We are currently in a very difficult period, and lifestyles have definitely changed. Universities are closed, gyms are closed, supermarket shelves are empty, going out is banned, and most people are working from home.
I thought I would blog a day in my life at Iconinc during the lockdown to show how I am coping and hopefully give you some tips if you are struggling.
8.00am – Wake up! I am really enjoying having an extra hour or two in bed now I don’t have to rush off to university lectures or training, however, make sure you aren’t just sleeping in till lunchtime. Keep to a routine and make yourself get up in the morning.
I spend about 30 minutes checking the news on my phone for any government updates on the condition and respond to any messages from my friends and family. I would definitely recommend keeping up to date with the news, but don’t over obsess with it. Once or twice a day is enough, more than that and you could risk feeling depressed or overanxious about certain figures or statements. Keeping in touch with friends and family is also important as you won’t be able to see them in person, we are physically socially distancing, but you don’t have to social distance online.
8.30am – wash face, get dressed, brush hair, make my bed, open the curtains to let the lovely sun in, and open the window to circulate some fresh air. Make sure you get yourself ready in the morning. You don’t have to wear your fancied of clothes or straighten your hair, but just washing your face and putting on some clothes other than pyjamas will set you up for a more productive day. With the lovely weather at the moment, opening windows and balcony doors to allow some fresh air in is the perfect way to freshen up your room and prevent that stuffy feeling of being locked indoors
8.45am – a quick trot downstairs for the delicious breakfast thanks to Iconinc. Make sure to eat a healthy breakfast to fuel your day. Include some fruit for that immune support, complex carbohydrates for energy and protein for growth and repair. Some great combinations are wholegrain cereal, berries and milk; or peanut butter and banana on toast, or how about a savoury breakfast of an egg and vegetable scramble on top of wholegrain toast and avocado?
9am – Now I have around 1 hour to catch up on emails as well as writing my to-do list for the day. I would really recommend writing a to-do list to make sure you are productive as possible and get everything done for the day that you had planned. If you don’t, you risk forgetting something or procrastinating too much. Seeing a physical written down copy of what you need to do gives you much more motivation to get everything done in the day. I put university-based tasks on one column and the ‘home related’ tasks in another, such as grocery shopping, cleaning etc, and then my training related tasks in another.
10am – Training time! Even though there are no races on the horizon, I am still making sure to train hard to keep my fitness up so I will be stronger than ever when the races do come up. Unfortunately, I have been side-lined with a lower leg injury for the past couple of weeks but thanks to the elliptical cross trainer in the Iconinc gym I have been able to keep up with my training without the impact of running. Even if you aren’t a competitive athlete like me, I would still highly recommend trying to get 20-30 minutes of ‘elevated heart rate’ exercise per day. There are so many home workouts online now and they are so easy to follow along. Get those endorphins rushing with an arm pump, booty workout or full body HIIT! Now with the gym closed I am having to adapt my routine. This morning I did a great 20 minute full body workout outside followed by a 10 minute booty burner!
12pm – time to grab a quick glass of milk from the Iconinc fridge for that post workout protein and carbohydrate boost. Yes, you don’t need to buy expensive protein shakes, I am a dietetic student, and can confirm that milk [or chocolate milk if you prefer] contains the perfect carbohydrate to protein ratio of 4:1 and is much cheaper for students like me! Make sure you choose dairy milk [or soya milk if you can’t have dairy], nut and oat milks don’t have a very high protein content at all!
12.15pm – with the beautiful weather at the moment, I have been doing a 15-20-minute stretching and foam rolling routine out in the garden to get some much-needed vitamin D and make up for the lost time outside. Whilst the weather is so lovely, make sure to get outside 3-4 times a day even if it just for 5 minutes. The warmth of the sun’s rays and the fresh breeze are the best way to boost your mood and will do wonders for your health and positivity.
12.30pm – quick shower to freshen up after a sweaty workout and put on some clean clothes. Make sure to wash your clothes more often than normal at a high temperature and hang out to dry in the sun so the UV rays can kill any viruses on them.
1pm – time for lunch! My go-to over the past few days has been a big salad of lots of colourful vegetables dressed with rice vinegar and balsamic glaze, a couple of poached eggs and a bagel with butter or peanut butter and jelly, followed by an apple or pear and some cereal. I make sure to keep myself fuelled with healthy nutritious foods to prevent me getting hungry throughout the afternoon and snacking on less healthy foods. However, don’t restrict yourself from a treat but limit it to one a day if you can! Boredom eating is a thing! I have been enjoying my lunches on the balcony whilst watching YouTube or taking in the beautiful views.
2pm – after a lunchtime ‘siesta’ catching up with social media and YouTube, it’s time to get to work! I have found that having a specific place to work, whether it be a desk in your room or a separate room like the study pods we have here at Iconinc, has really helped me to concentrate and not get distracted. Turn your phone off and commit to a few hours of hard study. Every 40-60 minutes take a break, grab a drink, wash your hands, grab a healthy snack from the pantry, or have a quick walk around the garden to keep your mind fresh.
Make sure to keep hydrated. Water, no added sugar squash and cordials are your best option. Try to avoid sugary drinks, or coffees in the afternoon. You shouldn’t be using sugar or caffeine to keep you going through studying. Use healthy nutrition, regular breaks and keeping hydrated to keep you awake and energised throughout your study session.
5.30pm – I really enjoy going for a short walk around the local park for 30 minutes just to stretch my legs and refresh my brain after a hard study session. I really enjoy listening to motivational podcasts or calling my family and friends on the walks to keep my mood positive. Just make sure it is only once a day and keep 2m away from everyone else.
6pm – quick check of the to-do list to make sure I have completed everything for the day. If I haven’t genuinely been able to complete everything, I make sure I add it to the top of tomorrows list to make sure I don’t forget or miss anything.
6.30pm – I have been using all this extra time to cook myself some delicious and nutritious meals. I have been getting very creative in the kitchen and have to say myself the dishes have tasted amazing! With the lack of some supplies in the supermarkets, you may have to adapt your certain meals, but try and avoid getting a takeaway if you can – your body and wallet will thank you for it! Plus, I find it really relaxing to cook a meal and enjoy it knowing exactly what has gone into it and it will nourish my body, keeping me healthy.
7.30pm – time for another quick shower and to get ready for the night. Take some time to pamper yourself – apply a face mask, paint your nails, exfoliate your skin. Self-care is more important than ever in these difficult times.
I like to spend about 1 – 1.5 hours watching one of my favourite TV series and if I get peckish, I might snack on some popcorn, or Greek yogurt and berries, or a handful of trail mix and chocolate chips. After a hard workout session day, I would probably have something more substance like a protein flapjack, toast or big bowl of cereal.
8.30pm – turn off your phone, iPad, laptop and TV at least 1 hour before bed to make sure you get a good night’s sleep, brush your teeth and read a good book to get yourself relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep. I usually read for about 30 minutes to an hour and then get to sleep. Make sure you don’t stay up all night, the following day your appetite and work will be affected. You will find yourself reaching for high sugar foods and not focussing on work as well. Keeping to a routine when everything else is in chaos around you is the perfect way to keep a positive and solid mindset throughout these next few weeks or months.
I really hope you have enjoyed finding out how I spend my day, and you find some of the tips useful when adapting your lifestyle to the new restrictions.
Most importantly: stay home, stay safe, save lives.