It was announced this week that South Africa will be enduring a three-week nationwide lockdown from midnight on Thursday, the 26th of March to Thursday, the 16th of April. In true South African style, citizens began spreading memes about how they’ll cope. While it seems that the majority envisage that they will pick up weight, become pregnant or overindulge on alcohol, here’s how to stay healthy (and sane) over the next 21 days:
- Exercise: Although most people are expecting to spend the majority of the lockdown on the couch in front of the TV, it will be important for both mind and body to move. While you don’t have to be like the man in Germany who ran the length of an entire marathon on his balcony, those who are fortunate enough to have internet at home have access to a wealth of exercise videos ranging from yoga and Pilates, to good old fashioned aerobics. Best of all, you won’t need any equipment to do most of these. For those lucky enough to have treadmills, stationary bikes and punching bags at home, now’s the time to wipe off the dust and get your workout on.
- Nutrition: In times of high stress, we tend to comfort eat but this should be avoided as much as possible. It’s important to eat nutritious (and delicious) foods including fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure that you get all the nutrients your body needs to function optimally.
- Wash your hands: While you might not be leaving your home unless you have to pop to the shops, pharmacy or bank, it’s important to wash your hands frequently to keep yourselves and those you live with safe.
- Keep in (virtual) contact: As humans are social creatures, contact is essential for our mental health. Fortunately, there are so many technologies available to help us stay in touch with family and friends. This is going to be a lonely time for a lot of people, so remember to reach out to anyone who you might be concerned about.
- Avoid information overload: These days it feels like there is COVID-19 news wherever one looks which can be quite overwhelming and anxiety-provoking. Perhaps set yourself a schedule for when you are going to actually engage with updates, such as exclusively when the President will be addressing the country or via trusted websites like ours. To avoid unregulated information on social media feeds, perhaps just use the messaging function to maintain social contact while limiting time on news feeds.
The lockdown will be crucial for flattening the curve, so ensure that you do what you can to stay happy and healthy during this time and we’ll all emerge stronger on the other side.