Staying healthy, fit and sane during lockdown

So it’s Day 6 of lockdown and I’ve been receiving so many requests for home exercise videos and detox tips during this period.

The question is “How do I eat healthy, not gain weight and stay sane during lockdown?

I’ve broken down this blog into 3 parts which are vital in ensuring you stay healthy, fit and sane during this time period.

  1. Food.

What’s on your grocery list? It’s so easy to binge eat when you’re at home the whole day. Sometimes you’re not even hungry, you’re just eating because you’re bored. When you do your grocery shopping, it’s important to buy as much healthy food as possible but also mixing it up with a few snacks for your own sanity. I did my grocery shopping a week before lockdown, I returned on Thursday from my mini-holiday and went “panic shopping”. I was so panicked I literally bought things I don’t need. And because of this I ended up eating 3 custard donuts. (I stress eat, badly). Don’t panic buy, don’t be like me.

What should be in your grocery list:

  • Protein is very important so make sure you’re stocked up. Healthy protein – if you’re buying chicken, buy the one without skin. I’d say get chicken breasts mostly, but, let’s be real.
  • Veggies – stock up on your greens, maybe make this a weekly trip if you can. Spinach, beans, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, sweet corn, Avo etc.
  • Fruit – you know what they say about an Apple a day. Banana’s are a great way to start the day. Grapes are a good dessert option.
  • Starch – I would keep this to a minimum. If you must, get rice otherwise substitute this with potatoes. Bread – the healthy kind. I’m not a big bread fan but I found myself getting bread the other day, I’ve only eaten one slice in 3 days, but still, it’s there if I need it.
  • Liquids – WATER! WATER! WATER! I also get the juices from Woolies. I normally have this for breakfast. Green tea either with lemon or ginger. Coffee if you can, just don’t use sugar and maybe swap your normal milk for non-dairy milk. While we’re on that topic – try to limit your dairy intake.
  • Snacks – I normally just buy raw almonds. Crackers as well. Popcorns. Otherwise I mostly snack on fruit.

2. Exercise.

This is tricky. I’m slowly dying on the inside as I’m writing this. My body is crying “I want to go for a run“! I’ve asked 3 people already what the probability of getting caught is if I wake up at 5am and sneak in a 10km run outside. I’m struggling to survive without running, BUT, there are alternatives. This morning I ran around my complex 5 times and up/down the stairs 10 times. I did 1000 skips and some Ab exercises, I have a detox Whatsapp group and we’re doing a 21 day Abs challenge. It’s cool and interactive, click here to join. I’m hosting weekly training sessions via Facebook Live, the first one is on Tuesday with my sister, click here to join the session.

Otherwise here are some fun “At Home” exercises to do :

  • Tummy : Crunches, Leg Raises, Reverse Crunches, Leg Lifts, Planks, Russian Twists etc.
  • Booty – Squats, Lunges
  • Full Body – Jumping Jacks, Skipping, Jogging around your yard, Mountain Climbers

3. Mental Health.

I CANNOT stretch how important this is. Your Mental healthy should be your top priority. If any of the exercises or foods are making you unhappy, stop right away. If you need a day off from exercising, take it. If you want chocolate, eat it. Practise some discipline, but don’t do anything that makes you unhappy. We are already dealing with a pandemic, everyone is on edge, the last thing you want is added pressure on yourself. Take each day as it comes. If you’re working from home, take your lunch break away from your working desk. Give yourself breaks, be easy on your self.

Some key things I’m consistently doing during this time that have helped me significantly with my mental health :

  • Keep a journal. Write how you feel down. Everything. It will be a great memento for when we survive this.
  • Practice some meditation. Seriously, every morning try to spend a minimum of 20 minutes meditating.
  • Start each day with a grateful heart – everyday, ask yourself what you are grateful for. With everything that’s happening it’s so easy to lose focus of the food.
  • Read. Paint. Write. – Whatever sets your soul on fire, try to do more of it.
  • Look at the sunset/sunrise even if it’s from your window or balcony. Life is still beautiful.
  • Stay connected with your loved ones virtually. Call them more often. I have virtual catch ups with my friend and sometimes we have “wine catch ups” it makes things better.
  • Take a walk. Even if you walk around your garden with your furry friend but take a walk.
  • Get enough sleep. Once you start working from home, things tend to get muddy and you find yourself spending everyday on your laptop. You need to still have boundaries and “me time”.

This is something that is foreign to everyone and the best thing to do is to take each day as it comes. It’s okay to have bad days, it’s okay to not be okay. I broke down yesterday because my mental claustrophobia couldn’t take anymore, I literally sat on the floor helpless, got up ate as much as I could and I felt even more crappy afterwards. I let myself go through the moment and when I was done feeling sorry for myself I got up, cleaned my place, took a long bubble bath, did some reading and went to bed promising myself tomorrow will be a better day. It’s okay if all you do is take it one moment at a time, when all is said and done, we will appreciate life more and learn to not take anything for granted.

Take care of your and yours ❤ !

Published by Sibahle Teyise

Mholo, Hello, Groete, Sawubona, Lotjhani, Dumela, Ndaa, Avuxeni! I’m Sibahle Teyise, JAGWAT founder and head content writer. I have an Undergraduate Degree from UCT majoring in Public Policy and Literature, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma from UCT specialising in Marketing, Events Management and Business Communication. I am an author under construction, working on my book to be published soon- "When It Happens For Girls Like Us". I started JAGWAT in 2017, following the success of my personal blog - Tales Of The Mute. The inspiration to start JAGWAT came after hearing the sad stories of women being murdered on a daily basis, the violence against women as well as the many stories of women taking their own lives because of suffering in silence. JAGWAT provides a platform for women to take back the power by sharing their stories on a public central platform and with this, they show other women that they are not alone. I believe that when women stand together great things happen. No women should suffer in silence and the more we speak up as women and create a sisterhood and support group, the more powerful we can become. I am passionate about communities with women from disadvantaged backgrounds and JAGWAT supports Women Initiatives as well as making a difference in various schools from the township by offering assistance to learners in the form of mentorship and tutoring. I am a self-proclaimed book-worm and although I am a shy person, I am a motivational public speaker. I was heavily bullied in primary as well as high school and I am extremely passionate about Anti-Bullying campaigns and initiatives. I read, I write, I gym, I pray, I cycle, , I hike, I run, and pretty much everything in between. I am a weight loss motivator having lost 16kg in the past 2 years, which is quite an achievement for someone who can’t cook. (Thank GOD for food that can easily be boiled!!) I am a firm believer that an empowered women can empower other women and JAGWAT aims to be that platform for Women Empowerment. On a lighter note: I have the worst music playlist in the history of playlists.

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