29 April 2020
Our recommendations for virtual self-help during lockdown
by Lauren Hillyer
Everyone is facing their own challenges right now, whether it’s getting to grips with a new remote working routine, coming to terms with being furloughed, juggling home-schooling, looking after a vulnerable relative or muddling through this new world with a new born; we all need to take a moment and think about our wellbeing.
Lockdown presents a time of heightened anxiety and stress. While I’m sure you’ve enjoyed screening those films that have been on your watch list, binge watching almost anything on Netflix or finally opening that cook book your auntie bought you for Christmas 4 years ago, we must regain our productivity and make sure we take the time to check in on our wellbeing. We’re entering into our second month of lockdown and for the majority, being in isolation sucks but now more than ever, it’s important to stay connected virtually and we have never thanked our lucky stars for 4G and Wi-Fi this much, until now.
Here’s how we can make use of it.
It sounds controversial to say ‘grab your phone in order to relax and be at ease with your thoughts’ but in this technological age, everything is an App, right? Headspace is probably the most famous of meditation apps, launched 10 years ago now and vouched for by Jared Leto, Gwyneth Paltrow and Emma Watson. Download and strap in to start your daily 3 minute meditation.
Alternatively, Calm is another App that will transport you to a place of relaxation. There’s guided Daily Calm sessions, as well as programmes for intermediate and advanced users. The minute you open this App you are welcomed by the great outdoors and can’t help but feel instantly at peace. You can choose where you want to be, whether it’s a tropical beach with rolling waves or a thunderstorm with epic rainfall, this is the nicest touch I’ve seen on any an App.
Whether it’s Skype, Zoom, FaceTime or Houseparty, there’s no excuse to not stay connected with your friends, family and colleagues. As the weeks of lockdown continue so do our hectic virtual schedules, going ‘out out’ has been replaced with staying ‘in in’. There is something uplifting about having virtual catch-ups and seeing faces that you simply cannot obtain from a one-to-one phone chat.
Whether it’s a virtual meal or drinks, just 5 minutes of interaction gives you a whole day of motivation. If you fancy something a bit more interactive, remote tea parties, quiz’s or my personal favourite: a treasure hunt, helps you feel inspired!
The one, and only good thing about this pandemic is the kindness that we are seeing with brands/companies offering free services. Joe Wicks has made a ‘movement’ with ‘PE With Joe’. If you haven’t heard about this, you really have been isolating yourself. Joe’s YouTube channel is live every Monday-Friday at 9am offering 30 minutes of HIIT. And believe me, this isn’t just for kids, well maybe the fancy dress Friday is.
A particular favourite of mine, is Yoga with Adriene. One simple mission - to connect as many people as possible through yoga videos. A popular YouTube channel for all levels, with a 30-day yoga challenge. So for all you go getters, this is great if you want to put your mind to something.
Couch to 5K is another free App that will help you move those limbs 3 times a week, for 9 weeks. Coached through a mixture of walking/running to reach that 5K goal by Jo Wiley or Sarah Millican. Or if you need that Olympic spirit to give you more get-up-and-go, you can select Michael Johnson. So, grab your trainers and plug in.
Exercising virtually with your friends and family will not only boost your morale but will help you get through it together. There’s loads of fitness brands and gyms offering free workouts online like Gymshark, Gymbox or KOBOX as well as others offering free trials like Chris Hemsworth’s Centr and Davina McCall’s, Own Your Goals.
While we may not be able to travel on lockdown, you can travel virtually across the globe to indulge yourself in a little art and culture. You can attend everything from art galleries to religious ceremonies with many institutions taking services, tours and performances online. As they say in showbusiness, the show must go on and they really weren’t lying because even theatres are bringing the drama right to your sofa. You’ve got NT Live, every Thursday there is a show on the National Theatre’s YouTube channel. Or if musical theatre is more your vibe (no one is judging) then Andrew Lloyd Webber brings the West End and Broadway to your living room every Friday night at 7pm on The Shows Must Go On YouTube channel.
So go on, give yourself a real mood boost and improve your mindset by picking a church, gallery, theatre or opera and stream away!
Whatever you’re doing during lockdown, take this time to restore, regenerate and remember, there is always a silver lining in the darkest of clouds. #Stayconnected