Wellbeing during a pandemic
Emily was first introduced to Pilates when recovering from surgery. She finds that it helps her better understand her own body and gives her the confidence to get back to being active and strong. Here she explains how her Pilates sessions could help you this winter.
Looking after your mental health has always been important but this year it has become more crucial than ever before. World Mental Health Day was on the 10 October, a day that would usually be full of community activities, but was instead spent at home. Despite this, we still had the opportunity to learn, listen to each other and be reminded how important it is to keep our wellbeing in check.
This is even more important if you have a lung condition, especially if you’re spending more time indoors. It’s clear that lockdown has impacted our mental health. Mike McKevitt, Director of Services at Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, notes that there has been a huge influx of calls to the helpline from people who are isolated.
Other studies completed this year looking at data from our first lockdown have also highlighted the negative impact on our mental health. The University of Bristol has highlighted the impact on younger people with asthma in particular, saying they should be supported to reduce the impact of lockdown on their mental health.
The significance of managing your mental health, especially during a pandemic, can’t be ignored. As we slip into winter, it’s crucial that we take steps to boost and maintain our wellbeing.
Looking after your mental wellbeing at this time of year
Your wellbeing encompasses many different areas, all of which can be impacted by long periods of isolation, unsettling routines and uncertainty.
There are many ways we can take care of ourselves to boost our ability to cope, and lots of helpful support online to guide us through. As a Pilates instructor, I have been focusing on the benefits of physical activity.
Physical activity is often talked about exclusively as sweaty, intense workouts. However, I find it more helpful to label it as ‘movement’. Any movement can be beneficial to your mental health - whether it’s a walk outside in nature, playing with your pet, or of course my personal favourite: a Pilates session.
The low-impact and calming nature of these activities make them great for both our physical and emotional wellbeing, giving us the chance to reset and come away from the stresses we may be facing at the moment.
You can also sign up to my new Pilates at home class which I’ll be running this weekend, there are several time slots so make sure you find one that suits you and join me for some feel-good Pilates at home.
Slowing the day down
There are some things you can do for yourself each day as a little wellbeing habit – for me, taking time to slow the day down has been crucial to managing my health.
It’s very easy to get caught up in the stresses of work, childcare, and everything else going on in the world. Having scheduled time, even 10 minutes while you drink your tea, away from your phone or distractions at the start of the day, makes a huge difference.
Taking the time to slow down and separate yourself from stresses sets up the day differently, reframing your mindset and building that much-needed resilience.
Connecting with those around you
This can be tough, especially if you’re living in an area of the UK with strict lockdown measures in place. However, we have to find ways to communicate and share our thoughts and feelings to those we’re close to. While we may be over the excitement of a Zoom quiz, there are so many ways you can keep those connections going, such as organising a virtual Come Dine With Me, or even syncing up a movie to watch together.
It’s important you feel able to share your feelings with those around you and I would even recommend making a pact with a friend where you promise you will talk to each other if you’re feeling low.
While it may feel it, this won’t last forever. Make sure you are taking steps to take care of your wellbeing, always putting your health first.
I’m really looking forward to seeing you all for my Pilates at home webinar, you can reserve your slot now.
Book your slot for Emily’s Pilates at home class. It’s free and there are lots of time slots so you should find one that suits you. Please note that this session is on the floor so you may need an exercise mat.