No matter if you’re a homebody or someone who goes out every night, we’re all experiencing a huge change to our routines due to Covid-19 emergency. And it’s certainly true that stress and boredom can not only affect your mental, but also your physical health. It’s easy to find yourself in a situation when you’re visiting that treats cupboard more and more and eating pizzas out of the freezer while spending your nights in with Netflix. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
With a little bit of creativity and a few smart online tips, it’s possible to stay healthy, eat nutritious meals and feel great even when you’re stuck indoors for days on end. Keep reading to find out how!
Maintaining a sense of routine is important
Now we know everyone is banging on about this, but that’s because it is so so important! Your body clock is an interesting mechanism that can get really out of balance if you let yourself sleep in every day, eat your meals at random times or stay too late at night playing video games and binging TV show. Our best recommendation is to make sure you have a few rituals to keep your mind and body active and engaged through the day. For example, start your day with a 30min yoga session. One of our favourites – – has a bunch of great free yoga videos from beginner to advanced level. Or you could even take one of her freely available 30 Days of Yoga challenges! To end the day, we recommend slowing down with some breathing exercises and meditation. It helps release stress and slow down when you need it the most. As we mentioned in our Top Apps To Combat Isolation blog, our favourite mediation apps, Headspace and Calm, are great options to check out!
Experiment with what you have in your cupboards
While keeping your body and mind moving is all well and good, your diet, what you put in your body every day, makes up a huge part of how you end up feeling. If you’re generally healthy and try to invest in quality food and nutritious meals, it can be stressful to try and come up with nice, filling and healthy dinners from the limited supplies that you have in your cupboards (or the last groceries you managed to stock up on). For those of you used to eating out or grabbing a sandwich on the go, self-isolation means that now (perhaps for the first time since you moved to university?), you’re having to cook daily and rely on the very few recipes that you know. But never fear! We’re got plenty of ideas to help you experiment in the kitchen:
- Experimenting with what you have can be made so much easier by tools like Yummly. Just select the products you have (or don’t have), select your favourite cuisine, put in any allergy information and let the clever app do the rest. The app also allows you to choose the level of cooking skills required and gives you a variety of different recipes accordingly. Each recipe has a full ingredients list, easy-to-follow instructions and even pictures of the dish to get your belly rumbling! We can assure you that you will find great recipes to make even with the smallest selection of cupboard ingredients.
- Another great cooking app to check out is Tasty. This Buzzfeed app can act like your personal cooking coach. Having more time to prepare your meals means you can practice your skills and learn to make delicious dishes from the simplest of ingredients. Tasty offers over 3000 recipes that you can filter by any ingredients, cuisine or occasion you’re in the mood for. There’s never been a better time to get your hands dirty in the kitchen!
- And finally, if those two options still seem like a little bit too much work, MOB Kitchen can be your life-saver. They can help you find the easiest recipes that are quick, easy and affordable for a student pocket. Next time you go shopping, make sure you bring their list of store cupboard essentials that will allow you to cook the freshest dishes even during quarantine. Finally, if you’re not already, you should follow them on Instagram: the team there are sharing daily lockdown recipes and photos of meals you can put on your “to make for my friends when we’re no longer self-isolating” list.
Keep track of what you’re eating
While we’re sure you’ll find plenty of great recipes with tools we suggested, it is also important to keep track of what you’re eating. Spending time at home can mean that your snacks and chocolate stocks are within reach all day… And don’t get us wrong, we’re not necessarily suggesting you start meticulously counting calories and obsessing over every bite! But popping your daily food list on apps like my FitnessPal, Lifesum or Fooducate can simply help keep track of your diet and make sure it is varied, nutritious and makes you feel good.
On the other hand, instead of tracking what you have already eaten, you can plan your meals ahead of time instead. For example, Allrecipes Dinner Spinner app can help. It’s a community of more than 30 million home cooks, and the more you use it the smarter it gets. You can follow and save various recipes, add required ingredients to the shopping list and tailor your selections searching by keywords or ingredients. And for those of you vegans and vegetarians out there, Veganized is a great alternative. It’s a plant-based diet meal planner that lets you search, create, and share vegan recipes and track your nutrition. The app also functions as a social networking platform, so you can meet new people while creating and sharing your own recipes with the community and helping promote the vegan diet and lifestyle.
If you’re worried about others
Finally, this is truly unique time, when things like food supply and preparation are just some of the things that are coming to the forefront of our mind in the face of potentially long weeks in isolation. During this period of social distancing, don’t forget to stay emotionally close to those in your life that need to be even more careful about their health and staying indoors full time. While you’re worried about staying healthy and making nice meals, your grandparents or elderly neighbours might be worried about their food stocks in general. Even if sometimes you can’t help them directly, there are also a few resources that have been created in the last week or so to help those in need and great to keep in mind should they need it. For example, Morrisons launched new food boxes that contain everyday groceries for people who are self-isolating. You can order the £30 box online and get it conveniently delivered directly to the person in need. However, sometimes a call or a video chat will be an even better option to show those most vulnerable in your life that you care!
Don’t forget to look after your physical and mental health in these difficult times and check in with one another! We’re all in this together.