Limited time outside, restricted travel, and only seeing most friends virtually can be too much for most people. To maintain a healthy mindset, start building habits that can build a stronger body and mind.
CompareBear cares, so we list the best healthy habits that we’ve personally done. Side notes and pro-tips included.
Mornings can be a bit rushed — preparing breakfast or coffee fix, getting ready for work, driving or commuting to work, and taking care of your pets or kids. As you no longer have to commute during lockdown, you can use this time to build the habit of working out!
Keeping a healthy mind starts from taking care of your physical health. If you don’t know where to start, you can always search for calisthenics, and basic workout routines for beginners. There are plenty of workout teachers on YouTube, helping you get into proper postures and stances. These beginner workout sessions last for only 10-30 minutes.
Pro-tip: You don’t need specialised equipment, especially if you’re just starting your workout journey. Eventually, you may want to purchase dumbbells, weights, or your very own home gym equipment if you want to build more muscles.
The weather’s still a bit chilly, but you can now start growing your own produce just in time for spring and summer harvest. Curate your lawn with plants that you want to eat, such as lettuce, asparagus, peas, beets, sweet potatoes, and more.
Growing your own fruits and vegetables can take a lot of time — from ploughing the soil, watering them, keeping them alive and healthy, to harvesting them. That’s why it’s the perfect habit to build during lockdown, when you have a lot of time at home. The best part is, you can simply take a trip to your garden whenever you’re preparing for a meal!
Side note: Starting to grow your own food isn’t cheap! It can be time-consuming and a bit pricey because you'll tend them with water, fertilisers, and more. In the long run though, you'll be able to save much more as you cut costs on your grocery bills, and build a healthier body. Maybe you can even sell your produce when you have more to harvest.
Cooking can eat up a lot of your time. That’s why a lot would rather buy a meal or get it delivered right at their doorstep during busy days. If you’re simply at home during lockdown, try cooking! This not only makes for a great habit, but also limits contact from potential spreaders.
Preparing the ingredients, chopping and cutting, cooking, and washing the dishes can be an arduous task, but it’s an excellent way to spend the long hours at home. The lockdown serves as the best time to maximise your oven and stove. If you’re a first-time cook, there are pages after pages of recipes you can follow online.
Pro-tip: Make sure to use the right utensils for your pans. For non-stick pans, don’t use metal utensils as they will surely scratch the non-stick coating off your pans. It’s also important to use the right cleaning tools. For cast irons, make sure to treat them properly before storing them.
Is your ancestry rooted in China, South Korea, the Philippines, or India? Perhaps, you have a European ancestry that traces back to Germany, Scotland, or Ireland? Learn more about your roots by studying your family's mother tongue.
Aside from communicating better with family, learning a new language will come in handy when you travel, work, and move to your dream city.
The internet has plenty of resources to learn from — be it on YouTube, courses websites, or mobile apps. There are also plenty of interactive apps such as Duolingo, where you can learn to read, write, and converse in the language. If you want to learn better, there are always online classes taught by native speakers.
Pro-tip: Find a local community that speaks the language that you want to learn. There’s no better way to learn the language than to speak it with other people. If your parents or grandparents speak the language, converse with them — even if you make a lot of mistakes! There are also loads of language exchange websites you can check online.
Journaling your day doesn’t only help you reflect on life, but keeps your daily routines organised. It serves as a reminder whenever you need to do something or if you have important events coming. It’s also a great way to monitor your growth as the seasons go.
There’s no one rule when it comes to journaling. As long as you feel like it and you can understand your schedules, that’s the best way for you. Of course, making it neat and pretty is also good, but making it personalised for your needs always comes first. Always remember that you journal for yourself, and not for other people.
Side note: During lockdown, you have more time to get crafty with your journaling. Even if you don’t have the talent for art, it doesn’t hurt to try. Even if the results are not up to your liking, it’s okay. You're the only one who’s gonna see it, after all.
Our pets may actually be the happiest this lockdown because we're always home with them! Pay closer attention to them, and give them more cuddles and belly rubs. Studies have shown that dog and human interaction releases a surge of oxytocin, also known as the love hormone. It's just harder to feel sad when they're around!
It’s also the perfect time to train them! Teach them not to snack on your belongings and where to do their business. Make sure to bring a lot of patience as they can be very playful and hard to train. To effectively train your pet, be sure to conduct your research. Experts have plenty of useful tips and tricks that you can do even at home!
Pro-tip: For overweight pets, there’s no other way but to drag them to walk. Use something that excites your pets as a motivator — be it treats, water, or balls. Walking your pets is a great exercise for them but for you too!
The lockdown can cause a lot of stress and anxiety to some people. It’s not necessarily because they’re stuck at home; it’s the constant worrying that friends and loved ones might get the virus.
While all these are valid emotions, it can take a toll on your mental health if you don’t balance your worries with things you're truly grateful for. Make it a habit to meditate for at least 15 minutes every day. While this seems long, think of it as a full-package relaxation time, complete with breathing exercises that help ease the mind.
Pro-tip: If you find it difficult to concentrate on your meditation, listen to mental wellness podcasts available online. There’s also plenty of YouTube guides on proper breathing and posture. This is a simple habit to develop that can greatly improve your quality of life.
Being stuck at home during lockdown, there’s an increased appreciation for the outdoors. Kiwis are no longer commuting to buy their essentials or go to work, but are either walking or biking.
Spending more time with nature doesn’t only keep your mind occupied with beautiful sceneries, but also reduces the likelihood of seasonal depression and anxiety. A healthy amount of time under the sun can give you vitamin D, which is essential in regulating serotonin levels in the body. They release happy hormones, keeping us satisfied and full of energy.
Side note: Always follow the protocols set by the government. If you're in Level 4, then for now you can simply enjoy outdoor activities on your lawn or nearby areas. Once it's more lenient for non-essential travel, it's gonna be more exciting to explore the outside world.
Aside from developing new and better habits, you can also use this time to quit the bad ones. It’s extremely difficult to cut down on your vices like alcohol and cigarettes, and sheer willpower isn't enough sometimes. However, there’s no other way to quit but to start the battle and be more consistent.
Quitting smoking is a wise choice during the pandemic. The pandemic targets especially those who have weak respiratory systems, which is likely to develop through smoking. For alcohol, you don’t have to quit completely; simply cut back. Limiting your alcohol intake prevents you from having liver problems in the future, and you'll lose some weight, too.
Side note: Don’t force yourself to quit cold turkey. You can take it slowly, but surely. A lot of people experience withdrawal symptoms such as being irritable, anxious, and depressed. Some even go back to their vices, way worse than before. Look for the best way to quit; seek help if you really need to. There are loads of videos on quitting in Youtube, and discussions all over Reddit, and other social media.
If you've seen the Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, then you already have an idea as to how freeing and life-changing it is to declutter. Make it a habit to reorganise your stuff this lockdown. If you’ve been putting off decluttering (we're guilty of this!), you now have all the time to do just that.
Decluttering isn’t only limited to your clothes! You may have plenty of stocks in your pantry that you don’t really use at all. Perhaps, there may even be expired goods that you forgot to throw out. Raid your storage for any items that you have. Sort out the things that you use daily, seasonally, and don’t use at all.
Pro-tip: If you think that an item may be useful in the future but don’t really know when, you probably don’t need it. If you’re a sentimental person, take a photo of the item, instead of storing them — especially if you don’t really need them. This way, you can always go back and reminisce without clutter.
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