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What went down on our Healthy-ish Daily Check-ins this week

Boost your mental health by tuning into with Nina Young every morning on our Healthy-ish podcast. 

With the stress and anxiety caused by the current coronavirus situation, there’s a good chance you’ve let your mental health go by the wayside.

We understand working from home with kids or a partner is difficult. You may feel pressured to upskill since you have more time on your hands. Then there’s the added financial stress and uncertainty of what the future holds post-coronavirus.

Which is why we at body+soul want to help you through this difficult time. Every morning Nina Young hosts a special daily check-in on our Healthy-ish podcast to keep you healthy and happy, and set you up for the day ahead. You can subscribe to Healthy-ish on Apple Podcasts or whenever you get your podcasts.

Here’s what went down on this week’s Healthy-ish Daily Check-Ins…

Day One: Self-care and safety

Listen to the daily check-in here.

It was all about recapping hygiene techniques that will keep you safe out in the world, and the myths you can’t ignore. Firstly, the 5-step hand washing technique is as follows:

1. Wet hands with clean, running water (hot or cold), turn off the tap and apply soap.

2. Lather the soap thoroughly, including the nooks between your fingers, the backs of the hands and under your nails.

3. Scrub for at least 20 seconds. Don’t have a timer? Hum the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice and you’re all set.

4. Rinse hands under clean, running water.

5. Dry hands with a clean towel or air-dry them.

Myths 1 discussed: Drinking water every 15 minutes washes away the virus in your throat and doesn’t let it settle.

Dr Monique Chilver, an infectious diseases researcher at the University of Adelaide, told body and soul that:

“The virus is inside your cells – this is how it replicates,” she said. “It is biologically impossible for water to simply wash it away.” In other words, regardless of how often you swallow H2O, drinking water does nothing to reduce your chances of developing coronavirus.

Myth 2 discussed: Warm water makes it harder for the virus to survive.

Dr Dan McGee, a paediatric doctor in Michigan, told TODAY that any water you drink will eventually get warmed up when it reaches your stomach. Why drinking warm water would make a difference to your chances of developing coronavirus, he said, “is beyond me”.

“I think they’re confusing that you should wash your hands with warm water to help disperse the soap better”.

Day Two: How to put yourself first every day

Listen to the daily check-in here.

It’s easy for worry and anxiety to take forefront in our minds, and consume us as we try to prepare or plan against an invisible enemy. But in that worry and anxiety, you need to make space to check in with yourself every day and get a good gauge on how you’re feeling and how you’re coping.

Eat, drink, shower, sleep – these are the basics that fuel you so don’t allow anything to get in the way of meeting these basic needs.

In some ways, this isolation has been a much needed slowdown and reset – we’re not stuck in traffic, or on the train, we’re not spending hours in the office every day. But in other ways, we actually have an awful lot on our plates! We’re struggling to make those work and home life boundaries work and not end up doing hours of overtime every day.

So what’s the secret to managing it all: ready? You can’t, and you’re setting yourself up for a big fall if you put that expectation on yourself. You can manage precisely, what you can manage, and only you can determine what that is right now, if that means you need to talk to your boss about your workload, or talk to your kid’s teacher about easing up on the school work, that is just totally fine. Because you need to put yourself first, if you push yourself to be everything to everyone then you’re heading for a burn out and you know what happens when you burn out? You’re not going to be able to help anyone else. Put on your own oxygen mask before you help others.

Find a quiet moment and examine what’s going on inside your head. What are you worried about? What are you happy about? What are you avoiding? Don’t try and fix, or solve or bury any of those feelings; just make time to be aware of them, acknowledge and accept them. This will help you to stay connected to your feelings throughout this and let you know when it’s time to step back from things or ask for help.

Day Three: How to stay motivated in the iso slump

Listen to the daily check-in here.

Not sure where to start when you’re looking to achieve a goal?

Author Charles Duhigg recommends starting with the very smallest step possible in order to create a habit loop. So, if you want to knock off an important spreadsheet for work, start by formatting the blank page. If you want to get fit, just start by looking into available at home programs. That small step will make the next step less daunting, and so on after that.

If you’re lacking motivation, you can try a power pose.

Apparently your body language can affect your emotions. So, if you’re slumping and dragging your feet around the house, you’re hardly going to feel in the mood to get things done. Psychologist Jaimie Bloch, from MindMovers Psychology in Sydney says research into confidence found that people who stand in the power pose for at least two minutes have increased levels of testosterone, a body producing chemical associated with confidence, and creates a reduction in the production of cortisol, our stress hormone. If you want to feel motivated from the inside out, stand up straight, chest out, lift your arms above your head like a V and keep your legs hip distance apart.

Day Four: Three ways to pamper yourself happy

Listen to the daily check-in here.

There are things we can do to combat stress and now is exactly the right time to do it. One of them is… pampering ourselves.

When we pamper ourselves, we relax and relaxing does a lot of wonderful things in our bodies. It reduces the cortisol that has all those negative effects on us, it slows your heart rate and makes you feel less anxious, and research has found relaxation leads you to be more focused, so if you want to get more done, stressing and rushing may actually be the worst plan of action.

So what’s the best way to get your pamper on? Here are three suggestions:

Just because no one is seeing you right now, doesn’t mean you can’t look your very best for yourself. Remove that chipped manicure, and give your hand a good soak in a homemade hand mask. Your hands have been through a lot recently and they’ve done a good job of keeping you safe, so reward them.

Next, give your face some love. Stress has given all of ours faces a beating. Now is a great time for some gentle exfoliation and facemasks. If you’re lucky enough to have a bathtub, fill it up, pull out a good book and whack on a sheet mask.

Change your scent and change your little bubble for the better. Grab yourself some scented candles or oils and get them going. Just pick a smell you like and one that makes you feel good. The right aroma can really improve your mood.

Day Five: Flexibility is what we need most right now

Listen to the daily check-in here.

We’ve all become accustomed to WFH life and studies have found that flexible work options is tied to:

  • Improved organisational productivity
  • An enhanced ability to attract and retain employees
  • Improved employee well-being
  • An increased proportion of women in leadership
  • Future-proofing the workplace

Chances are that companies are going to be more open to flexible work options after experiencing the last few months, and realise that you being on your computer at home is not actually very different to you being on your computer at work. If you do want to make the request, be reasonable, flexibility goes both ways, maybe you can get a day or two a week at home and the rest in the office? Maybe you can change your hours to fit better around school or daycare? Make sure you put your request in writing and give lots of good reasons why it would be beneficial to you and to them.