It’s no secret that most of us are fearful of lockdown easing too much, in fact, more than four in five Britons are against lockdown measures being eased for schools, pubs and restaurants.
Unfortunately, most of this is out of our control, however one thing we are in complete control of is our bodies, and our lifestyle choices. Funnily enough, some of the habits we’ve created in lockdown can give us inspiration going forwards, for a happier and healthier life. Here’s five lockdown habits to continue well into everyday life…
1. lockdown habits – Walking and cycling
Perhaps one of the best outcomes to come from lockdown is that it has revolutionised the way we travel. With barely any cars on the road, and a drop in public transport use, our quality of air has improved dramatically and many of us have rediscovered the joys of walking and cycling. So much so, Halford’s – Britain’s largest cycling retailer – reported sales of some cycling equipment had risen 500% at the start of the lockdown! With councils across the country now opening up more space for walking and cycling, it’s a healthy habit we should see long into the future, for us and the planet.
2. lockdown habits – Managing stress
Working from home generally means there are more hours in the day, which means most people have got used to a slower pace of life in lockdown (an hour extra in bed – yes please!). It’s also given us time to reflect on the normal modern-day stressors that can affect us in ‘normal’ life – commuting on a busy tube or train, queueing for your morning oat milk latte – and look to minimise these in the future, or at least search for more calmness in our lives.
Keeping down our stress levels and maintaining this ‘slowness’ will be key to transitioning smoothly into everyday life. Used for centuries as a source of wellbeing, Ashwagandha- a well-known adaptogen – could be nature’s answer to help lower our stress levels and bring about a sense of calm. Said to be used by the likes of Jennifer Anniston and Megan Markle, Ashwagandha’s restorative properties can help fight the stressors of modern life.
TRY THIS – New Ashwagandha by Link Nutrition (£19.95, x60 Capsules, available at www.linknutrition.com) is a high-potency, food-based supplement made from over 13.5g of ashwagandha root and provides 32.5mg of withanolides, the active component.
Link’s Nutritionist Libby Limon is a big fan: “My number one go to herb is ashwagandha, it has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine, but has also proven its worth in managing anxiety, stress and improving sleep quality in modern scientific studies. Ashwagandha reduces cortisol levels thus reducing the feelings of stress and increasing the overall ability to cope with it.”
3. lockdown habits – Prioritise a good sleep routine
Since lockdown began, the hashtag ‘can’t sleep’ has been trending, with people sharing stories of their bedtime woes. The uplift of this is that it has made us realise just how important sleep is, and most of us are now prioritising learning more about how we can easily slip into a deep slumber.
As with most things, routine is key. Find your fail-safe routine and stick to it – whether that be no screens an hour before bed, candle lit meditation and nasal breathing or simply getting to bed at exactly the same time every night. Sometimes it really isn’t that simple though, and we all need a little sleep time aid to help us on our way. This is where herbs can play their part.
Master Herbsmith and Co-Founder of Pukka, Sebastian Pole, says: “Whether you’re trying to adapt to a new sleep pattern, or just need to get a good night’s rest, there is a vast range of herbs that have a longstanding use for nourishing the nervous system and helping us relax. Natural herbal drinks can support and encourage the mind and body’s natural processes before and during sleep.”
TRY THIS – Pukka Night Time Latte (Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Holland & Barrett nationwide, £4.99 for 15 servings. Expertly blended by Pukka’s Master Herbsmith Sebastian Pole, this luxuriously healthy herbal Night Time latte contains a plant based dairy & sugar-free blend of organicoat, coconut milkand nuttycarob bean, infused with nature’s finest night-time herbs; lavender and chamomile, ashwagandhaandnutmeg.
When added to milk, the result is a smooth, creamy and warming drink with a malty taste, hints of nutty chocolate and delicate floral and aromatic notes. All of which have been blended to benefit anyone wanting to aid natural relaxation before bed.
4. lockdown habits – Home cooking
With more time on our hands, means more time to spend doing the things we love, and for a lot of people that is cooking up a delicious meal. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of the ‘making’, having the time to see what goes in the meal, then sitting down and not wolfing it down means we’re all enjoying a far more mindful experience. In fact, it looks as though people are not only spending more time cooking, but they are also eating healthier – 20% are reportedly eating healthier than they were before lockdown. Going forwards, hopefully we can all dedicate that little bit of extra time to our cooking and enjoy the love of good food!
5. lockdown habits – Get your daily boost of essential vitamins
With the virus very much still alive across the country, it’s more important than ever to keep our immunity up and keep our bodies boosted with all the essential vitamins. Particularly if you feel any symptoms of a cold or flu.
Dr Jenna Macciochi, one of the UK’s leading immunologists, comments: “When you feel a cold and flu coming on, you need to work with your immune system’s response to the illness, rather than the symptoms, as this will help you recover quicker. A high dose of extra vitamins such as C, D and minerals such as zinc have been shown to help the immune system and speed up recovery. Vitamin C in particular has been shown to reduce the duration and the severity of a cold. The latest scientific studies have shown that high doses at first sign of a cold can speed up your recovery by up to 2 whole days. Now that’s a Tonic worth having in the medicine cabinet!”
TRY THIS – Tonic Health Max Strength Vitamin Drink (Boots nationwide, £6 for x10 sachets), made with 100% natural ingredients, plant extracts and backed by some serious science. Dr Jenna recommends the “blend of vitamins, minerals and real ingredients go straight to helping your immune system, rather than tackling your symptoms. It is also 50% stronger than comparable products in terms of vitamin content”.