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There is no doubt about it, even if you are fortunate enough to (like myself) not have caught Covid, the pandemic has had a massive effect on our health and lifestyle. I have been working from home since March of last year, whereas prior to that I was commuting 5 days a week to a variety of locations. I did drive to work, but I still left the house, and got steps in walking to and from the car, plus around the sites during the day. Early on in our first lockdown I found that I was struggling to get out of bed, and would put on a hoodie over my pyjamas (in case I was needed on a video call) not getting dressed until mid/late morning or even lunchtime. It was having a major impact on my activity levels, my diet and my mental health.

I soon reached a point where something had to give. I needed a routine, and I needed to find a manageable way to get myself back on track.

  1. I made sure I got dressed every day before I started work – it sounds small, but it really does make a difference to your mindset.
  2. I am bad at exercising for myself, so I got in the habit of borrowing my neighbours’ dog at lunchtime, which got us both out of the house. When you are with a dog, everyone is much more friendly and I soon began seeing the same people and saying hello to people on our walks. Living alone and working from home – this was a massive boost! Once I got in the habit of walking everyday, I would really enjoy it and look forward to my fresh air and time with my canine friend. I then signed up to do a charity challenge where I had to do a set number of steps every day for a month to raise money for the cause. I soon learnt that places which I would normally drive to weren’t actually that far, and even though I don’t do as many steps after the month’s challenge, I am definitely walking to places more than ever before.
  3. Meal planning became even more important. I couldn’t keep eating rubbish, and I also couldn’t just stop off on my way to or from work to get groceries. I would meal plan, do regular big supermarket shops and stop relying on convenience and snack foods. I also tried out a meal subscription service which really got me in the habit of cooking from scratch, and eating new things and trying new recipes. It’s showed me that I can be a lot more creative in the kitchen than I ever realised, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune or be really complicated. With the service I used you get recipe cards, so going forward the recipes I like, I can now replicate by buying the relevant ingredients in my regular supermarket shop!
  4. I used a calculator tool to help me plan my exercise and food to ensure that I lost the weight that I gained in lockdown. Such a tool helps you workout your required calorie intake for weight loss or maintenance. It’s really helpful to see how many calories you need or should be having, and that really helped me

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