“I’ll just do it tomorrow” – The most common sentence in isolation
Now just a disclaimer, it is a little bit ironic that I’m here to chat to you today about motivation and routine during lockdown but have subsequently sat here for the past 15min, unable to motivate myself to start this blog, scrolled through Instagram and Tik Tok about 50 times before getting out of bed this morning, and just made my third cup of coffee just to fill 5min.
COVID-19 has affected us all and been a major disruption to our usual schedule, business and lives. We have all now spent weeks in lockdown, working from home and have had limited access to outside and the things we enjoy doing. People are finding life difficult at the moment, and that is entirely normal. But how can we best manage this change in life and motivate ourselves to get things done (particularly exercise) during this time?
So why are we may be feeling less motivated during this time?
While we’re all stranded indoors, the temptation for distractions increases. As you can see from the start of this blog, we are much more likely to be turning to non-urgent tasks such as housework, errands and generally just trying to keep busy to avoid tackling the actual important tasks in the day that need completing. Because what’s another “I’ll do it tomorrow because there’s nothing on”.
We are used to rewarding ourselves with trips to the cinema or theatre, restaurant meals, or nights out and time with friends. We enjoy our freedom – the ability to stroll aimlessly around a shop, plan a holiday, have a cheeky trip to the spa (because we deserve it). But during lockdown, we have been denied all of these things, the things we work hard for in order to treat ourselves with have been taken away.
We’ve all been very stressed out. Stress is usually normal part of life and is a healthy reaction that helps us cope with life’s challenges. However too much stress, or prolonged stress (like most of us are currently experiencing) can affect our physical and mental health. Any level of anxiety affects your ability to sleep and the levels of anxiety being experienced during this time will be affecting how long and deeply we fall asleep – consequently a lot of us are feeling drained and struggling to gather the energy to complete tasks that previously would seem easy to complete.
So enough of the negative talk.
How can we best manage this situation and improve our motivation and routine during COVID-19?
While we’re staying at home, there is a lean towards the temptation to have later nights, perhaps indulging in a Netflix binge (or suddenly subscribed to all streaming services if you’re like me). The best way to combat this sleep disruption is simply to just approach sleep as you would with any other working day. Having a disciplined sleep schedule and routine, when possible, is really important during this time of uncertainty to manage fatigue and motivation levels.
As with implementing a regular and normal sleep routine, having a daily routine that you can stick is important. It doesn’t necessarily have to echo your usual out of isolation routine but having some structure to your day and tasks to complete throughout it will help with motivation and sense of purpose for the day.
Now, if you’ve been here before, you know I’m going to loop round to exercise eventually. Don’t worry – I haven’t changed that much during isolation. Regular exercise has never been more important. With gyms, pools and being unable to complete face to face sessions with your favourite physiotherapist (*cough* Be Mobile Physio Team *cough*), a lot of us are struggling with motivation to stay fit and adhere to our usual exercise plans. Regular exercise is one of the best things you can be doing for your mental health during this time. Exercise has shown to help reduce the risk of depression and manage depressive symptoms, even a small amount of exercise can go a long way. Studies have found that as little as 15 minutes of moderate to high intensity exercise per day can help prevent depressive symptoms. A personal shout out to our little friend endorphins ( a neurotransmitter released during exercise) that have been shown to provide some pain relief, enhance feelings of pleasure and wellbeing and can help lower stress levels - which is what we all need right now.
Lucky for you the team at Be Mobile Physiotherapy have been working super duper hard and have put together loads of exercise videos that you can complete with us to get you moving and keeping fit during this time, some as short as the 15 minutes I just mentioned! How convenient! - cheeky plug I know, but can you blame us? - they’re pretty great and we’re very proud of what we’ve put together.
So get a routine together of sleep, daily tasks and exercise and watch that daily motivation climb! Help those around you by checking in with those you care about and lets all support each other through this time.
And heading back to the beginning of this blog, I set a routine and goal today of getting this blog done before lunch and I can happily say… DONE! I should take my own advice more often.
Catch you all next time!
Physiotherapist at Be Mobile