4 isolation wellness habits to continue after lockdown

Coronavirus forced many of us to change our health and wellness habits – and holding on to them can deliver huge benefits.

The coronavirus pandemic thrust us all into a new way of living, from spending most of our time at home to only seeing family and friends virtually and slowing down our busy schedules.

And while the COVID-19 lockdown undoubtedly caused major upheaval, it also provided a new lens to focus on our health and wellness.

So as regular life slowly resumes, which health and wellness habits should we consciously aim to take from iso life?

1. Staying connected for stronger relationships

Being in isolation no doubt encouraged more of us to reach out to our family and friends, scheduling everything from Zoom Friday night drinks to virtual birthday parties and family video calls.

When it comes to wellness, prioritising relationships is key, says psychologist Tunteeya Yamaoka.

“The relationships in our lives is what determines and defines the quality of our mental health, and the quality of how we experience life,” says the Ikigai Psychology Clinic founder.

Tunteeya says it’s important to remember how connected we felt to others, and to try to maintain that by making a more conscious effort to reach out to loved ones – whether that is a text to check how someone’s week is going, or a phone call just to say hello.

2. Embracing stillness

Putting a giant pause on our usually busy lives over the past few months has highlighted the importance of embracing moments of quiet and stillness.

“When we gift ourselves that time it allows us to stop and to be mindful in the moment,” says Tunteeya.

“And mindfulness has tremendous benefits because it allows us to really observe how we’re living, and this helps us to make conscious life decisions instead of reacting all the time to what’s happening around us.”

3. Scheduling exercise

Even if it was partly spurred by boredom or just wanting to get out of the house, a major upside of being in isolation was being able to make more time for exercise.

“If you’ve managed to use two months of lockdown as a time to build more fitness into your life, you will have seen results and know how you feel about them,” says personal trainer David McIlwaine, managing director of Fit4Dreams and Mums Squad.

“Consistent fitness activity makes you feel good about yourself… it’s an upwards spiral.”

4. Making time for activities you enjoy

Whether you learned to make your own sourdough bread or rediscovered a love of reading, isolation provided a great opportunity to do something purely for enjoyment.

And while your schedule may soon start to get full again, it’s still important to carve out time for hobbies and passion projects that lift your spirits.

“Doing those types of activities really enhances our mental health because it allows us time and space to create, to be ourselves and to be able to express what we love,” says Tunteeya. “And that also increases the quality of life.”

Written by Tania Gomez.