We're here to help you move to the new normal
making a stress-free transition
As the Covid-19 pandemic swept the world, New Zealand took matters into its own hands to keep its people safe. The government shut the borders and issued a mandatory nationwide lockdown under Alert Level 4. This meant that within a matter of days, life as we knew it had changed. New Zealanders had to adapt to a new way of life within their bubbles, which often became synonymous with being distanced from friends and family, and growing economic hardship. Frontline staff began working around the clock to care for our loved ones, essential workers worked tirelessly to keep lights on and food on our tables. Working from home also became the new norm for many others. Now, with the prospect of Covid-19 elimination within our sights, little old New Zealand, the underdog in many respects, is on the verge of becoming the first country to do so, a great testament to the Kiwi spirit.
Now, as the country looks to transition back to Alert Level 2 on Thursday, many of the non-essential workers will be streaming back to work, and for many others, working from home will be the new normal. For this reason, we want to help guide you through this transition to make it as stress-free as possible.
Nutrition and Meal Prep
Over these last few months, New Zealand has set an all-time record for flour consumption as we have fallen back in love with baking. While these delicious masterpieces have provided comfort during the lockdown period, overindulgence can often leave us feeling sluggish and disengaged. Consider planning ahead your week’s meals and attempt to integrate as many fruits and veggies as possible to fire up that body. Feeding your body with clean, nutritious foods can decrease brain fog, improve alertness and make the transition much more manageable.
Create a sleep routine that you stick to
Evidence suggests sleep is one of the most important ingredients for leading a long healthy life. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night enables your body to complete vital housekeeping and replace damaged cells to present the best version of you. Look to set a bedtime that you can adhere to everyday of the week. Routine and consistency will help you achieve better quality sleep, increasing your alertness and productivity to navigate the busy days ahead.
Ease your way in
With cafes, gyms and workplaces open for business as usual, it is easy to feel obligated to attend social engagements and get back into fitness regimes at the cost of your health. Consider slowly reengaging in these activities to prevent burn out. Prioritise key events at the beginning of the week and stick to it. Over the coming weeks, look to progressively add in one more engagements to ensure you remain in control. Remember, it is ok to say ‘no’ sometimes.
tips and benefits of physical activity
While the suggestions above seem commonsensical, the role of physical activity cannot be forgotten. Did you know it takes just two weeks for your strength and cardiovascular fitness to begin to decline and at least three to four weeks to actually improve it? Physical activity plays a significant role in mental wellbeing. For this reason, I have created some tips and tricks to encourage you to incorporate physical activity into your daily life and reap the benefits.
- Once at work, look to incorporate pacing into your routine - i.e. ease yourself into tasks that require complex, heavy, or repetitive movements. Take regular breaks to stand and walk, to break up the monotony of sitting. Perform back stretches after performing lifting/carrying tasks. Look away from your computer monitor every 10-15 minutes and focus on objects in the distance to reduce glare. While small, these strategies will help reduce exposure and potential injury.
- Get physically active. Look to add in small bouts of physical activity back into your daily routine. This will help stem the decline of cardiovascular fitness and strength. Be kind to yourself, there will be many challenges reintegrating back into work. Start small and build up as you feel comfortable.
By taking ownership of your life, you will feel more in control over these next few weeks to months. We understand for many people, the effects of Covid-19 are going to take a very real toll. With emotions running high, we want to assure you that we are in this together. Whether that is a friendly face to help you manage an injury that has plagued you since lockdown, nutritional advice to help you curb that sweet tooth, or personal training sessions to get you back safely into exercise, we are here for you.
If you would like to make an appointment or further information,
give us a call on 0800 557 556 or book online.
|Kate Clayton is a Lead Physiotherapist based at Habit Petone/OK Health|