath routine and alternate your pj’s daily.
Make sure your towels are clean and fresh. Hang them out in the sun after each use to air them regularly between washes.
Use deodorant after your bath or shower.
Wash your clothing and linen
Use this time to sort out your wardrobe, colour co-ordinate and check what needs mending or cleaning. Check if your children have outgrown anything and set it aside for charities and families in need. Make a list of what you need to replace for your kids and include any sports kit and school uniform on the list. Life will soon return to a more hectic pace so get this done without the regular demands on your time.
Do the same with your bed linen. Sort through any old stained linen and give away what you don’t need and soak the rest before storing neatly. Try storing linen in sets so that you don’t have to sort through the lot every time you change your bedding. It’s easier if you stack it in piles for each member of the household.
Clean your cupboards
Haul everything out and sort through what you need, want, treasure and can do without. Apply this to every cupboard in the house.
Mark boxes or packets if you don’t have any boxes in the house and label them (tupperware, books, towels etc) for anything you no longer need.
Wipe cupboard surfaces down with household cleaners and disinfectants, allow to dry thoroughly and then repack methodically.
Add dehumidifiers to your grocery list and get into the habit of using them in all your cupboards to soak up the moisture in the air. It will help eliminate damp smells. If you have any lavender in the garden, put some sprigs in your linen cupboards to prevent fish moths and keep things smelling fresh.
Reduce any unnecessary items in your home to really benefit the most from cleaning out.
Once you have the basics sorted, remember to make new healthy habits in every area of your life to get you on the road to wellness. Keep track of your time, your personal grooming habits and your fitness for your own good.